Hotel Chocolat’s Ultimate Guide to Giving Gifts

3 Jun 2020

Events Food + Drink Gift Experiences Gift Ideas

We’ve put together a guide for you to follow so that you can find the best gift for a loved one.

How do you find the best gift to give someone? With so many options available nowadays, it seems almost impossible to find the right present for a friend or loved one. We’ve put together a guide to help you find the best gift which is sure to put a smile on their faces.

What do you give as a graduation gift?

For many of us, graduation is a day to remember. Spirits are high, people feel accomplished, knowing that all that hard work has paid off. If you know someone who has graduated, or is about to graduate, you’ll want to find them the best graduation gift to help them celebrate their achievement.

chocolate gifts for graduation
chocolate gifts for graduation

A chocolate box to remember

Giving a chocolate gift is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. Whilst chocolate might seem like a fairly obvious choice, you can actually get creative with your chocolate present by adding a personal touch.

Why not build your own chocolate hamper containing all of their favourite chocolate flavour combinations – as well as incorporating some new tastes – so that they can start their adventure with a new taste of chocolate in their mouth?

If you can’t quite decide what flavours they like best, we’ve put together some chocolate boxes containing a whole treasure trove of tastes. The Classic Chocolate Cabinet offers some of our finest creations, each stashed away in their own compartment. For a graduation present that lasts, The Large Chocolatier’s Table is the perfect party centrepiece: whether your loved one chooses to share it amongst friends, or prefers to slowly snack on it solo, this chocolate box is packed with some of our most mouth-watering flavours.

chocolate box and chocolate cabinet with milk chocolate white chocolate dark chocolate

For a more personal touch, why not give them a chocolate box with a personalised message as a graduation gift? Our Congratulations Message Box comes with a free message card for you to write in, and we’ve filled our chocolate box with some of the most indulgent flavours, so that they can truly treat themself on their special day.

Graduation gifts to celebrate with

Stuck between the choice of booze and chocolate? We’ve infused the two together, so that you can give a graduation gift that not only tastes good, but also lets them have some much-deserved fun on the day. Let them pop open the bubbles and dive into the most luxurious chocolate selections with The Chocolate & Fizz Collection.

chocolate hamper with chocolate champagne, chocolate truffles, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate

If you want to forget the chocolate (although we don’t see how you could!) and just go for the alcohol our Vintage Red Wine makes for a luxury gift which is perfect for sharing: this rare wine was crafted by a boutique winery in the Alentejo of Portugal from four heirloom grape varieties.

Some post-graduation TLC

Of course, sometimes a bit of TLC is needed after the many gruelling weeks spent studying. Why not put together your own skincare hamper, brimming with nourishing body butters and lip balms, for a graduation gift which replenishes and revitalises?

If you’re still unsure as to what makes the perfect graduation present, don’t fret – our virtual gift card gives them the total freedom to buy anything from our stores, cafes, restaurants or experiences from our School of Chocolate. Make their graduation feel extra-special by treating them to a graduation gift they’re sure to remember.

What is the best thank you gift?

Finding the best thank you gift can sometimes be tricky, and it is easy to turn to the supermarket for a bottle of wine or box of chocolates if you’re stuck. However, whilst there is nothing wrong in doing this, you might find that the person you have in mind deserves something a bit more special. Don’t worry if you’re still unsure – we have a few tips to help you find the perfect present!

Surprise them

Not only does the notion of giving a gift make for a surprise itself – the content within the present should also delight. If you know they have a certain love of something then try to emulate that in your gift. This is not to say you have to do it in the most obvious way – think creatively, and you’re sure to surprise them even more.

For example, if they have a soft spot for desserts, then why not give them more than one, which they can indulge in whenever they want? The Patisserie Sleekster reimagines the best puddings, cakes and bakes to deliver the most decadent treats. Family favourites such as tiramisu, lemon cheesecake, fudge sundae and more are reinvented in chocolate form, offering a medley of flavours all in one box.

patisserie chocolate box selection with milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate

You can also surprise them by giving a gift that they would have never considered buying themself – this is especially thoughtful if the recipient has dietary requirements which would normally stop them from being able to treat themselves. The All Dark Vegan Chocolate Hamper Collection puts the most luscious vegan dark chocolate items we offer into one delightful box, making this the ideal thank you hamper for a loved one who may normally have to miss out on chocolate treats.

Make it personal

Who is receiving the present? Is there a way you can make it personal to them? Not only does this show the thought behind the present, but it also means you can give a thank you gift to remember.

Whether you’re looking for thank you gifts for women, or thank you gifts for men, you’ll want to gift them something that they can really cherish. Perhaps a tipple is the best way to satisfy their tastes – going one step further than a bottle of supermarket wine, The Chocolate & Gin Gift Collection promises warming, mellow notes of cocoa-infused gin, lifted with fragrant juniper, as well as deep, dark chocolate gin truffles and 65% supermilk puddles.

dark chocolate gin with cocoa gin

Although it’s sometimes hard to put a price on gratitude, giving a thank you gift is a great place to start. No token or thanks is going to be too big or too small – the fact that you’ve taken the time and care to gift a present of appreciation can show just how grateful you are.

What is the best housewarming gift?

House viewings, mortgage arrangements, property surveys…moving house is never a simple process. Once your loved ones have the keys in their hands and they’ve moved in all their furniture, they’ll finally be able to celebrate their new home with you! But that leads to the question; what is the best housewarming gift?

Is it their first house?

Coming up with good housewarming gift ideas depends on what stage of life your friends are at. If they have just moved out of their parents home, or are transitioning from student life to their first home, then they might want more practical first home gifts, like kitchenware, cushions or a beautiful throw.

However, in the current UK housing market, where the average age of first-time buyers is over 30, it is more likely that they have been renting somewhere long term while they saved up for a deposit. This means they are likely to have all the homeware they need, making it even more of a struggle to find a unique housewarming gift.

Let them celebrate with a tipple

If your friends have been saving for a long time to buy their house – house buying advice site Bankrate says the average is between 2 and 15 years – then this is a time for celebration! It’s always a safe option to go for the traditional housewarming gift of a bottle of wine, but we like to opt for a little more decadence.

Our Chocolate Cabinet with Prosecco is the ultimate celebratory treat; a 75cl bottle of vivacious boutique Italian prosecco is the perfect tipple to complement a generous helping of our hand-finished chocolates.

chocolate box with prosecco and chocolate alcohol

For the craft beer addicts, our Beer and Chocolate Hamper pairs our cocoa shell-infused beer with cocoa beer truffles, as well as a selection of other nutty chocolates. With two bottles of malty, dark, not too sweet ale, they can raise a bottle to celebrate their housewarming with a clink!

If you’d rather get them a bottle of one of our premium alcohol products without any chocolate included, our alcohol gift selection has our wide range of liquors, from chocolate cream to salted caramel flavoured vodka.

Think outside of the box

For a unique first home gift, our hot chocolate Velvetiser is the ideal choice if you want to give them something special: the in-home barista-grade system creates the smoothest, silkiest hot chocolate, so that they can create professionally made hot chocolate, in just the click of a button. 

Retirement gift ideas

It’s the day they’ve been waiting for – it’s time for your loved one to sit back, relax, and fully enjoy everything life has to offer. Of course, this occasion calls for a special gift, but if you’re not sure where to start looking, we have a few gift ideas that are sure to please even the trickiest of tastes.

A thoughtful gift

Considering they’ve probably already received many gifts within their lifetime, make your retirement gift extra special by adding a personal touch. Not only does this make this present individual to you, but it allows your loved one to receive something they might not have ever had before, making their retirement all the more meaningful.

It is also important to remember their own personal tastes when coming up with personalised gifts: whilst you might see something that catches your eye, remember that it might not be so appealing for the person who’s actually receiving the present.

If you’re searching for retirement gifts for women, really consider what would be special for her. If you can’t decide on one item, then The Hamper for Her offers the full pampering experience. A tantalising selection of chocolates, a mini Venetian prosecco, and a nourishing hand cream made from cacao, shea and wild honey come together to create a hamper to make her feel truly cared for. If you’re stuck for retirement gifts for men then The Hamper for Him is a great alternative, offering a combination of good brews and excellent food.

chocolate hamper for him with milk chocolate, dark chocolate, beer, cocoa beer, chocolate slabs

Get creative

Original retirement gift ideas for men or women can seem a bit daunting: if you look specifically for these presents online then normally a generic mug or t-shirt comes up. However, don’t let this frustrate you: putting together a gift box of all their favourite things is a great place to start. This shows your loved one that you’ve put special thought into each individual item, specially chosen to delight.

If they have a hunger for all things luxurious, we’ve crafted The Salted Caramel Hamper Collection: sumptuous, decadent chocolates, a smooth pecan and salted caramel spread, and a salted caramel liquor makes up a hamper for those who want to indulge in their retirement. A perfect option if you’re pushed for time to find the right gift, without cutting any corners on quality.

Give them a gift that will last

Whilst it might not last the entirety of their retirement, getting them a gift which can be savoured means that they can treat themselves more than just the once.

Our Cocoa Gin is bursting with notes of zesty orange and grapefruit, lifted by juniper and coriander, and has malty notes of cacao running through it. Whether served with their favourite tonic, or poured neat over ice, this gift option is perfect for those who want to enjoy their retirement sipping on a sophisticated beverage.

If you’re still stuck for retirement gift ideas, then why not let them indulge in a different way. We offer a range of beauty products, ideal for both men and women: our Chocolate Peach Lip Balm pairs peach and chocolate for a mouthwatering product that nourishes your smile. Or, to hydrate hands, our Cacao and Aloe Vera Hand Wash uses soothing aloe and cacao butter to moisturise and cleanse at the same time.

hotel chocolat lip balm rabot 1745 with cocoa butter

Although finding the right retirement gift might be stressful, it doesn’t have to be. At Hotel Chocolat, we offer a huge range of retirement presents, so that you can let your loved one start their new beginning the right way.

The best good luck gift

Whether or not you believe in luck, a good luck gift can be a great way to give a loved one the send off that they deserve. Unlike Valentine’s or Christmas gifts, the perfect good luck gift options are a little more abstract. However, with a bit of imagination, the best good luck gift is easier to find than you might think.

What are their likes and dislikes?

Although this seems obvious, it is important to consider the taste of the person who’s receiving the good luck gift. All too often we see a present which we would love to have, yet don’t consider that the person who is receiving it might actually not be that keen on it.

If you’re spending time – and money – on someone, then it’s important to give them a gift which you know they’ll love. Dropping hints or asking subtle questions is a great way to gather a bit of information, without being too obvious.

If you’re still unsure, then a chocolate selection box makes a fantastic good luck gift. The Everything Luxe chocolate box includes our best-selling white, milk and dark creations, offering up a treasure trove of flavours that anyone can enjoy. However, if you do manage to gather up a bit of extra knowledge, and know your loved one tends to fall on the darker side of the chocolate line, our Dark Fix Pocket Selection boasts sumptuous, deep cocoa notes, perfect for those who need a hit of dark chocolate decadence.

dark chocolate chocolate box

Does it suit the occasion?

Sometimes, a good luck gift calls for a bit of celebration: by creating a positive, uplifting atmosphere, your loved one is sure to feel confident in the face of any challenge that they might be undergoing.

If you have an over-18 in mind, then a boozy gift might be the best send off someone can get. For those who reach for stronger beverages, The Chocolate & Gin Gift Collection brings together gin-inspired recipes with our very own distilled cocoa Gin, offering bursts of fragrant juniper and coriander, and zesty minneolas – a delicious fruit that is half tangerine, half grapefruit.

Of course, our tipsy collection is off the table for any youngsters. However, we offer a wide range of other chocolatey delights, ideal for any adolescents who need a good luck charm.

Be original

The best presents are those which show you’ve put time and thought behind it. Getting your creative flair on makes a good luck gift all the more special: why not create your own hamper, using items that you know they’ll love. Not only does this mean they have an array of treats to choose from, but it also shows you’ve really considered what suits them best.

By thinking outside of the box, you can really design a gift that is unique, and unlike anything else that they may receive. Our beauty range uses cacao to enrich our hand creams, lip balms, bath oils and more, offering a burst of hydration, leaving your skin feeling subtly smooth. A gift made to last, these treats can be used on the go: perfect for anyone who is about to embark on an adventure.

How can I give an experience instead of a gift?

Birthdays, christmas, weddings…there are so many events that require us to buy presents, but as we’re traipsing through shops after work looking for that perfect gift, it often boils down to the same question: what do you buy someone who already has everything?

Giving an experience instead of a gift is a great alternative to a present that they may – or may not – want. An experience doesn’t need storage space, you don’t need to buy overpriced wrapping paper, and best of all, memories from an experience will last a lot longer than a material gift!

Why give an experience and not a gift?

According to a survey carried out for experience-selling company Eventbrite, 78% of millennials would choose to spend their money on a desirable experience rather than a desirable object.

Over three quarters said that some of their best memories are from an event or live experience they attended or participated in, with 69% adding that these events make them more connected to other people, their community, and the world.

Millennials have fuelled the growth of the experience economy, but spending on experiences has grown across the generational board. Ultimately, many of us in the Western world don’t need more stuff, and buying someone an experience rather than a gift will give them both memories they can cherish and the opportunity to spend time with people they love.

It can be difficult to transition from valuing objects to experiences, especially in a consumer culture, but a study carried out by Cornell and Berkeley University scientists discovered that we get more excited and derive more happiness from the anticipation of receiving an experience than a material item. Dr. Thomas Gilovich, one of the scientists in the study, highlighted that the happiness provided by material goods quickly fades away, unlike with experiences.

“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods,” he told Inc. Magazine. “You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.”

What are good ideas for experience gifts?

Once you’ve decided to give an experience instead of a gift, the possibilities are endless! You can go classic with a pampering spa day, daring with a skydiving session, or romantic with a day trip exploring a new town or city. Why not give them an experience where they learn something as well; cooking or cocktail making classes are great options, but if you’re giving a gift to a chocolate lover, then take a look at our chocolate experiences.

We offer something for everyone, from bean to bar experiences, where you learn how chocolate is made, to chocolate tasting adventures where we help you savour and pick out the individual flavours of our premium chocolates.

For a special occasion, take your tasting adventure to the London Eye and take in the stunning city skyline with a glass of our house prosecco in hand. Kids can join in the fun with our children’s chocolate workshops, where they’ll get hands-on experience in making their own chocolate creation!

chocolate tasting for chocolate experience

Whether it’s a birthday, an anniversary, or just a chance to spend more time with your loved ones, an experience gift is a great way to show someone that you care. Become a chocolate connoisseur with our chocolate tasting classes or shake up some boozy cocktails for a celebratory evening; an experience will be remembered for years to come.

The finishing touches

If you’ve stuck with us this far, then we’d like to leave you with one final bit of advice. The finishing touches to any present can go a long way: write a special message, or wrap your gift beautifully. Although it might be a small addition to a present, it helps to make your gift all the more memorable.