I thought it was about time that I had a look at some chocolate tasting and see if there are any alternatives to the hugely popular www.chocs.co.uk offering from Hotel Chocolat. There does look like a very good one from William Curley, but I expect the price might turn some off, even though I know his chocolates wouldn’t.
Name: Hotel Chocolat
Price: £17.95 – £9.95 introductory offer
Details: Established over 10 years ago and sent out over 1,500 different types of chocolates. Essentially they create a whole range of different chocolates and would like to know what you think of them. You’ll get full details of what’s in the chocolates so you never try anything you don’t know what’s contained within. You’ll also get flavour notes so you know what the guys there pick up in terms of flavour. You’re then asked to score the chocolates – but you don’t have to. With each delivery you’ll get a Club News magazine which gives details of what others have thought of them. Delivery will take place via Royal Mail. You can change the frequency of the boxes you receive from 4 weekly, every 8 weeks or every 12 weeks – they can’t guarantee delivery on specific dates though.
Which Types of Chocolate? You can select between a mixed box of dark, milk and white or just dark chocolates if you prefer – as well as their Purist range.
Dietary Requirements: Unfortunately they can’t guarantee them being nut free, dairy free, gluten free or anything free.
Payment: By debit/credit card, cheque or postal order online, by telephone or post. They can’t accept payment by Maestro cards though.
Cancellation: Appears to be immediate
Rating: 8/10 (provisional)
Find out more: www.chocs.co.uk.
Price: William has various options. There are the standard and gold memberships where you can buy subscriptions for 3 months for £75 for the standard and £155 for the gold; 6 months for £150 / £300 or 12 months for £285 / £570.
Details:For the Standard members will get a range of William Curley Couture Chocolates such as truffles, caramelised hazelnuts and almonds etc. Whilst the Deluxe package involves their staff finding out what your likes and dislikes are and having selections chosen specifically around your needs. You’ll also receive other chocolates that you wouldn’t get with the normal club membership.
Which Types of Chocolate? It’ll be random for the standard club membership and tailored with the Deluxe membership.
Dietary Requirements: I don’t think they can guarantee a nut or dairy free environment.
Payment: By card for the period you choose.
Cancellation: I don’t think there are any options to cancel.
Range: High to very high.
Find out more: http://www.williamcurley.co.uk.
Name: Martin’s Chocolatier
Price:£17.95 – £9.95 introductory offer.
Details: They’ll send a selection of chocolates every month with a variety of flavours such as balsamic and sage. They have a fully money back guarantee too.
Which Types of Chocolate? There doesn’t appear to be any choice of what types of chocolate you get.
Dietary Requirements: There’s no information about this available.
Payment: It looks like they take the first payment by credit card then you arrange the full price later.
Cancellation: There’s no information available
Range: Mid to highish
Rating: 5/10 – although the chocolates look nice, there’s not a lot of information to base a decision of whether or not it’d be a good idea to join up.
Find out more: www.martinschocolatier.co.uk.
Name: Sir Hans Sloane
Details: Launched in June 2011 to a select few. It’s more focused on giving feedback than selling their wares. I’m currently trying out their chocolate coated almonds which are very nice.
Find out more: www.sirhanssloane.com.
If you know of any others, please let me know!