“ Brand: House of Dorchester „
Luxurious and extravagant are among two words that spring to mind when you mention Hand made chocolates.
But if there is an occasion that is very special then what could be more elegant and attractive,as well as being devilishly moreish than a beautifully presented box of hand finished connoisseur chocolates.
I am a National Trust member,so on fine days when im not too busy I love to visit any of the Trusts properties that are within an hour or so`s drive from me.
Most Stately homes and Castles always have one of those extra tempting gift shops on site too.
Usually I have the strength to resist making a purchase,but a stylish red and gold box with attractive pictures caught my eye.
The 110 gram box was £4.49 and was entitled `Woman's Pictorials` it contained twelve chocolate thins .
A perfect present for my Aunt,just the right sized box and at an acceptable price.
Another little box just happened to `slip `into my basket for myself ! a small black box filled with a coffee assortment,covered in a mixture of white,dark and milk chocolate..they cost £4.50 for 100 grams..
My selection took top marks ! The Latte Crisp was beautiful,smooth and rich,but not too sweet.
The Cappuccino whip was to die for !!..a subtle coffee flavoured mousse encased in rich `crackly` milk chocolate.
The display in the gift shop advertised other House of Dorchester chocolates..they looked luscious !
Stem ginger and dark chocolate, Rose and Violet creams in dark chocolate, a Dessert collection..a selection of after dinner flavours in milk and white chocolate and a mint collection,a choice of peppermint tastes wrapped in milk and dark chocolate.
A poster told any passing shoppers that the House of Dorchester were very proud to announce that they had acquired Organic certification through the Soil Association.
They were also manufacturing chocolates for The Duchy Originals Brand.
Their factory is in Dorchester, Dorset.They recruit their workforce locally and around a half of the workers live within walking or cycling distance from the factory.
They also play an active part supporting local charities and fund raising.
The company holds an official Fair Trade licence and all of their product packaging bears the Fairtrade Logo.
House of Dorchester - it sounds grand don't you think? I came across this name a few years ago when I was in the conference business and at the time I was trying to create a corporate image for our small company. As most of our conferences were held in hotels I thought it would be a nice touch to leave a small box of chocolates in the rooms of the delegates as a token of goodwill but also to promote our company. The original image was my own drawing but I needed a confectioner who made exquisite chocolates and at the same time could print my design on their boxes. This is were the House of Dorchester came to my rescue.
The House of Dorchester is a company based in the heart of Dorset and was created by a master chocolatier called Richard Ungaretti. By using the finest ingredients from home and abroad he was able to manufacture chocolates of an excellent standard with tantalising tastes. All the chocolates are hand finished as in his opinion this is the best way to create perfect chocolate with wonderful centres. Visually, these chocolates are elegant and stylish but most importantly the taste is innovative and exceeds all expectations.
In the early years the company concentrated only on making chocolates to sell in retail outlets and of course their own shop in Dorset but then one day a very astute marketing manager in the hotel business introduced Richard to the idea of becoming a label specialist not only for other specialist retailers but for the hotel, tourist and corporate sector. The idea was an instant success and they now work together with a large number of clients offering a wealth of knowledge and experience as well as the facility to print on a vast selection of products including gift boxes, individual chocolate bars and tins of chocolates.
Range wise it isn't as large as let's say, Thornton's but the range is quite impressive and to give you an idea what The House of Dorchester has to offer I will describe some of the products.
If you are a fan of dark chocolates then this 200gm box of assorted tantalising centres wrapped in 70% dark, smooth chocolate will have you drooling. Some of the mouth watering centres consist of soft whipped fondants which have been enhanced with fruit or nuts. Included in the assortment are pralines made from Italian roasted coffee paste, and we musn't forget those delicious truffles. These exquisite chocolates are presented in a black silky gift box.
This collection consists of three different flavours; Dessert, Mint and Coffee
If you love desserts like strawberry cheescake and lemon meringue then the Dessert Collection will suit you just fine. The Mint collection is as you would expect - cool, smooth, dark chocolate combined with a crisp minty filling. The coffee collection is for me a perfect combination - smooth, dark chocolate with a taste and aroma of brazillian coffee beans. Single coffee packs are also available and consist of Cappuccino, Espresso, Americano and Latte.
These collections are delightful and can be sold as bars if you want to indulge yourself or in gift boxes to share with a loved one or friend.
There are four flavours to choose from in this selection and each flavour is individual and apart from the mint collection I find a liitle too individual for my tastes.
Stem Ginger - which is crystallised stem ginger coated in dark chocolate. I think you will have to be a great fan of ginger to appreciate this flavour.
Rose and Violet Creme - Fondant creme enhanced with the delicate taste of rose water and violets and covered in 70% dark chocolate. It sounds very old fashioned and I think a strange combination and I have to say that I am not too fond of the taste as I find this too sickly.
Dessert Collection - here we have a combination of dark, milk and white chocolate with very sweet dessert fillings like lemon souffle, strawberry, tangerine and apple.
Mint Collection - This is my favourite flavour out of the quartet. I love the sharp and refreshing taste of peppermint which blends with the 70% dark chocolate but is also scrumptious with the milk and white chocolate covering.
If you boys out there want to indulge a certain lady then I recommend you buy a box of these irresistible and decadent chocolates. Hand crafted centres wrapped in silky, milk and pure white chocolate. They are very difficult to resist. Packaged in a beautiful silver box with a delicate ribbon tied around the centre, these chocolates are available in weights of 200, 300, 400 and 600gms.
Easter and Christmas are also catered for with The House of Dorchester. Their annual range consists of creative gifts in the shape of chocolate bunnies, chicks, santas and reindeer, and are available in chocolate and tinned confectionery.
Seven Deadly Sins
I have left this collection until last because I adore the marketing concept. When I first saw this box of chocolates advertised in a brochure I was intrigued mainly because of the title - Seven Deadly Sins. This is a famous painting by Hieronymus Bosch and when I was at school I was always fascinated with this particular piece of work. Mainly because of it's surreal qualities but I loved the fact that you could look at it a hundred times and always see something different in the painting. I've digressed a little here, I know, but the box of chocolates does have the same theme as the painting.
These chocolates from The House of Dorchester are so decadent and utterly irresistible. From lust to pride to envy these sins are worth committing. Each innocent looking chocolate is placed into its own coloured box to represent one of the deadly sins and then placed in a luxurious embossed gift box (like the picture at the top of the page).
Consisting of truffles and pralines combined with dark, milk and white chocolate these award winning delectable chocolates provide an amazing experience. The box contains 2 x 7 chocolates:
Anger - White chocolate praline
Gluttony - White chocolate lemon truffle
Greed - Milk Chocolate Maple Praline
Sloth - Milk Chocolate Praline
Lust - Dark Chocolate Praline
Envy - White Chocolate Apricot truffle
Pride - Milk Chocolate Coffee Truffle.
The price for this heavenly box of chocolates is £13.50 and can be bought on line from Ocado and the livinghub.com website. I think you would agree that this particular box of chocolates would make a special gift. The whole concept is so original.
The range of chocolates I have described above are not sold everywhere in the UK. There is a website illustrating the stockists with addresses and telephone numbers -http://www.hodchoc.com/chocolates/buy-chocolates.php
Some of the chocolates are produced using ingredients containing wheat and gluten.
I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the House of Dorchester. All chocolates are hand crafted and made from the finest ingredients and I think the special collections will delight the most discerning of chocolate lovers. Recommended.