The lovely people at Hotel Chocolat very kindly sent me one of their Christmas Goody Bags, from their current christmas range, to review. Seeing as chocolate comprises of all five of my five a day, I was more then up for the job at hand.
Hotel Chocolat has a special place in my heart as I was first introduced to it by an incredibly lovely friend who sent me a slab when I had a miscarriage in 2009.
The first thing that strikes you is the packaging. It's simple yet undeniably elegant. It exudes luxury and the window at the front displaying the contents proves that visibly this is a top-end, high quality product.
The minimalist packaging theme continues inside the gift bag, which works incredibly well to showcase the products as they simply don't need fussy and busy packaging, the chocolates speak for themselves visually. It's just effortlessly classy. What's not to love? I can't imagine anyone who'd not be terribly grateful and indecently excited to unwrap this on Christmas morning unless of course you were buying for someone with a chocolate allergy, or a Labrador. Just looking at it is enough to make you salivate, to the eye these are the Anne Summers of the Chocolate world, insofar as to say a sou-chant naughty, deliciously nice and you can't wait to strip them naked from their scanty wrappings. It even contains a few tarts!
So what's in this particular little bag of eden?
"Our most exciting chocolate goodies specially selected for Christmas – bagged and bowed and ready for you to unwrap, including a 50% Cookie & Caramel Wreath, 6 Christmas Mess Chocolates, 6 Treacle Tart Chocolates and a trio of milk chocolate Santas"
Needless to say I had a terribly difficult time deciding what to eat first yet finally settled on a Christmas Mess
"Fabulously fruity cranberry ganache and strawberry mousse with meringue sprinkles"
and they're not 'arf wrong either. Visually they look almost too good to eat, the contrasting textures provide a stimulating experience to bite and the flavour is decadent without being sickly. These were without a doubt my favourate.
"A marriage of molasses and runny caramel crowned with a crunchy shortbread biscuit"
Don't be deceived by the external milky chocolate. Inside you'll find a rich, sticky and incredibly sweet filling that almost drools out of it's place finished with a satisfying crunch of the shortbread on top. I'll hold my hands up, I'm not known for being a caramel fan yet even I could appreciate the deliciousness of these, though they're not something I'd personally choose again. The Husband, however, devoured them.
Moving on I next, all in the line of duty, was the Festive Chocolate Wreath:
"Inspired by one of the absolute classic flavour combinations of mellow 50% cocoa milk chocolate working in perfect harmony with nibbly cookies and hand cut florentines that beautifully balance the sweetness of the chocolate. Perfect for slicing and sharing with family and friends"
Oh my...how does one possibly embark upon eating this? Well, in all honesty, quite ruthlessly! Snap and devour. I feel it's only fair that I highlight the mistake in their escription. This is not and never will be perfect for sharing. They absolutely lied. If you shared this you should have your sanity investigated. This is categorically one of those things you should never share, ever.
This is a dense, full on solid chocolate experience. Do not be misguided by the size, even the most devout and expert chocolate eaters will struggle devouring this in one sitting or even two.
That just leaves us with the trio of chocolate santas. Unfortunately I can't comment personally on these as I have three spawn so each of them claimed one yet judging by the audible 'mmmmm nom nom nom' and their chocolate coated mouths I think we can safely say these were a hit.
So with just a mere ten days until Christmas, why not treat someone special in your lie to one of these Christmas Goodybags, There is really something for everyone inside and it takes chocolate gifts to a level of it's own. This is serious indulgence and the variety provides an ideal yet festive introduction to a Hotel Chocolat virgin yet would equally prove to be a welcome addition to any Hotel Chocolat enthusiast in your life.
The Christmas Goody Bag retails at £18 and you can purchase either in shop or online.
***I was sent a Christmas Goody Bag by Hotel Chocolat for the purpose of this review yet all opinions and experiences expressed are entirely my own.