‘Tis the season of goodwill – well it is until your other half nicks your chocolate out of your advent calendar! I’ve had chocolate advent calendars since I can remember and it was always the case of making sure that I got up before my brother to prevent him from opening my advent calendar door that morning. Any ensuing argument obviously wasn’t going to lead to any family break-ups, but now I’m married I fear that having this advent calendar for couples from Hotel Chocolat could lead to an expensive divorce (if it did happen, I’d get the chocolate and she’d get the dogs – fair deal I think!)
For the first time in a review I’m going to concentrate on the visuals and not the taste as I’m only going to review the first of the chocolates and savour each one from the 2nd of December onwards.
Many of you would say £22 for an advent calendar is very expensive and even taking into account that it’s for two people it’s still not that cheap. But any of you who have tasted the cheapest chocolate advent calendars from your local supermarket would know…. they’re crap. Often they taste like chocolate for dogs – not that I’ve tasted too many of dog treats. But those chocolate advent calendars seem to be bereft of much cocoa content. With this one from Hotel Chocolat you’d be witnessing a much more of a true chocolate experience.
I know the chocolates inside aren’t from their luxury Purist Range (which I love) but they’re a modification of theirr truffle selection which actually taste alcoholic, even though they’re not – apart from one. What I did find surprising is that during the run-up to Christmas Day you would have tried a variety of truffles such as caramel and cherry, Gianduja, Cinnamon, Lemon, Caramel and Rum and the Orange. With only the one containing alcohol (as far as I can gather) it may be worth saving them for when you get home from work – however I doubt one tiny truffle would set you over the edge.
The one I tried wasn’t as pleasant as their normal truffles which you can find in their Chocolatier’s Table, but it wasn’t bad. The issue is that the truffles are so small at about 1cm in diameter that the flavour is a touch lost in the that offered by milk or dark chocolate shell which surrounds the truffle centre.
If you consider that this basically costs 25p per person per day then it is great value. If you think of it as £22 spent then you’d have to have a good think about how tight you are? If you’re a parent looking for a chocolate advent calendar for your son or daughter and their husband or wife which will give them a bit of luxurious pleasure every day for the run-up to Christmas then go for it. Similarly, if you’re looking for a gift for your parents as a thank you for every time that they got you a chocolate advent calendar when you were a child then it’s a nice way of doing it.
I can’t really give a full verdict until after I’ve consumed them all my half, but I’m initially impressed. However, if you are going to get someone something from Hotel Chocolat, make sure you get some vintage chocolate buttons as well – I just love them!