With help from the kids and two friends, I have demolished the contents of the goody bag now, but we went out to our nearest Hotel Chocolat this weekend and bought another goody bag for my Grandparents and some stocking fillers for the kids.
I'll start by saying: "Look how it arrived!" I am a little bit obsessed with packaging. Nice packaging makes me smile. It came in a branded box, packing peanuts to protect the absolutely gorgeous bag packaging... monochrome, ribbon, embossed logo... ah, I loved it before I even smelled the chocolate.
Valued at £18.00, this is a popular choice for a luxury Christmas present without breaking the bank. It contained a small Christmas Wreath, 6x Treacle Tart Chocolates, 6x Christmas Mess Chocolates and a Pillow Pack of 3 Milk Chocolate Santas.
I always go for the fruity, creamy, white chocolates first... I'm not the sort of person who saves the best til last; My favourites look at me and shout at me to eat them, so it would be rude not to. One of my all time favourite chocolates is the eton mess, so this Christmas mess was instantly appealing. My, Oh, My, I wasn't dissappointed and no help was required in testing these little beauties. The white chocolate on the outside is sensational, by far the best I have tried. Inside the centre is layers of fruity, creamy, sweet heaven... combine the chocolate and the centre with the crisp meringue pieces on the top and we have found ourselves a mouth orgasm. These really are sensational.
Badger and Bam Bam were the ones helping out here. You can see in the gallery below that Badger was very impressed and managed to take the last one before I could even snap a pic of him eating his first. These are chunkier than I was expecting and the mould that's been used to create the Santa design is really cute, funky and appealing to kids. These have gone into the stockings, at £2.50 for the pillow pack of three, it's a special little treat. Again, the packaging adds to the quality of these as a gift. Hotel Chocolat have similar products, so if your budget for a child was a little higher than the £2.50 then you could combine a few different items.
These are just so cute, I love the shortbread piece on the top of the chocolates, although was expecting it to be harder than they were. Everyone wanted to try one of these, which says to me that they are a good buy for those trickier gift recipients. Not one complaint all round... the Treacle centre is so smooth and warm, you actually feel like you are eating something hot. When you combine the shortbread piece, chocolate and treacle centre, you could shut your eyes and really be eating a treacle pudding.
This was the biggest shock to me. If I am honest, I wasn't really too excited to be trying this and was expecting that my Mum and my friend would be the ones to devour it all while I took notes. As I said, I like the soft, sweet chocolates best so this wreath is the polar opposite: Dark, crunchy, chewy.
How wrong was I? Eating this is was so, so satisfying. You can't judge plow your way through it like you can with a box of the soft chocolates, so it does last that bit longer. The florentines were a little bit too hard for me, but everyone else loved them. However, the biscuit pieces, the dark chocolate being so smooth and only slighly bitter, the almond taste, what looked to me like oreo cookie was just outstanding. One minute you were sucking a chunk of dark chocolate, then crunching a biscuit, then chewing, munching, nibbling... if you imagine that actual wreaths were edible, it would be like this - the textures were prefect replications of twigs, berries, branches. If only ferns really did taste like chocolate.