Firstly, can we please talk about the name pocket selection and how it makes you literally think about popping a box of chocolates in the back pocket of your jeans right before you walk out the door? Wait, that thought did not at all come into your head? Ow okay then, just me.
A really kind and generous friend gave me the Hotel Chocolat Pocket Selection and Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Conegliano Prosecco a little while ago when I was having a super hard time. I struggle to show appreciation for things but hope that I managed it at the time and over the coming days and it came at a great time because it allowed me to have a little pamper session with a bubble bath, music, a bit of wine and some chocolate.
It came at a time where I had been questioning chocolate and its quality for a few months and I knew if anything was going to help change my mind it was going to be something from Hotel Chocolat. I went through a pretty intense phase of going for Hotel Chocolat products and desperately trying to justify three mini packs for £5 but given how I felt about cheaper chocolate recently I realised that sort of justification is not needed because their chocolate is just better. As I have got older it has become clear that I appreciate the slightly finer things in life including more expensive chocolates…
You have to go a bit out of your way though to encounter a Hotel Chocolat around these parts. Luckily I love the odd trip to Bromley or sometimes force myself to head Central and will spot one in a train station but at the minute Croydon is Hotel Chocolat free. No doubt if we got the soul-lacking Westfield that would change but as much as I love a good chocolate shop that is not a price I am willing to pay and would much rather see a local independent shop land in the under-appreciated and under-used St George’s Walk than have a monstrosity that is carefully designed to herd people like sheep from one end to the other. When I lived back home I would have to go a couple of bus journeys away to be able to indulge in Hotel Chocolat and I think that its general inaccessibility is what makes it that little bit extra special and heavenly.
The bow and simple sleek design of the packaging really helps to add that little touch of special and luxury to the product. That combined with each chocolate having the flavour type that it is next to it on the box itself makes for a super easy to use design rather than searching for a tiny little booklet or having to carefully lift the box up to look for the details underneath. It is that sort of small attention to detail that really helps to make the product feel that bit better in quality and with that also makes the slightly higher price tag less questionable because you can see where all the extra 50p amounts ‘go to’.
As for the chocolates themselves these were truly divine and melt in the mouth whilst subtle flavour was loaded into the smooth and carefully crafted chocolate. They were all heavenly and I would be happy to just get a whole box of any of them but found the rounded truffles to be very intensely rich and can imagine them working perfectly alongside a cup of coffee as an afternoon breather whilst the sweetest one, the strawberry shortcake, provided a lovely bite of texture and gave me the biggest happy hug.
It is clear that as I have got that little bit older my tastes have become that bit more developed and I can understand depth of flavour and appreciate it more than I did previously. These chocolates relieve me that I am not losing my love for chocolate but instead my tastes have just changed a little and I only appreciate it by having a few small bites at a time (rather than just devouring a whole bar at once) but have made me consider signing up for the Hotel Chocolat Tasting Club as a treat to me every month in 2018…
What are your thoughts on Hotel Chocolat and would you ever consider joining the Tasting Club? I’d love to find out in the comments below.