I recently got the Goody Bag for every Season from Hotel Chocolat (see the US site as well), a nice little tote with rope handles. Inside was a variety of chocolates, all of which were quite good, and the presentation was fantastic.
Caramel Canapes These are a good sized piece of milk chocolate with a caramel chip and caramel candy pressed into the top. The milk chocolate is creamy and does not fight with the caramel flavors. The caramel candy is a little bit salty and a little bit buttery and a little chewy and a little crisp, very good indeed. One is big enough to be satisfying and small enough to count as being conscious of how much you eat. These were the ones we came back to night after night.
Raspberry Creme I’m not a big fan of white chocolate, and this bar didn’t do much to sway me. While the dried raspberries were full of flavor, the bits of the bar with raspberry swirled in tasted overly sweet and the fruit did not taste fresh, a second taster declared it reminded them of Strawberry Quik. The seeds of the dried raspberry got caught in my back teeth and necessitated a bit more chewing and maneuvering than I would have liked. My mom, however, liked white chocolate and would have found this bar wonderful.
Milk Rocky Road This bar we liked, the milk chocolate went well with the crisped rice, and the smaller candy pressed into the top added crunch and an almost malty dimension of flavor.
The smell coming from these reminded me of orange when I initially opened them, and I could not shake that impression. The hazelnut praline inside was good, not too sweet.
Milk Chocolate Dipper for a hot drink This one wasn’t labeled so I was unsure of the flavor until I used it. I dipped it into a cup of hot chocolate and the outside melted beautifully, allowing me to pop it into my mouth, it was hazelnut. I got quite a few dunks, the candy was very creamy and delicious while hot. I wished I had another.
The chocolates are very good, but the strength of Hotel Chocolat is, I suspect, in the presentation. Just look at the easter eggs, the variety of mini chocolates inside the Extra Large Rocky Road to Caramellow Easter Egg is stunning, and the engraved easter eggs are beautiful. The chocolate slabs are over a pound and dramatic as large bars. I’m kind of in love with the selection of Little Things. I find the Chocolate Dipping Adventure (reviewed at Baking Bites) especially appealing. I suspect it would be the perfect thing to bring along for a hotel getaway night.
The selections at Hotel Chocolat would be great gifts, they are presented and shipped with care (mine arrived tucked into a temperature sensitive box with a cold gel packet). Hotel Chocolat a full line available for the UK, as well as in UK shops. The US Hotel Chocolate site has smaller selection, but ships from their warehouse in Boston.