“ Brand: Hotel Chocolat „
I was introduced to Hotel Chocolat the first time I stayed with my Dad in Birmingham and he was shopping for a birthday present for someone and we looked in the shop. The shop is very posh looking with lots of beautiful, yummy looking chocolate everywhere you look. There is pretty much every type and everything flavour you can think of. I am not a very adventurous food taster and am one of those ridiculously fussy eaters, plus I wasn't very hungry at the time but the smell of chocolate was begging me to buy something!
I found a few cheaper things like lollipops but then I spotted these 'Tiddly Pots' on a stand and the cute mini packaging and sweet name meant I had to have one. The pots are all white with coloured circles printed onto them, they are kept closed with a piece of card indicating which type of chocolate is in which, there are three different types, white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. The packaging is a small 'tiddly' white pot that is made of strong card that can be recycled. The outside card is pastel coloured and look like very posh childrens sweets. The pots are about three inches tall and shaped like a flower pot, they were presented in a stacked formation which looked really cute and playful., they look like they aimed for babies because of the colours and name used.
I didn't want to open my pot for a long time as it was just so cute but temptation won me over. I chose the white chocolate pack as I was going through a phase of white chocolate (normally I would pick milk chocolate). The pot was completely full to brim of little chocolate buttons inside, smaller than a 5p. The smell instantly hit you but in an sickly overpowering way, that really nice warm chocolately smell which is heavenly!
The contents of the pot lasted me through the out day but I'm sure on my more peckish days it would definitely not last long at all though you do get a fair amount in the pot. The pot cost about £1.50 which I think is very fair for the amount you get and the fact that it is very well made and delicious chocolate you are buying. These pots are more aimed at young children as they are small and sweetly decorated, plus the buttons inside are so small they can easily be sucked on. However they are also aimed at people like me who love cute little treats and only want a small and cheap chocolate treat.
Tiddly Pots are one of Hotel Chocolat's core product range - never unpopular, they always seem to be in stock whichever store I go to. On my last visit there were five different types: Milk (blue packaging), white (yellow), dark (green), caramel (purple), and their summer special, raspberry ripple (pink). At Eastertime I've also seen Tiddly Pot eggs (a Kinder-sized egg with a smiley face doodled on it, sitting atop a tiddly pot), and the pots also frequently feature in their seasonal Goody Bags and Pick-Me-Up variety packs.
About the size of an adult's palm, these pots are specifically designed for children - compact, brightly-packaged, cute design, plastic lid; friends of mine particularly like the resealable element as it means the little ones can be given a few buttons and the pot be put away for later. However, I frequently buy these for myself when I'm wanting a small chocolate hit, as they're wonderfully tasty and perfectly-sized for sitting on your desk at the office or popped in a handbag.
The price, by Hotel Chocolat's standards, is also relatively small: at the time of writing they sell at £1.95 each, one of the lowest priced items instore I believe. The obvious argument is that one can buy a lot more chocolate elsewhere for that kind of price; there is, however, no mistaking the taste of good quality chocolate, and a few grams' worth of these is far more satisfying to me than a great slab of supermarket chocolate. The milk chocolate, for example, is 40% cocoa, where other mainstream brands usually fall short at about 30%. And there are no nasties - HC doesn't use artificial products, so you're getting cocoa, milk, sugar and a bit of soya lecithin to bind, and that's it. The other flavours are similarly constructed. If the kids are going to have a treat, I'd rather it's a high quality one.
My Mum is a great lover of chocolate. So much so that on a recent holiday my Dad banned her from buying anymore! Therefore, she has been pestering her children to buy her some on numerous occasions! When I saw a tiddly pot easter edition (a tiddly pot and a small chocolate egg) on offer in Hotel Chocolat for just £2.10 (reduced from £7) I knew somebody who would appreciate it.
The tiddly pot and egg came in 3 varieties - milk, dark and white. I picked the milk one as I knew this was her favourite chocolate. They came in a yellow box with the chocolate egg with a bright yellow smiley face on on top of the tiddly pot. The product weighs 80g and looks very fun and would appeal to most audiences.
Of course, my Mum was very grateful and being the Mum she is she immediately opened the tiddly pot to share them around. Inside this tiddly pot in particular there were milk chocolate bunnies and chicks. There were a good amount of them in the pot (probably around 10 - 15) and the pot was full to the brim.
The bunnies and chicks had good detailing on them and looked very nice, almost too good to eat. There was a subtle chocolatey smell to them. I had never tried Hotel Chocolat chocolate until yesterday and I was very impressed with the quality.
The chocolate had a good strong flavour and it melts in your mouth. The chocolate was so smooth and soft and there was no aftertaste like you get with some chocolate. In all honesty, I think the chocolate was probably the best I had ever tasted. I couldnt believe how soft and smooth it was with a lovely, luxurious flavour.
Everyone who had some of the chocolate commented on how nice it was and I was asked where I had bought it from and how much for.
I think these tiddly pots are brilliant as although they are small, the chocolate is of exceptional quality. On the Hotel Chocolat website, these are currently still available priced £2.10 and for that price I think it is a bargain for a luxurious treat.
Having treated myself to some lovely chocolates yesterday, it was only fair that I got my daughter some chocolate too, since mine were very boozy and I woudn't be able to share . I decided to buy her a Tiddly Pots selection, which cost me £6 and contained 3 pots of different chocolate mini buttons - Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate, and Caramel Chocolate.
Each tiddly pot is white container, covered in multicoloured spots with a different coloured cardboard sleeve - Blue for the Milk Chocolate, Yellow for the White Chocolate, and Purple for the Caramel.They have lids that are easily resealable - something I really appreciate as I certainly didn't want my daughter eating all of her treat at once.
With my daughter being the caring sharing type, I go to see and sample each flavour. The mini buttons in each pot are small, a lot smaller than the standard chocolate button - and the random thought occured to me that these would be an excellent size for decorating cupcakes.
We started with the white chocolate - Now, I have to admit to not being a huge fan of white chocolate, I personally find it a little too sweet for my taste on it's own, although I do enjoy it as a coating for truffles. However, my daughter adores white chocolate, and she happily announced that these were better than Milkybar buttons . I should certainly hope so, as they were a good deal mor expensive . I tried a couple, and whilst I still found them too sweet for my own tastes, I could enjoy the rich creamy texture, and did feel that they seemed to be good quality.
We then tried the milk chocolate variety - and I have to say I thought these were perfect - not too sweet, and with a lovely texture in the mouth as they melted, very creamy and most certainly a treat . It sounds like a very odd way to describe chocolate, but my 6 year old daughter described them as 'juicy'. I'll leave you to make of that what you will - I think she liked the way they melted away on the tongue, but I can't be too sure.
Onto the Caramel Chocolate - the one I was most excited to try, with it being something of an unusual colour. As a child I was a huge fan of caramac bars, and was expecting something similar, in a yellowy kind of colour . They were in fact brown - a paler brown than the milk chocolate buttons, but still brown .
These were, quite simply, amazing. This was no cheap caramel imitation, but rather a perfect balance between the sweet and the slightly salty - underscored with rich, creamy, melty chocolate. There were hints of a rich burnt sugar flavour, and I really wanted to steal this pot away from my daughter and keep it all to myself. These also seemed to be the favourite with my daughter - having tried a few buttons from each, it was this pot that she elected to keep out with her while the others were put away for another day, and she really seemed to be enjoying them . Unusually for her, she did not do her usual trick of cramming in as much chocolate as quickly as possible, but sat and sucked each individual drop until it melted.
My daughter loved these, and I think they were the perfect treat for her. Yes, they are expensive, at £6 for the three pots - far more expensive in fact than most chocolate you would buy in a local shop. However, I do feel these were great quality, and it's not very often I spend much on treats.
They're not just for children though - whilst I'm sure many children enjoy chocolate buttons, I enjoyed them too, and would personally be delighted to recieve some of these as a gift. You can buy an individual pot (I'm not sure of the price) in the shop too, and I think that the caramel flavour in particular could be a success as a gift as the flavour is something quite rich and unusual .
I'm going to give these 4 stars - one off because, although they are excellent, they are still pretty steep.
Hotel Chocolat - Hotel Chocolat is a British luxury chocolate brand founded over 15 years ago by Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris. It started as a catalogue based business and now has a number of outlets across the country. Easter is a great time in Hotel Chocolat. They do some wonderful eggs that are very different from the usual Cadburys offerings. They have big chunky shells with lots of mini gourmet eggs inside with wonderful names such as the EGGibitionist! It was during a visit this Easter to find something different for my husband that I came across their Tiddly Pots. The Tiddly Pots come from their "Lovely Little Things" range and are actually designed for kids which I think is great. They are, as the name suggests, little cardboard pots filled with little chocolates for little kids. On their website they are described as, "perfectly sized treats for little hands and little appetites."
For Easter the Tiddly Pot came with a mini egg on top and I thought this would be a perfect gift to give my husband and have it be a gift from our baby girl. I actually decided to buy it for him because of the slogan on the back of the packaging which said, "Perfect for the young and the young at heart," which is what he is. The egg was really tiny but very cute with a smiley face on the front. THe egg sat on one of the Tiddly Pots which had cute pink, yellow and green pictures of eggs on it. Inside were little mini chocolates shaped like bunny rabbits, very cute and apparently, according to my husband, very tasty although he did not share any with me for me to comment on!
Generally, and not at Easter time, the Tiddly Pots come with either milk baby buttons, white baby buttons and caramel chocolate drops. I think these are a great gift for little ones as they are something different and the great thing about the cardboard container is that you can put the lid on and let them have some of the chocolate later. I would say they are best for a gift as each pot costs £6 which I have to say is a bit pricey for what they are but nevertheless very fun and cute.
You can buy the chocolates over the web but I definitely recommend a visit to one of their wonderful stores. They seem to have quite a good covering of stores across the country, for example, Cambridge, London, Manchester and York to name but a few. Visit their website for more information at http://www.hotelchocolat.co.uk/
Spending six pounds on chocolate buttons may seem a be much, but the Hotel Chocolat Tiddly Pots are well worth the price. They make great gifts for children, and frankly are one of my favourite snack time treats. They are the perfect amount so as not to be able to gorge oneself, but just to have a small taster of chocolate - they are the perfect buy for those who love chocolate but are slightly concerned about their dress size.
There are three varieties: milk baby buttons, white baby buttons and caramel chocolate drops, and they come as a pack of three online, although I have seen them sold separately in stores. They also sometimes come in gift packs, this Easter they did an egg accompanied by a Tiddly pot.
They are made of the usual scruptious chocolate of which you can expect from Hotel Chocolat, and they come in little round pots with pop on / pop off lids so that they stay fresh.
Another great product from Hotel Chocolat