You may have noticed that the Hotel Chocolat summer range grew considerably this year with them adding several new products to their 2011 portfolio. With the newer offerings like the Knickerbocker Glory chocolates taking centre stage, it would have been all to easy to just forget some of the better products of yesteryear. Someone at Hotel Chocolat HQ obviously had the thinking the cap on though - I present to you todays selection box offering, the Hotel Chocolat The Essential Holiday Kit.
This wonderfully presented collection of treats included products I had reviewed in both 2009 and 2010. The selection was made up of Sticky Toffee Minidome Chocolates, Gemstones and a Tiddly Pot full of Raspberry Ripple Puddles - a collective 170.0g of chocolate. As aforementioned I thought the bundle was put together quite phenomenally in terms of it's appearance. All three of the products were contained within a cardboard box that was decorated with a very cool, retro British Summer holiday suitcase theme. Inside all three of the different chocolate offerings had their own packaging style which gave a nice sense of individuality.
Hotel Chocolat Chocolate Gemstones - 'Pieces of fused white & dark chocolate'.
I first reviewed these back in May 2010 (See HERE). To be frank they weren't a product I particularly liked then, and I didn't feel any different about them now a year on. Still a year on I felt bad chewing on the chocolate that I normally liked to just let melt on my tongue. This of course still wasn't a possibility as the waxy glazing agent layer around the pieces meant they wouldn't melt otherwise. On the contrary my Sister and Mother absolutely loved them, and described them as a 'posh persons M&MS'.
Hotel Chocolat Tiddly Pots Raspberry Ripple Puddles - 'White chocolate blended with raspberry crispies'.
I first reviewed these back in 2009 (See HERE). Back then I gave them a big ChocolateMission thumbs up and I'm glad to report I would still do the same thing today. Just as I found last time, the creamy, vanilla noted white chocolate hosted a superb, real tasting set of dried raspberry crisp pieces. These puddles were once again a brilliant exhibition of how to match ingredients to create delicious combinations. The only drawback was that the Tiddly Pots container was by no means big enough - it did look cute mind you!! :D
Hotel Chocolat Sticky Toffee Minidomes - 'Milk chocolate shell with sticky toffee sauce, decorated with whit chocolate'
These hadn't officially had their own review before, however if you check several of the older selection box reviews (HERE) you will notice that I had previously sampled many different variants in different shapes and sizes. What can I say about these that hasn't been said before!? ... well not much apart from the fact they were as outstanding as I expected. The 40% milk chocolate shells provided all the typical fresh creamy cocoa flavours, whilst the sticky toffee fillings offered equal measures of sweet butter and tempered brown sugar. They could have done with a hint of salt, however this didn't stop all eight of these disappearing within minutes of them being opened.
Overall this was lovely little package that included some of Hotel Chocolat's best summer offerings. As I said at the start of the post, with so many new products out this year its easy to forget some of the better ones that had been released previously. This Hotel Chocolat 'The Essential Holiday Kit' is a great way of making sure that some of the past year products aren't forgotten, whats better is that when bought collectively the package works out much cheaper than buying them individually as well :D For my own personal taste it doesn't contain the optimum mix of products with the Gemstones in there. I would take that all with a pinch of salt mind you considering it was the Gemstones that were my Mother and Sister's favourites. This collection showcases some of Hotel Chocolat's greatest strengths with their caramel and fruit chocolates, it would make a terrific gift for someone this summer.
8.4 out of 10