The people behind the chocolate – your ultimate Christmas gifting guide

2 Nov 2022

Chocolate Knowledge Uncategorized

Expert on all things Christmas shopping, Ella, from our Romford store, shares her tips and tricks to help you find the gift that feels like it was made just for them.

What’s the must-have product for the Christmas table this year?

I would recommend the Classic Christmas Luxe chocolate box, which is packed with a variety of festive and classic recipes, like White Chocolate Penguin, Nut Crunch Brownie, Raspberry Smoothie and Mulled Wine, not to mention the eye-catching Festive Wreath taking centre stage. So there’s something for everyone to enjoy, from children to adults. And, it’s beautifully presented, making it a great centrepiece for your table – or for a friend or family member’s – perfect as an after-dinner treat to share this festive season.

What would you recommend buying for festive traditionalists at Christmas?

Our Christmas crackers are a great choice for festive traditionalists, as they fit in so nicely with what’s such an important Christmas tradition in many households, but with a fun chocolatey twist. We have three Christmas cracker products to choose from. Firstly, there’s the Chocolate Christmas Table Cracker – one individual cracker, with three chocolates, a hat and a joke inside. Then you’ve got our Mini Chocolate Christmas Crackers – 10 mini crackers, each with a chocolate inside. As well as being ideal for the dinner table, these make great Christmas tree decorations too. Or, to really give your Christmas table the wow-factor, opt for the Rather Large Chocolate Christmas Cracker. Exceeding two feet in length, it’s packed with 40 chocolates, jokes and hats and makes for an impressive centrepiece – you’ll hear a real snap when you pull it too.

I’d also recommend the Classic Christmas Sleekster or the Classic Christmas Luxe chocolate box, as they both feature lovely festive recipes like Cinnamon Bun and Caramel Clementine – it’s Christmas reimagined in chocolate, Hotel Chocolat-style, all boxed up and beautifully presented.

What would you recommend buying for those 5am stocking openers (both children and adults)?

For little ones, it’s got to be the Sleigh Team, a collection of mini solid chocolate reindeer. They’re available in milk, dark, white and Unbelievably Vegan* Nutmilk chocolate, so there’s something to suit all tastes, all of course made with more cacao and less sugar. The Enchanted Forest is a similarly sized, but more grown-up option for adults. These little spruce trees are cast in solid milk and caramel-milk chocolate. Then there’s the Elf’s Stocking, a lovely little red, festive stocking brimming with white, milk and caramel-milk chocolate characters – a great choice for anyone who loves a stocking but who doesn’t already have one of their own (or loves them so much they need a second!). The Mini Christmas Selection and Pocket Christmas Selection are also (as the name suggests) great sizes for stocking fillers. These bring together our most popular Christmas recipes, including the likes of the simple Dark Bauble, Christmas Mess (our festive take on Eton Mess), and the Caramel Supernova.

What would you recommend buying for someone who’s hard to impress at Christmas?

The VelvetiserTM, our in-home barista-grade drinking chocolate machine, is a perfect Christmas gift. Individuals, couples, families with young children – everyone can enjoy the Velvetiser. There are so many different drinking chocolate flavours available, from Classic 50% Milk to seasonal specials like Mince Pie, that you can really experiment and find your favourite one (or two, or three!). You can use it to make both hot or iced drinking chocolate too, so it’s the ideal antidote to a cold winter’s day but is also a gift that can be enjoyed all year round.

For someone who’s hard to impress, our chocolate cabinets are another a great choice. These bring together a wide range of our chocolate types, including Batons, Macarons, and truffles, all carefully positioned to create a beautiful display, in a sleek and sophisticated two-tier chocolate box. And did you know they were inspired by the mahogany drawers that our chocolatiers use to house their working creations?

What would you recommend buying for the drinks cabinet curator at Christmas?

I would say our VelvetisedTM Creams, which bring together vodka, cream and chocolate and are available in a range of sizes. Favourite recipes for this festive season are Salted Caramel & Clementine VelvetisedTM Cream and Mince Pie VelvetisedTM Cream. They’re great poured straight over ice or in a hot chocolate, so they make a nice versatile gift too.  

What would you recommend buying for a couple at Christmas?

Our cacao gin and VelvetisedTM Cream collections make great gifts for couples to share. The same goes for our pocket-sized Selector packs, which you can mix and match to tailor to the tastes of the couple of you have in mind. Some of my seasonal favourites include the Triple-Layer Praline Selector and the Pistachio Penguins Selector.

What would you recommend buying for someone who’s vegan at Christmas?

We’ve got our Unbelievably Vegan* range designed just for them, featuring Nutmilk – staggeringly creamy chocolate made with hazelnuts instead of milk. Our Unbelievably Vegan* Jolly Penguin makes a great Christmas gift. Sculpted in vegan* Nutmilk chocolate, with a little bobble hat and yellow welly boots, it’s almost too cute to eat. Any of our dark chocolate that’s above 70% is also vegan*, so you could gift them some 70% Dark drinking chocolate sachets, 70% Dark Batons or the 80% Dark Fruit & Nut Selector, to name a few.

What would you recommend buying for children at Christmas?

First of all, there’s the Santa Tiddly Pot – drops of milk chocolate in a little Santa-themed pot, perfect for mini milk chocolate fans. Then there’s the Milk Chocolate Santa Lick, a charming Santa-shaped chocolate on a stick. I’d also recommend the Sleigh Team reindeer-shaped chocolates and the Elf’s Stocking.

What would you recommend buying for a family at Christmas?

For a family, I’d say the Grand Wreath Box, which is a full-sized, really impressive-looking wreath-shaped box brimming with a wide variety of our best-loved classic and seasonal chocolates. Inside, you’ll find everything from the Simple White Bauble, which little ones are sure to love, to great-for-grown-ups recipes like Burnt Caramel Praline, Gin Truffle and Blackcurrant Cheesecake.

And for the finishing touch – does Hotel Chocolat offer gift-wrapping in store?

We offer an elegant, red, Christmas-themed box for your Selector gifts, for £1. We also have small medium and large gift bags in white or red with snowflakes, for £2.50 each. They come complete with all those bits you need, like ribbon and tissue paper, to leave your gifts looking fabulous. You could also take a look at our brand-new Gift Collections range. Here you’ll find something for every taste, all presented in boxes and baskets every bit as beautiful as their contents (and designed to last long after the last chocolate has been savoured…).

Take a look at our full Christmas chocolate range.