You may or may not be aware that this past week has been Chocolate Week. If I’m honest, I really don’t need an officially dedicated week to encourage me to celebrate the joy that is chocolate, but I’m happy to use it as an excuse to talk about the stuff!
I’ve had a bit of a crumby second half of the week really, what with a huge work load, absolutely zero motivation and some strange semi-illness that keeps rearing it’s head and making me feel very weak, tired and fuzzy. However, on Friday my perfect crappy-day cure arrived in the post, in the form of my Hotel Chocolat Chocolate Tasting Club box!
|A selection of chocolates from this months Tasting Club|
I’ve been a member of The Chocolate Tasting Club for about six months now, and I’m a big fan. If you haven’t heard of Hotel Chocolat or The Chocolate Tasting Club, the you’re definitely missing out. Hotel Chocolat is a high-quality UK chocolate brand selling what they describe as ‘artisan chocolates’. They have an absolutely stunning range of products, from basics like slabs of milk, white and dark (up to 85% cocoa) chocolate through caramels, truffles, pralines and chocolate coated fruits, to seasonal cocktail flavours and Halloween/Christmas/Easter themed chocolates (their Easter eggs are amazingly thick). Everything is beautifully finished and usually, as good to look at as to eat. Another bonus is their strong ethical policy, which is spelled out fully in their website, so you can be sure of getting an ethically produced product. Some of their dark chocolates are even vegan friendly! While all this high quality does mean that their chocolate is more expensive than your standard supermarket chocolate, as far as I’m concerned, it’s easily worth the extra money. The luxury and indulgence of proper chocolate is hard to beat, plus I like the fact that, as it’s a bit more expensive, I savour it more and usually don’t eat quite as much!
Anyway, onto The Chocolate Tasting Club. The Chocolate Tasting Club is a monthly subscription service run by Hotel Chocolat, that sends you a selection of Hotel Chocolat chocolates to taste and evaluate. There are three selections to choose from; Classic gives you a bit of everything, Dark gives you only dark chocolates and Elements gives you a selection of most of the range, excluding alcoholic chocolates. I started on the Classic Selection, but I was wasting too many of the strong alcohol ones, so have now switched to the Elements Selection, which I’m getting on with better.
So, once a month I get a beautifully packaged box of luxury chocolates arrive through my letterbox (the boxes are specifically designed to fit through letterboxes, so no need to make a trip to the sorting office if you’re out when it arrives!). I’ve already spoken about my excitement at receiving pretty, well packaged parcels, and this is no different, if anything, it’s more exciting as I don’t know what wonderful chocolates I’m going to get until I open the box and read the menu.
|A previous selection, with Lemon Cheesecake Slab (top right) 5*|
It’s nice to be able to try some different types of chocolate without having to shell out for a full pack. As much as I love chocolate, I do tend to go for the same things, the ones I know I like, so these boxes help me try new things. I had no idea I liked praline as much as I do, and I’m not sure I would have ever picked up the white chocolate lemon cheesecake slab in the shop, but it is absolutely fantastic! I would thoroughly recommend the club to anyone who really loves their chocolate (as a member you also get a card that entitles you to 5% discount on purchases in-store or on the website.
If you haven’t already done so, go celebrate what’s left of Chocolate Week while you still can!