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Great news! I've received a copy of Hotel Chocolat's Christmas 2020 preview catalogue and it's jam packed with lots of exciting chocolate gifts and indulgences that will soon be heading in store and online.
The catalogue features a wide range of products from pocket-friendly stocking fillers and chocolate advent calendars to bumper chocolate hampers. If, like me, you look forward to seeing what Hotel Chocolat have in store for us at Christmas each year, you'll not be disappointed.
So, let's take a look at some of my favourites from their Christmas 2020 range.
1 The Grand Wreath
The ultimate showstopper this year, Hotel Chocolat's Grand Wreath Christmas box is certainly captivating. With a whopping 84 chocolates inside, this 1kg chocolate box would either make a terrific Christmas present for a chocoholic, or would be ideal for entertaining guests over Christmas.
The box contains a comprehensive selection of festive chocolates as well as six chocolate wreaths, all inside a doughnut-shaped chocolate box. this is certainly a statement piece and will garner "oohs" and "aahs" all through December (if it lasts that long - how good is your willpower?).
Alternative: If the Grand Wreath is a little too flamboyant for your tastes or budget, The Wreath Box (£40) is a great alternatives. More refined and understated, this doughnut-shaped box of chocolates features a smaller selection of those in the Grand Wreath, but retains almost as much wow-factor. This selection boasts 40 Christmas chocolates, and includes one Festive Wreath and two Grand Snowflakes.
The Grand Wreath
2 The Grand Advent Calendar
The Grand Advent Calendar made it to my list of favourite advent calendars in 2018 and for good reason too. Back then, I noted this two-sided advent calender was packed to the brim with Hotel Chocolat goodies, from Slabs and Puddles to Wreaths and Selectors.
Two years later, the selection of products inside this calendar has changed slightly, with the addition of Teaolat cacao shell tea, a sachet of Velvetiser hot chocolate flakes, as well as bottles of Salted Caramel Chocolate Liqueur and Cocoa Gin.
It's a fabulous way to see you through December up until Christmas Eve, when hopefully Santa will leave even more Hotel Chocolat treats for you under the tree.
Alternatives: Hotel Chocolat is launching £12.50 advent calendars in caramel, white chocolate, 40% milk chocolate, 70% dark chocolate, and 100% cacao varieties. There's also an £8 kids milk chocolate advent calendar, as well as an £8 Free From advent calendar. My favourite from last year, the Advent Calendar for Two, is also making a comeback (£26).
The Grand Advent Calendar
3 Rather Large Cracker
The best type of Christmas cracker has to be one filled with chocolate. This appropriately-named Rather Large Cracker boasts 40 individually-wrapped festive chocolates along with 12 paper hats and some jokes. It's ideal alternative to the naff Christmas crackers we're used to. Enjoy your Christmas dinner this year with some extra chocolates!
Alternatives: For something a bit more traditional, the Table Cracker is perfect. The familiar-looking Christmas cracker contains a party hat, three Christmas chocolates, and a Christmas joke that may, or may not, be funny. These are available at £5 each or 3 for £12. Go even smaller with the £17 bundle of Mini Crackers. You'll get 10 mini crackers that are intended for decorating your Christmas tree, but would also look great as Christmas dinner table decorations. Each mini cracker contains a single random festive chocolate inside.
Rather Large Cracker
4 The Christmas Luxe Classic
A seasonal favourite, The Christmas Luxe Classic draws together the collection of festive flavours in the Hotel Chocolat range into a beautiful red and silver 39-piece selection box.
It features Christmas trees, Jolly Penguins and Jolly Snowmen (see below for bigger ones), a festive wreath, and a selection of wintery flavours, including Mulled Wine and Caramel Supernova. Expect to find truffles, caramels, pralines, and more, incorporating berries, citrus flavours, nuts, and spices.
Alternatives: A smaller 30-piece Classic Christmas Sleekster is also available (£22.95) as is the smaller-again 15-piece Classic Christmas H-box (£12.95). Both are ideal as Christmas presents for neighbours and work colleagues. The 16-piece Merry Christmas Signature box (£15) and the £8 8-piece Pocket Christmas Selection boxes offer a similar range, and the ever-so-cute 4-piece Mini Christmas Selection (£5) is ideal as a stocking filler (or cheeky little shopping treat for yourself when no one's looking!). If puddings are more your thing, check out The Winter Puddings Sleekster (£22.95), featuring 27 alcohol-free bakery favourites, or the smaller 14-piece Winter Puddings H-box (£12.95)
The Christmas Luxe Classic
5 The Christmas Goody Bag
Goody Bags are ideal gifts for friends and family, as they're good value, pretty-looking bags that contain a variety of chocolate treats. They simply scream "Christmas present", don't they?
The Christmas Goody Bag (£18) contains a Christmas Mess Selector, Clementine Caramels, a Comet Does Caramel Slab, as well as a Cookies & Caramel Wreath. This comes presented in a gift pack that's tied with a red ribbon.
Alternative: The Christmas Pick Me Up (£12) is a smaller gift pack that contains a trio of chocolate treats (Clementine Caramels, a Penguin Snowed Under Slab, and a Caramel Supernova Selector). It too is presented in a festive gift pack, albeit without a red ribbon.
The Christmas Goody Bag
6 Jolly Penguin
This little fella started life as a sculpture in the factory, which was then 3D-scanned and turned into a bespoke chocolate mould for Hotel Chocolat. There's even a small 'HC' logo on the penguin's hat for you to spot too.
He's a cutie, and can be found in various shapes and sizes across this year's Christmas range. This hollow model in 40% milk chocolate is perhaps the cutest of the lot.
Alternatives: You'll find the Jolly Penguin in Selector packs, in advent calendars, and more. The 16-piece Jolly Penguins H-box (£12.95) features caramel-filled 40% milk chocolate "Antarctic waddlers", as does the six-piece Jolly Penguin Selector (£3.95). The four-piece Posse of Penguins (£12.50) boasts four hollow mini models instead. If you're a fan of the Jolly Snowman instead (a similar but less charismatic model), it's available as a hollow white chocolate model (£8).
7 Chilli Penguins
£8 each or 3 for £20
These handsome creatures are cast in dark chocolate spiked with a little chilli. This 110g box of vegan treats contains 10 solid chocolate penguins.
Alternatives: A variety of boxed chocolate models are available, all at £8 each or 3 for £20. Choose from: A Dozen Gingerbread Men; The Enchanted Forest of caramel and milk chocolate trees; Portly Penguins; The Sleigh Team of reindeer in milk, white, or dark chocolate; and Free From Tiddly Snowmen in dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, wheat-free vegan chocolate.
As you might expect from Hotel Chocolat, they've got a wide range of stocking filler items available too. The Elf's Stocking (£10) - made from sustainable bamboo - contains a dozen treats. There are also lollipops (£2), Tiddly Pots (£2), and Pillow Packs (£2.50). A range of festive Selectors and Slabs are also available at £3.95 each or 3 for £10.
Hotel Chocolat Hazelnut Hot Chocolate for Velvetiser (Pack of 20 Single Serves)
Anything with sugar as the first ingredient is confectionary, not chocolate.
Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser Hot Chocolate Machine Complete Starter Kit, White
TEMPERATURE TECHNOLOGY. EASY CLEANING. Pour in water and a drop of washing-up liquid, press the button, and let the Velvetiser do the hard work for you. A non-stick coating and removable, dishwasher-safe whisk makes cleaning effortless.
£151.60 + £4.99 postage
Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser Hot Chocolate Maker Complete Starter Kit Copper Finish
This chic drinking chocolate machine creates barista-grade hot chocolate, made with real grated chocolate flakes, in just 2.5 minutes. Simply plug in your Velvetiser, choose your chocolate and your milk - dairy or plant-based or even water if you prefer- and press the button.
Hotel Chocolat 6 sachets hot chocolate PICK N MIX MINCE PIE NOW IN STOCK
Chocolate Latte. Pick any flavours. Vanilla White.
Which of these do you hope Santa will leave you under the tree? Let me know in the comments below.