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.
Christmas is all about gathering with your loved ones to celebrate – and of course, gifting is a big part of that. But we all have that friend or family member who’s tricky to buy for and choosing a gift can feel like a daunting task. Well don’t panic. At Hotel Chocolat, we truly believe that chocolate is the ultimate Christmas gift. With so many varieties around, there really is something for everyone. No matter if your intended recipient is partial to the decadent depths of dark chocolate or can’t get enough of white chocolate’s mellow creaminess, you can gurantee there’s a Christmas chocolate gift to put a smile on their face.
If you’re unsure where to start with your Christmas gifting, our Romford Store Manager, Ella, is here to help. Take a look at her reccommendations for the finest chocolate gifting options this Christmas, and don’t forget to pick up a festive treat for yourself, too.
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 great for stocking filler gifting and bring together our most popular Christmas recipes. You’ll find 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 Milky 50% to winter flavour varieties like Black Forest Gateau, 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.
Alternatively, why not go all-out this festive season with The Velvetiser Experience Chocolate Hamper. This generous gift collection features the Velvetiser, an array of hot chocolate sachets, some irresistible dunking biscuits, and more. Presented in an elegant wicker basket, it’s the ultimate winter warmer and a thoughtful present.
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. One of our favourite recipes for this festive season is Salted Caramel & Clementine VelvetisedTM Cream. It’s 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?
Are you serching for a vegan Christmas gift? Our Unbelievably Vegan* range has you covered. This collection features our unique Nutmilk recipe – 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 your plant-based friends some 70% Dark Hot Chocolate, our 70% Dark Batons or the 80% Dark Fruit & Nut Selector, to name a few.
What would you recommend buying for children at Christmas?
We have plenty of Christmas treats that are perfect for gifting to little ones this year. 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 the Simple White Bauble, which little ones are sure to love. You’ll also be able to try great-for-grown-ups tipsy truffles.
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. (They’re also designed to last long after the last chocolate has been savoured).
Christmas gifting with Hotel Chocolat
No matter who you’re buying this Christmas, we have an array of chocolate treats for gifting. From petite but perfectly-formed stocking fillers to generous gift collections and hampers, there’s something for everyone. Explore our full Christmas chocolate range and let the festivities begin.