Valentine’s Gift Guide 2013

 

It will soon be Valentine’s Day and choosing the right gift
can be difficult, especially for that person who has everything. We have put together a selection of the best of the best gift choices this year in our valentine’s gift guide. Most of us end up buying our other halves supermarket
chocolates or flowers, which isn’t very imaginative at all. Getting something a
lot more thoughtful can only be a click away in a lot of cases, so it couldn’t be easier!

Hotel Chocolat has come up trumps again this year with their
absolutely fantastic range of Valentine’s chocolates. Hotel Chocolat really know
what they are doing with chocolate and there is something for everyone’s price
range. The ‘Sealed with a Kiss’ chocolates box (£45) is an amazing selection of
everything scrumptious; from salted caramels to champagne truffles this box has
it all. We adore the ‘Love Birds’ selection (£10) which includes delicious
tangy strawberry chocolate hearts surrounded by melt in your mouth chocolate
love birds. Or if you’re looking for a small gift which still includes a touch
of luxury Hotel Chocolat’s Queen & King of Hearts (£5.50) is perfect.
Coming in either 40% milk or 70% dark chocolate these casts of two chocolate
playing cards are a gorgeous treat to share.  The amazing presentation of all of Hotel
Chocolat’s treats makes receiving them as a gift an absolute pleasure for
anyone.

Adagio Teas truly have a gift for every occasion and Valentine’s
Day is no exception. Drinking loose leaf tea is really coming back into fashion
as more and more people are discovering the huge variety of teas available, you
quickly discover your favourites.Adagio Teas have put together a wonderfully
presented set of three tins of gourmet loose leaf tea called ‘Love Petals
(£19). This set contains enough tea to make around 150 cups of tea! And being
comprised of three completely different teas, gives the recipient a good
variety to choose from. The selection comprises of ‘Hugs and Kisses tea’
(Rooibos, rose petals, cornflowers, vanilla flavour, almond flavour, cream
flavour and caramel flavour), ‘Sweet Nothings tea’ (White tea, sunflower
petals, lavender buds, apricot bits, peach flavour) and ‘Ripe for Romance tea’
(Black tea, cocoa nibs, raspberry leaves, raspberry pieces, chocolate flavour,
raspberry flavour).

This is a Valentine’s gift with a bit of difference! Have
you ever wanted to buy your loved one their favourite recipe book but not known
exactly what they want? Well The Willoughby Book Club takes that decision off
your shoulders. This wonderful service allows you to pay upfront for 3, 6 or 12
month book subscription where they will send the lucky recipient 1 book each
month. There are various other book categories to choose from other than
cookery, these include couples books, natural history, classic books and more.
All you need to do is specify the answer to some different questions about the
recipient (these differ for each category of books) for the cookery books two
of the questions are which their favourite cuisine is and whether they like
baking. These questions ensure your loved one gets something they will be
interested in while still keeping the element of surprise. The books come
beautifully wrapped and would be a pleasure to receive each month. The
Willoughby Book Club is a small family business based in South Leicestershire,
England and run by Adam and Chloe who ensure plenty of love goes into choosing
your books. The Willoughby Book Club has already been featured in The Guardian
and we can certainly see this being the next big trend!

Cocoaloco is one of those special chocolate companies where
you know a lot of love and passion goes into the crafting of their chocolates.
All Cocoaloco’s chocolate is organic; they even use packaging which makes
minimal impact on the environment. Sarah and Rory of Cocoaloco set out to make
their company “build a premium treat reputation around words like approachable,
affordable and genuine choice” and they have certainly done that! Having
received awards such as The Times Organic hero award (2008), ‘the best producer
in Sussex’ gong among many many others, this is a company to watch, for they
will go far!! Some of their Valentine’s range which we love includes decadent
milk chocolate champagne truffles (£5.99 for 6 or £11.49 for 12), these are
made with the finest Vandieres champagne and tossed in milk chocolate flakes.

Or
how about trying the special Valentine’s hearts and flowers slab (£11.99), this
is a generously sized slab of finest milk chocolate with raspberry flavoured
chocolate flowers and luxurious dark chocolate hearts. Or if you are after
something simple but to the point why not try Cocoaloco’s dark and raspberry
chocolate hearts (£3.99) which are all inscribed with phrases for your
Valentine.

Paul A Young Chocolatiers

Paul A Young has been selected by Channel 4 as one of the
most influential foodies under 40, we thought we would begin for that fact, as
it really shows Paul’s dedication to the fine art of chocolate making. Paul has
worked for many famous and influential chefs in his illustrious past including
the renowned Marco Pierre White as his head pastry chef. He now has three artisan
chocolate shops in London in Soho, Islington and Central London which are all beautifully
and tastefully presented. Paul’s fine chocolates can only be purchased in
store, the perfect excuse to visit! Paul has come up with something for
everyone this Valentine’s Day, some very ground-breaking and creative flavour
combinations. These include ‘The
Hipster’ – Cocoa nib Bourbon tobacco sour, ‘The London Gent’– black pepper and
treacle caramel ganache truffle or more along the lines of love with ‘The Love
potion’ – jasmine flower, ylang-ylang, geranium, vanilla and lavender or
Rodda’s Cornish Clotted Cream, real champagne, rose and raspberry heart. Or if
you are after something a little more substantial than chocolates Paul has
revamped their famous brownies in time for Valentine’s day by adding chipotle
chilli, sea salt and a sugar crust.

Montezuma’s
Chocolate is always at the forefront of chocolate innovation. They have again
excelled themselves again with their fantastic Valentine’s offering. The first
thing that will strike you about Montezuma’s chocolate is the amount of thought
which has gone into their packaging and presentation. This makes opening any
Montezuma’s gift a complete pleasure. We absolutely love the Truffle Collection
(£11.99) which includes 16 truffles made up of Milk Chocolate with a Peach and Passion
fruit Centre and Milk Chocolate with Lime and Crunchy Hazelnut. Or if you are
after a little extra to add to your Valentine’s gift Montezuma’s Chocolatehearts with butterscotch pieces (£3.99 are to die for.

Whittard always have
a gift for every occasion. Whittard has been around since 1886 so what they
don’t know about tea and coffee isn’t worth knowing. We have selected a special
collection of their items for a ‘coffee lover’s gift’. This comprises of the
wonderfully varied selection of Whittard’s 9 most popular ground Coffees from around the World which is beautifully
presented in a gift box and individual boxes for each coffee. Coffees
include Monsoon Malabar, Santos and Java, Sumatra, Guatemalan Elephant,
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Pico Duarte, Colombian, Costa Rican and Mocha Djimmah.
To go alongside this wonderful collection of coffees Whittard offer a Flavoured Coffee Syrups Set which comprises of Vanilla,
Gingerbread, Hazelnut, Caramel and Cinnamon. Add a bit of extra extravagance to
your coffees made in your own home. You’ll think twice about buying high street
chain coffee again.

The fantastic
handmade treats made by Rococo Chocolates are out of this world. The
marshmallow game cube (£15) is like eating clouds. It isn’t a stereotypical Valentine’s
thing to give marshmallows as Valentine’s presents but your loved one will be
far from disappointed! The delicious vanilla, cherry and raspberry marshmallows
are handmade by their talented principal chocolatier Barry Johnson. If you are
after something a little chocolatier then Rococo offers a beautifully crafted
box of 8 handmade, hand painted mini chocolate heart halves. (£11.95). These
little wonders are sure to impress your loved one with the love and detail
which goes into the creation of these beautiful chocolates.

Belfast Cookery
School, nestled in the heart of Belfast city centre offers the gift for all
foodies who seem to have everything else. We cannot think of a more suitable
experience gift than to treat yourself and your loved one to a cookery class in
this renowned and award winning cookery school. The classes are in an intimate
number 16 ensuring you have plenty of interaction with the chef and the other
students. With the variety of classes including steak class, bread making, and
seafood among many others there is a fantastic choice to suit everyone whether
they are a complete beginner or wanting to improve those cookery skills. The
top chefs from the Classes are priced at £50 per person. Price includes dinner
and a glass of wine. Keep tuned for a special feature article we will be doing
on Belfast Cookery School in the next week.

We discovered Blond
Amsterdam while we were Live Blogging from the city earlier this year. If you
missed this you can read our Live Blog which we have kept on the site
here.
Blond Amsterdam has created a treasure trove or new, modern, fresh design ideas
on their ranges. One of our favourite gift ideas from Blond Amsterdam
is the Travel Coffee Cup for coffee on the go! Of course make
sure to browse their other ranges for other gift ideas. Not a fan of
coffee not to worry! Blonde Amsterdam has an amazing range of tea cups, saucers
and even cake plates. Our favourite is the Pink Cup and Saucer with matching cake plate. Jazz up your tea parties a little with Blonde
Amsterdam!

bakingbar

BakingBar was launched in 2010 to provide simple and straightforward baking guides and recipes. BakingBar are currently recipe developers for Neills Flour and MyProtein.

One thought on “Valentine’s Gift Guide 2013

  • February 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm
    Permalink

    Hi there. I really love the Blond Amsterdam cups. Do you know if they're available in Britain?

    Reply

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