Due to the amazing feedback you all gave us for our Christmas and Valentine’s gift guides we have decided to do our first ever Easter gift guide. The variation of different Easter gifts is larger than ever in 2013 so we have chosen some of our favourites to share with you. We have personally tried and tested all the items which we listed so these are our personal recommendations. Artisans and chocolatiers have been busy planning their exciting 2013 Easter ranges for months so there are some incredible creations from large brand names as well as smaller family run businesses.
Charbonnel et Walker is yet another long established and reputable company with members of the Royal family counting towards some of its loyal and illustrious clients. The original setting up of the business was encouraged by Edward VII himself who convinced Madame Charbonnel, a highly skilled chocolatier from Paris to form a partnership with Mrs Walker and establish a chocolatiers in Mayfair, London. Charbonnel et Walker is one of the few companies to be endorsed by the Royal Warrant as chocolate makers for Her Majesty the Queen, and they are immensely proud of this. It will come as no surprise to anyone that a company with this reputation of commendation will produce some of the finest chocolates imaginable. We tried their Fine Milk Chocolate Selection Easter Egg. The packaging and presentation, including the Royal Warrant crest of course, is sophisticated and elegant. It is a pleasure opening and unboxing this Easter egg to reveal the delicately placed fine milk chocolates inside the egg, only revealed when you open the egg itself. A true treasure of an Easter egg.
We first discovered Rococo Chocolates just before Valentine’s Day and we haven’t looked back. Their passion and drive to create the best chocolate delights time and time again is inspiring, with a bit of humour thrown in for good measure! The two Easter items we have selected from Rococo are the Easter Egg filled with a selection of ganaches (£16.50) and the Dirty Bunnies (£5.95). The Easter Egg is beautifully presented in a traditionally designed Rococo Chocolates box which opens to reveal a beautiful shimmering golden egg, which in turn opens to reveal the beautifully crafted chocolate ganaches. We don’t spoil the surprise by revealing the flavours but they are mouth-watering! If you want a gift which is something small but equally delicious the humorously titled Dirty Bunnies are something which should be on your list. The little bag contains two chocolate praline rabbits and a selection of chocolate covered roasted coffee beans to imitate rabbit poo, funny eh!
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! We have been sampling some of their Easter’s products over the past few weeks and there is something for everyone’s taste. Their milk chocolate Easter eggs are mini, luxuriously smooth and come in adorable packaging alike an egg box, fun! If you fancy something a bit more substantial but not as traditional as an Easter egg they offer fantastic Easter themed chocolate animals almost completely solid chocolate! We've tried their milk and dark chocolate bunny and chicken, a quirky Easter gift! If you want a small gift for those office friends or just a little extra something for someone we found some little bags of chocolate heaven! Cocoaloco have put together two different bags of solid chocolate eggs. One bag is made up of the finest dark chocolate or if you have a sweeter tooth then the marbled white and dark chocolate eggs are maybe more your thing. We thought their bunny chocolate lolly was fun too!
Marks and Spencer’s is a name instantly recognisable and associated with quality. They have a wide range of Easter gifts available in stores nationwide. The small selection of items we picked to write about in this guide are the delectable box of 5 small beautifully crafted Easter eggs all with individual flavour themes and small selection of small Easter treats available in most stores. The selection of 5 eggs comes beautifully presented in a long box complete with imitation straw for decoration. The chocolate is of the finest quality and melts in your mouth. The other small items are the Bubbly Mint Chocolate Egg, Honeycomb Truffle Crunch Bunny and Bubbly Chocolate Bunny, excellent gifts for your office friends!
We love companies who have long, established and illustrious histories and Betty’s is one of those companies. There is a lot of history behind the business and even a little mystery around where the name Betty actually came from! Its far too much to explain here so grab a tea or coffee and pop over to Betty’s website to read ‘The Betty’s Story’ about where this fabulous company came from here . Their Easter range offers both the traditional and the modern. We love their Swiss milk chocolate egg, stippled with dark Grand Cru chocolate and hand-decorated with a jolly white and dark chocolate Gloucester Old Spot pig, relaxing among spring flowers. This is sure to make any of your friends and family envious. For those small gifts or the little something extra their adorable boxes of milk and white chocolate lambs are both delicious and cute.
When a company has been mastering chocolate making since 1845 you can be pretty confident they know what they are doing. Year after year Lindt improves and advances their wonderful range of chocolates and they have not failed for Easter 2013! This year we would say their key Easter egg is their Heavenly Hazelnut Egg Milk (£19.99), a wonderful milk chocolate egg rolled in roasted hazelnuts and then, to top it all off, rolled in yet another layer of chocolate. Making this their thickest most decadent Easter egg to date! If you’re after something a little simpler but just as delicious they also have on offer their Lindor Shell Egg (£8.19) including some astonishingly delicious Lindor truffles including Milk, Irish Cream & Stracciatella. Easter also wouldn’t be complete without a Lindor Easter Bunny or a whole family of them as they are now available in loads of different sizes and even colours, milk, dark or white.
Whittard never fail to come up trumps when you’re looking for a classy and sophisticated gift. Another company with a long and illustrious history, being formed in 1886 stocking over 130 varieties of tea, many coffees, hot chocolates, china and lots more. This Easter they offer a little something alternative to chocolate, something which can be brought out especially for Easter each year or used all year round. These are the wonderful bone china bugs decorated with two decorations either 'Easter Parade’ or ‘Bunny Hop’ (both £8). If you’re looking for something a little chocolatier they offer jars of milk chocolate eggs covered in multi coloured foil, beautifully presented in an imitation glass jar. Perfect for the impromptu Easter egg hunt!
Artisan du Chocolat believes in creating “luxury through individuality, innovation and exceptional craftsmanship”. This is evident from their reputation for being one of the leading chocolatiers in the UK. Gerard Coleman, founder and artisan chocolatier sources the finest cocoa beans from around the world and transforms them into wonderful artisan chocolates and chocolate treats. This process is done in-house in the UK unlike many chocolatiers who simply import the readymade chocolate. This love and dedication to providing the very best quality by making it himself is the key to Artisan du Chocolat’s continued success. Artisan du Chocolat always has something innovative and appealing for every occasion and this Easter is no different. We love their new character eggs, the perfect treat for a child, but equally bring a smile to any adults face! Each one has its own look and personality, which one will you get? These are available in full size (£17) or in miniature form in boxes of 6 (£15.99). The full size character egg comes in wonderful box with shredded paper to protect the egg, but wait; it isn’t any paper its edible shredded paper flavoured with apple! Amazing! If you fancy something a little different then we highly recommend you check out the Crème de la Crème Eggs collection (£9.99) packaged in the chic and tasteful bunny inspired box.
Montezuma’s is a funky company always buzzing with fresh new ideas and they have not failed this Easter either. Montezuma’s love to work with flavours to combine what they think works best in their fine chocolate. This Easter, if you’re eco minded Montezuma’s are offering two Eco Eggs one Dark Chocolate with Cocoa Nibs and the other Milk Chocolate and butterscotch pieces (both £7.99). Both eggs are packaged in biodegradable cardboard container and the eggs themselves are wrapped in foil. We haven’t seen anything like them before; let’s hope other companies follow in their footsteps. If you’re looking for something more substantial and with a sense of luxury their Super Thick Half Dark and Half Milk Chocolate Egg with Truffles (£17.99) is perfect. This egg is perfect for either the hard to buy person or those of us who find it so difficult to choose either Milk or Dark chocolate, you can have both with this egg! The egg is made of thick chocolate meaning more chocolaty goodness. The egg is also filled with some of Montezuma’s fine truffles, it would be rude to say no.
Easter isn’t all about chocolate, there are other options too. Haribo has come up with some wonderful Easter themed sweets. We love their mini bags of Easter themed sweets which are included in several of their gifts such as the Easter Fun Bucket and Haribo’s first ever re-sealable pouch! We think they are a brilliant alternative for Easter egg hunts in the garden or around the house. The Easter Fun Bucket is brilliant for kids too as it includes some suggestions on what they can do with the bucket after they inevitably empty it. One of the suggestions is to use it as a plant pot, an excellent kids project with summer just around the corner! Some other gifts including the Bouncing Bunnies box is a perfect alternative to a traditional Easter egg, again including mini bags and the box even includes details on how to use the pop out bunnies as a game. You cant mention Haribo without thinking of their Starmix, so they have come up with another brilliant gift which is a gift box containing a bag of the traditional Starmix and another special bag which contains just the fried eggs.
Just like chocolate, Easter isn’t all about eggs. But if you’re still chocoholics like us and need your chocolate fix then Black River offers simple straight forward exceptional quality chocolate bars. Why not buy a few, tie a ribbon around them and there you go, a perfect classy gift. Easter shouldn’t be all about kids getting Easter eggs, adults deserve them too so treat yourself or your loved one. Black River is rather special chocolate, in fact its very special. Black River chocolate is made of single origin Jamaican Trinitario cocoa beans. These are produced in long established farms in the famous Blue Mountain region of Jamaica. The beans made to make Black River chocolate are flown straight from Jamaica into London Gatwick airport so you know exactly where your chocolate has come from and been. Black River chocolate was even voted as Jamaica’s international chocolate brand, you can’t get much better than that! The bars we have chosen as this year’s recommended Easter gift are available either singly (£5.50-£6.00) or as a pack of 4 (£22). They are Milk, Dark, Vanilla Chocolate and even a Sugar Free bar! They are all made with the single origin Jamaican Trinitario cocoa beans and sweetened with cane sugar. Treat someone to something dark and exotic this year.
Butler’s Chocolate is Ireland’s favourite luxury chocolatier for over 80 years, being originally founded in Dublin in 1932 by Marion Butler and then bought in 1959 by the Irish Sorensen family who still own 100% of the business today. Butler’s Chocolate take pride in their heritage, even offering the ‘Butler’s Chocolate Experience’ which allows you to see behind those secret chocolate factory doors. Their Easter range for 2013 is something very special indeed. From adults to kids alike there is something for everyone. The Medium Milk and Medium Dark chocolate eggs (£9.50) come elegantly wrapped and full of delicious chocolates or truffles. If you’re after something for the kids look no further! Butler’s have created wonderful large chocolate rabbits (£7.50) all with quirky expressions. These are available in milk, dark or white, our favourite is the delicious melt in your mouth white chocolate rabbit.
Thorntons is another well-known and reputable brand known by children and adults alike for decades, in fact Thornton’s recently celebrated their 100th Birthday! Thorntons was set up by Joseph William Thornton in 1911 who then handed the business to his two sons who made it into what it is today. Easter is all about tradition, but what about something traditional with a quirky twist? Thorntons have designed two chocolate eggs which incorporate two very well-known and traditional desserts, Tempting Trifle and Black Forest Gateaux (£9.99 or 3 for £20). The Tempting Trifle egg is made of custard flavoured white chocolate packed with fruity jellies and colourful sprinkles. The Black Forest Gateaux egg is made of luxurious dark chocolate crammed with juicy black cherries which burst with flavour. Treat yourselves!
Lucky’s have a well-established and popular chocolate shop in London called Lucky’s Wonderland. This is a place of wonder and amazement, a real life chocolate paradise! Lucky’s love coming up with fresh, unique chocolate flavours. This Easter, keeping with traditional theme they have released a Humpty Dumpty range (individually £6.95). We tried four of the wonderful flavours available. The Lord Dark Toffius is made of 60% cocoa dark chocolate with delectable dulce de leche filled shells. The Duke Of Nutting Hazel egg is made up of 40% cocoa milk chocolate with luscious praline & hazelnuts filled shells. Lucky’s also have two other Humpty Dumpty eggs, the milk chocolate egg filled with Bailey’s ganache and the milk chocolate egg with the scrumptious peanut butter filling.