Win Hotel Chocolat Christmas Gifts (& Review)

It’s that time of the year when Hotel Chocolat launch their Christmas Gifts range. The clocks have gone back, the dark nights are drawing in and fallen leaves damp with November rain squish and slide underfoot. It would be positively depressing if it weren’t for the anticipation of Christmas excesses to come. Christmas excesses including chocolate!

It’s easy – especially if you spend a lot of time with top chocolatiers and dedicated chocolate experts – to focus only on the top end stuff. And I do love Rococo, Paul A Young, Artisan du Chocolat and countless other fabulous brands.

It’s easy to forget the better known (and more readily available) delights that most of the country know and enjoy. Delights like Hotel Chocolat.

I’m happy to put my hand up and tell you that I am a fan of Hotel Chocolat. Ever since I stumbled into their first shop shortly after it opened, I’ve been happily eating my way through their chocolates. I’m particularly keen on their tiramisu truffles, rum soaked sultanas, Yule logs and the new Purist chocolate bars (some of which are from Hotel Chocolat’s own Rabot Estate in St. Lucia).

When they approached me to ask if I’d like to review some of their Christmas products as well as share the love with my readers, I was happy to accept.

Win Hotel Chocolat Deliciousness For Yourself

hotel choc prize 1 hotel choc prize 3#

1st Prize = Christmas Collection Gift Bag Luxe (worth £35)

2nd Prize = Goody Bag Of The Season (worth £15)

3rd Prize = Christmas Chocolate Goody Bag (worth £15)

Not one, not two but three prizes for Kavey Eats readers!

How To Enter

  1. Leave a comment here on the blog sharing a Christmas chocolate memory. Please include your name and email address in the comment; entries with no email address provided will not be entered into the draw.
  2. Enter on twitter by tweeting the following:
    Yes please, @kaveyf I’d like to win one of your 3 Hotel Chocolat Christmas prizes #kaveyeatshotelchocolatprizes

The competition deadline is midnight GMT on Friday, 19th November 2010.

Details

One blog entry per person.

One twitter entry per person.

Winners will be chosen using a random number generator, from all valid entries received by the deadline.

The prizes can be delivered anywhere in the UK and Europe.

The prizes are provided (and will be delivered) by Hotel Chocolat.

The Reviews

Pick-Me-Up Gift Bag (£10)

HotelChocXmas-0821 HotelChocXmas-0822 HotelChocXmas-0834

Containing a 100 gram bar of chocolate (with a moulded reindeer decoration), 6 liquid caramel chocolates and a bag of little chocolate “gemstones” this gift bag is good value. The lightly salted liquid caramels are decent, though the salt is a touch too light for my tastes. The gemstones are lovely – simple chocolate nibbles that are surprisingly moreish. The chocolate bar is simply a (decent) chocolate bar. At this price point, I think this bag would make a great gift for work colleagues with a sweet tooth or friends you’d like to treat without breaking the budget.

Gingerbread Liquid Chocolat (£8)

HotelChocXmas-0825

A friend gave me a bottle of the regular Hotel Chocolate drinking chocolate recently and I’ve been enjoying it daily at work, mixed into hot milk. This gingerbread version is absolutely fantastic with a strong ginger flavour and even a touch of ginger heat. The tiny chips of chocolate are fairly easy to dissolve too. I really, really like this.

Mulled Wine Cherries (£7.50)

HotelChocXmas-0817 HotelChocXmas-0847 HotelChocXmas-0850

I don’t love these as much as the regular kirsch cherries (also £7.50) but I do like them a lot. The mulled wine spices are subtle and balance nicely with the moist cherries and chocolate. A great stocking filler!

The Ultimate Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar (£17)

HotelChocXmas-0814
HotelChocXmas-0813 HotelChocXmas-0839 HotelChocXmas-0842

£17? I’m afraid it doesn’t matter how good the chocolate is (and it’s decent enough milk chocolate, certainly), it’s pretty hard to justify spending so much money on so little chocolate even when it’s hidden behind pretty numbered doors. Tastes good, looks good but just isn’t good value for money. And it’s difficult to prize the individual chocolates out of the plastic mould into which they’re slotted.

gingerbread advent

Personally, I’d buy something like this adorable fabric gingerbread man and pop my favourite chocolates into its advent calendar pockets!

Chilli Penguins (£7)

HotelChocXmas-0827
HotelChocXmas-0831 HotelChocXmas-0832

I’m a little disappointed when I open these, as I expected penguin figures that would be able to stand up. Instead, there are two layers of flat moulded shapes which bear little relationship to any penguin I’ve seen.

I know, I know… with two trips to Antarctica and a month in the Falkland Islands, I’ve spent more time watching and photographing the strange creatures than your average chocolate shopper but really… these don’t even look like the cute little cartoon penguins in Madagascar or Happy Feet!

And I think HC have missed a trick in not combining white and dark chocolate to make the penguins look more like, well… penguins!

But on a more serious note, what do they taste like? The chocolate is a fairly sweet 70% dark chocolate with a mild hint of chilli that provides a little warmth but not much of a chilli kick. Pleasant, but will disappoint those looking for a more obvious chilli presence. There’s more heat in the gingerbread hot chocolate than in these penguins.

Here are some real penguins I spent a few weeks with in the Falklands in February:

KVEats Falklands-3485 KVEats Falklands-5667
KVEats Falklands-3398 KVEats Falklands-3887 KVEats Falklands-3102 KVEats Falklands-4655KVEats Falklands-4905

You can check out the entire Hotel Chocolat Christmas Range here.

Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!
95 Comments to "Win Hotel Chocolat Christmas Gifts (& Review)"

  1. Nickie

    Mine is making chocolate fudge – I try to do it now but it never works for me. My dad and I would make it, me trying to mix as it was setting, never able to do it, and marvelling at his cooking abilities 🙂

    neekeem@yahoo.co.uk

  2. Anonymous

    Heh – selection box – eating it all and making myself very ill – four years running!

    railwayblues @gmail.com

  3. Cheeky

    My favourite Christmas choc memory is from when I was about 8 and was given a box of Milk Tray – they seemed so grown up compared to a selection box! Took me ages to pick a chocolate every time I was allowed one too 🙂
    bigbad30 at googlemail dot com

  4. carole shreeve

    All the chocs disappearing of the tree and my 4
    year old saying it wasn't me, with a ring of chocolate round his mouth!

  5. @kathrynann1 (twitter)

    My Christmas stocking always contained a chocolate 'smokers kit' when I was a child. Chocolate cigarettes, cigars and pipes! Would never be allowed nowadays!!

  6. John

    Last year I travelled back to London (I moved out to Brighton a few years ago) to meet the family for christmas – As it was a bit last minute planning, I'd yet to get any of the extended family (and I have a big family!) any gifts yet, as I normally wait until the christmas sales (I know it's cheeky). In a blind set of panic trying to find a shop with anything decent in on Christmas eve, I ended up spending about £120 on chocolate hampers in thortons. It was a lot, lot more than I'd normally spend but the chocolate went down really well with everyone (literally), so a chocolate christmas is always a good christmas!

    psobloke @ creative-gaming.co.uk

  7. Anonymous

    When we were young, my sister found her bike hidden at the back of my parents wardrobe and she was so excited as she thought Father Christmas had come early
    midge_1964@yahoo.co.uk

  8. cdmtx

    My fav. Christmas choc memory is …as a kid we always got a chocolate Advents calender – you open every day till christmas a door and there is a little chocolate treat behind it 🙂

    cdm65atmaildot com

  9. Heather

    Mine was getting chocolate Advent calendars from my Swiss-based aunt before it was the norm in the UK. They were lovely, except that my little brother used to eat the chocolates ahead, and then started on my chocolates!

    There was wailing the morning I discovered that bit of treachery, I can tell you!

    Heather Bayly
    splurdge@yahoo.com

  10. Jo

    I only have Christmas chocolate memories since I was an adult. MY mum was a Jehovahs witness and stopped our Christmasses at 6 years old. I have no memory before. I was the poor sad child who longed for just a tree and sparkly lights.
    My husband bought me chocolate coins on our first Christmas which was incredibly sweet of him, he wanted me to have all the little things I missed.
    But second proper Christmas memory with chocolate was for my children as toddlers stuffing their stockings with coins and hanging chocolate santas on the tree which mysteriously disappeared, well the wrappers stayed on gold thread, but the chocolate vanished!!

  11. emily13

    One of my favourite Christmas memories is when Santa brought me a scooter, I suppose it must have been a bit big to wrap up, so instead it was draped with strings of chocolate coins all glistening and golden 🙂

  12. Anonymous

    When i was little at christmas i woke really early one christmas morning and i snook down stairs and ate all the chocolates on the christmas tree, my parents only found out because i was covered in chocolate >_< mcflyrock04@aol.com

  13. Terry

    Mine was watching the dog sniffing the Chrismas tree & realising there was food on there some where.
    Soon realised that Chocolate on Christmas trees & dogs don`t mix.

    cheers Terry
    terryhicky@aol.com

  14. Jo

    I only have Christmas chocolate memories since I was an adult. MY mum was a Jehovahs witness and stopped our Christmasses at 6 years old. I have no memory before. I was the poor sad child who longed for just a tree and sparkly lights.
    My husband bought me chocolate coins on our first Christmas which was incredibly sweet of him, he wanted me to have all the little things I missed.
    But second proper Christmas memory with chocolate was for my children as toddlers stuffing their stockings with coins and hanging chocolate santas on the tree which mysteriously disappeared, well the wrappers stayed on gold thread, but the chocolate vanished!!
    jochrisbryan@gmail.com

  15. roisie

    My first chocolate slection box at 15 when I was 'too old' for a stocking-and my pet rats stealing every single one out of the box when I was at church! I was absolutely devastated, but when I opened my desk draw I found all the chocolates there, each with just a tiny toothmark-they hadn't properly nibbled a one!

  16. ruthj

    Hi Kaveypie

    Ta for the reviews. The ginger drinking choc sounds lovely.

    As for my Christmas chocolate memory:
    My grandad always used to give my mum chocolate liquors in the shape of mini bottles. Mum would let me choose one or two as a special treat. I really enjoyed eating them, and still do. After eating the chocolates, I would carefully reshape the foil back into a bottle shape (albeit a flat one, rather than rounded as it had been with choc inside).
    love and hugs,
    RuthJ xxx

  17. Sarah

    I love the searching of the christmas tree as it's taken down to try and find that last hidden chocolate.. that has just got to be there 😀

  18. sharon

    Mt chocolate Christmas memory is way back when white jeans were in fashion and I got a pair for Christmas and was wearing them on Christmas Day. I came into the kitchen and hoisted myself onto the the kitchen worktop and sat ontop of the Christmas Day pudding – a chocolate cake which had splattered all over my lovely new jeans, pudding was no fruit salad!! sharon.mcfarlane.100@talk21.com

  19. Lyndsey Brett

    Christmas Chocolate memory:
    One Christmas when my I was about 6, my grandma brought me a chocolate reindeer from Thorntons. She had even paid extra to have it personalised. Anyway, my older brother ate his on Christmas day but mine sat uneaten in the fridge for ages. It was so cute that I just couldn't bring myself to eat it but it looked so good that I refused to let mum chuck it away either! In the end, when it had gotten to about March and was still uneaten, mum and dad ate it themselves! I was furious at them…that was the last time Grandma ever brought me animal shaped chocolate.

    Lyndsey Brett
    Lyndseyb2003@yahoo.co.uk

  20. Ms Wong

    My favourite chocolate christmas memory is unwrapping all the fererro rocher chocolates we had in the house and using the sticker at the top as earrings. Ah the life of five year olds :)…and indeed 28 year olds as we still do it now. Its our silly christmas tradition that the nieces, nephews and kids are starting to get into.

    Jo

    jo@sarahjosecrets.com

  21. clairew137

    My favourite christmas chocolate memory is that every christmas me and my brother would get a selection pack – with about 5 or 6 different bars in. We used to swap with each other the ones we didn't like and we'd always try to be the last person to have a bar left.

  22. anne

    the year when all the chocolate coronets strangely vanished from our christmas tree and no one knew how or why….

  23. Carol FCQ

    Christmas breakfast has been a box of Mon Cheri for the past forty years. I keep hoping to grow out of it . . . .

  24. Debs @ DKC

    My biggest christmas chocolate memory has to be the famous chocolate log after dinner. I don't eat mince pies, christmas cake, or christmas pud so it has to be chocolate for me every year.

    Debs, email barrydebbie7@gmail.com

    Woohoo, a competition open to europe too. That's me done then. Oh no, just off to tweet too!

  25. Anonymous

    My Christmas chocolate memory would be of me stealing the chocolate from mine and my brother's and sister's advent calendars days in advance. And then pleading innocence when Mum demanded to know who had done it.
    I also stole the treats from my dog's advent calendar once – ew! Not nice. I had a poorly tummy and dog breath for days after.

    Emma L Clarke
    nelladella7@aol.com
    Twitter – emma1111111

  26. Mimi

    Hi Kavey it sounds ;ovely but as I am in the states no such luck. Enjoyed the stories though.

    Mimi

  27. julkenny222

    Hi thanks for the chance to win. I remember one Christmas when I was a child getting up before everyone else and creeping downstairs and eating all the selection boxes and all the Christmas chocs. My mum, dad and sister woke to find me sat on the floor,face covered in chocolate and surrounded by wrappers!

    Twitter @relisys222

  28. moiraw@cytanet.com.cy

    We have an excellent French Patisserie in Yeroskipou, Paphos. He imports his own chocolate, last Christmas we had an excellent “Buche de Noel”, I must discuss ordering another this Christmas

  29. Suelle

    My father always thought we had it easy compared to his childhood in the 1930s. Whenever we had chocolate of our own (Christmas, Easter and birthdays) he used to retell the story that if he or any of his siblings received sweets or chocolate as a gift, it had to be taken home and shared between them all – even if it meant slicing a toffee or one square of chocolate into seven pieces!

    suelle35@gmail.com

  30. Anonymous

    My favourite christmas chocolate memory is the boxes of special chocolates my dad bought home on his last day of work before the holiday season began. one box of lady godiva truffles and one box of chocolate orange peel. My brother and I were on always banned from touching the boxes let alone eating the chocolates before they were meant to be opened…guess what happend 🙂
    katiesehr@gmx.de

  31. Anonymous

    My absolute favourite memory is being absolutely freezing while wandering round a Christmas Market – somewhere in France I think! There was a cafe selling hot chocolate – the real mccoy and it was lovely as it warmed us up for a while at least. Yummy!

    jennmunro@hotmail.com

  32. Tiddles12

    Chocolate coins. I always got them in my stocking and my children always had them too. They still get them even though they are 17 and 20

  33. Gillian Thompson

    I can never forget the year my 5 year old son swore blind he didn't know what had happened to the chocolates off the tree (he had the cheek to stand there with a smear of chocolate round his face whilst he was telling me porkies!!!!)

    home@gilliansemail.co.uk

  34. Sophie Hinson

    secretly nicking one of my nans chocolate tree santas then her telling me she'd been putting the same ones on the tree for donkeys years, yuck

  35. Lynn

    Oooooh Chocolate, love chocolate.
    Every year my mum buys me a chocolate orange because its my favourite and always has been, a few years ago she bought me the new dark chocolate one, i wasn't happy, it's got to be the original.

    lattieh at yahoo dot com

  36. ickle becka

    Christmas chocolate memories? I only remember watching everyone else enjoy it & not getting any! 🙁 As a diabetic it wasn't allowed at home.
    No longer though! 😀 Gimme the chocolate!!!

    ickle_jelly_baby82@hotmail.com

  37. An Open Book

    My choc memory is opening huge boxes of choc for chritmas under the tree and us kids fighting to get the one with the most fancy. colour wrapper cos lil did we know what varieties did what..as far as we were concerned everything was chocolate.

  38. Foodycat

    My grandmother was Swiss, and when I was little Christmas was always heralded by her mother and sisters sending us boxes of Lindt chocolates – the little square ones with wrappers printed with mountain scenes. We were only ever allowed one a day and it was such a treat!

    Alicia foodycat@fourie-online.eu

  39. whtienight

    When I was small I used to climb into bed on Christmas morning with my Mam and Dad carrying my Christmas stocking. When we got up to go downstairs there was a brown sticky mess on the sheet were Dad had been lain. Mam thought he'd had an accident but I cried when I relized that he'd squashed my bag of choclate coins.

  40. TheFastestIndian

    I remember being quite little, eating lots of the choc decorations off the tree way before Xmas day, and then rearranging the remaining ones to cover this up- I'm not sure how successful this was!
    Xmas now is strongly associated with lindt lindor selection boxes!

    ireenableATgmailDOTcom

  41. Nic

    It has to be the chocolate orange, I still get one from my mum – it wouldn't be Christmas without one!

  42. buzylizzy

    Finding all the tree chocolates had vanished from the tree and soundly ticking off my kids and then a few days later whilst cleaning finding a pile of torn wrappers behind the couch and realising the dog had pinched them.The dog had worked out how to unwrap them so that he could eat the choccy. I did ave to rather shamefacedly admit to the kids what I had discovered and apologise to them too.
    TWITTER @buzylizzy1

  43. M.

    Where we lived in Africa, we didn't have chocolate, (I know!) but we were sent a parcel from our German grandmother, every year, which included a bar of scrumptious chocolate for each of us. Soft, gooey, and SO delicious, I'll remember that chocolate forever!
    @maisietoo (twittered too)
    maisietoo@gmail.com

  44. Lisa

    One thing that sticks in my mind about Christmas chocolates is a box that my Great Gran always asked for. I think they were made by Terry's, and they were dark chocolates, all with hard centres.

    Aha! This is the original box – http://www.retonthenet.co.uk/ekmps/shops/retonthenet/images/151009-59-.jpg

    but when I was little they had changed it to Greek columns, still in black and red.

    They were such a disappointment to me then, because I was firmly addicted to soft centres, and milk chocolate. Didn't stop me from eating some every year though!

    cookwitch at gmail dot com

  45. Emily

    When I was 9 I opened the first window in my advent calendar to find it was empty, as were all the others. It turned out that my brother had crept downstairs the night before, opened the calendar at the bottom, slid out the whole tray, and had eaten the lot before resealing the box.

    18 years later, the memory has stuck with me 🙁 (and I still insist on a chocolate calendar each year to make up for it!)

    mercuryflows@gmail.com

  46. Caroline "Hurley" Semmens

    seriously? a load of random penguins in your post? I swear these horrid beasties are out to get me! 😉

  47. Sue

    I had wrapped some presents and placed them under the tree. Popped out for some last minute shopping and returned to find that my dog had sniffed out the box of Ferrero Rocher, torn off the wrapping paper, bit open the plastic box and scoffed the lot! gold papers included.

  48. Amazing

    I used to buy Hotel Chocolate monthly but had to stop for financial reasons. So I would love to win some. When I first got them my OH used to eat two or three in one go then say that they were very sickly, I used to have one a day with a hot chocolate, mmmmm.

    c.togneri@btinternet.com

  49. Anonymous

    Finding my dad's box of chocolates in what I thought was funny shaped bottles…only to eat them and be surprised by the funny tasting liquid inside…I was only 6 and I was very quickly merry! Dad replaced them and I ate them again only to empty all the alcohol into the sink first! 🙂

    Ann Cheung
    ukchunga@live.co.uk

  50. happyfox

    I decided the boys were too old for chocolate money in their stockings the year one of them pointed out to me that the coins should be euros and not francs and guilders.

    givinganswers [at] googlemail [dot] com

  51. Debra

    One of our tree chocolates got stuck behind a radiator (it must have been knocked off of the tree and flew off down there!) I only found it in March – yuck!!! Debra comp@fitlife.co.uk

  52. LittleParrot

    Ooh it has to be those slightly icky and cheap-tasting tree chocs of old. Dubious cocoa content! Now advent chocs, they're a different story entirely … I actually seek out chocolate that reminds me of advent chocs of my youth. Yum!

  53. William

    I always used to get a Cadburys chocolate machine thing, one of those you had to put an old penny in to get a Cadburys miniture out. Saw one in a shop at the weekend and brought back lots of (old) memories! @gouldie7

  54. emy

    Surely the best thing about Christmas is that it's the only day of the year that it's officially 'OK' to eat chocolate for breakfast! YUM!!

  55. Jenny

    Getting a chocolate advent calendar when I'd only ever had the picture ones as a child. I was so happy that I didn't even mind the bad chocolate. I was 28….

    j a griggs at gmail dot com

  56. Annie

    We always used to have a tin of Cadbury's Roses for Christmas which would be opened on Christmas Eve. I remember that wonderful aroma when the tin was first opened and all the sparkling wrappers, just waiting to be opened….
    @annieanna24

  57. Cornishgirl

    I remember that we always got little chocolate santas and reindeer in our stockings. I used to polish mine off on Christmas morning but my sister wouldn't eat hers because she didn't want to bite their little heads off. She kept hers lined up on her dressing table from one Christmas to the next!
    Linda Hine
    lhine@btinternet.com

  58. dayslikethese

    For me, it was my son, at one year of age digging into a box of Celebrations, having one bight then putting them back…He had been difficult to wean and never liked any food, just seeing him eating something was lovely. (He eats well these days and loves fruit n veg, so glad things changed, it was scary for a while)

    pearls.of.wisdom@hotmail.co.uk

  59. Nikki

    I had some of those chocolate Santas hanging on my tree for around 3 years and I finally decided to eat one. Bad idea. I replace them with candy canes….and they went all sticky! Now I have plastic candy canes, its much less hassle. Maybe one day I'll put some decent choccies on the tree, but not this year as I am unemployed and there will be no real tree this year so I have no idea what we will do this christmas…no tree!! 🙁

  60. Kavey

    Received via email as couldn't post:

    Most of our family memories about chocolate revolve around our dear old dog (now sadly deceased) the chocolate king. Years of experience of Buster's shocking greed and thievery around chocolate had taught us to put our Christmas choccies well out of reach. Not so the stash in my brand new leather travel bag. He had the lot and in the process devoured half a zip, a square of lining and a chunk of leather!

    Skyloft Dorset

  61. chris2

    l used to have a pillowcase at the bottom of the bed for santa's presents and there was always a box of milk tray inside

  62. Andrew Cakebread

    Think it was always the chocolate figures put on the tree that always tasted more sweet than your normal bar. Very lucky if there was any left on the tree by christmas!
    lordswood @ blueyonder.co.uk (remove space)

  63. Margaret

    My favourite Christmas chocolate memory was probably sitting next to the fire, the Christmas tree with all the fairy lights switched on, reflecting all the pretty decorations, watched a film, eating some chocolate- After Eights and Green and Black's Butterscotch chocolate.
    It was delicious 🙂

    Margaret Sanders
    daisy.ichigotchi@mail.com
    Thanks

    P.S nice reviews. I also like Hotel Chocolat, and plan to shop there for Christmas. Good luck to whoever wins!

  64. Anonymous

    Being left with a babysitter on Christmas eve , she fell asleep and my sister and I ate every single decoration on the tree before mum returned home
    wendy Harris
    samoy.ed@ukonline.co.uk

  65. Anonymous

    I remember my brother leaving the tin of Quality Street on top of the gas fire and ending up with a tub full of melted chocolate, caramel and wrappers!
    Victoria Savill
    sugar-plum@ntlworld.com
    @sugarplum70

  66. sue lempkowski

    I remember only being able to open the tin of roses on christmas morning when we were little and the fight to get the seal off

    Sue Lempkowski

    lempers@msn.com

  67. Sharon

    I remember my mum catching me after I'd eaten a load of chocolate tree decorations off the tree – I thought I wouldn't get caught but I did with the evidence all round my mouth!

  68. Anonymous

    One of my earliest and most cherished memories is visiting my Mum in hospital. I was 5 and she was extremely ill. Mum gave me a huge box of chocolates to eat…My older cousin ate most of them. She passed away soon after that poignant visit. 🙁

    clever.clogs@hotmail.com

  69. Susan Pringle

    Ahh mine was my Cadbury chocolate machine. I used to love those. I never got around to getting refills for it though, but used to love putting money in it.

    Twitter name @amebeecomps

  70. HGrout

    Lining up about 50 choc bars into the order i was going to eat them & then eating about 10 in a row and being sick!

Comments are closed.