Fastfood: If you're going for death by chocolate make sure it's the real thing

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If you haven't clocked that it's Mother's Day on Sunday by now, then chances are you won't remember to send a card or even buy a present. This however, may be a blessing in disguise. Rather than nipping down to the corner shop and buying a pounds 2.99 box of cheapo chocolates, show a bit of class and buy the real thing. By the real thing we mean chocolate which actually contains cocoa rather than sugar and gunk. The vast majority of shop-bought chocolate can contain as little as 20 per cent cocoa solids, the remainder being made up of vegetable fat or palm oil.

It's still not too late to arrange a delectable surprise for mother. Some shops will still take orders up until Thursday for Mother's Day, although the majority rely on the post, so it's anybody's guess when it will arrive.

The Chocolate Society, who sell Valrhona - considered the finest available by those in the know - also have their own range including fresh truffles made with Yorkshire butter and cream in milk, dark or mixed chocolate from pounds 12.03 for 229g. 01423 422230 to order.

Charbonnel et Walker, whose rose and violet creams are a favourite of the Queen, so Mummy will be in good company, also offer a mail order service or a courier service in central London. Prices start at pounds 6.50 for a quarter pound box of chocolates & pounds 2.50 p&p or pounds 6.95 for courier service. (0171- 491 0939).

Harrods offers van delivery, although times vary according to when you place your order. There you can choose from either Harrods own label chocolates, Godiva, Leysieffer, Neuhaus, Gerard Ronay or Leonidas.

If, however, you really have left it too late, nip in to Rococo, 321 King's Road, SW3 for a box of fruit and flower creams - extremely popular with mothers. This mecca for chocolate lovers is open from 12pm to 5pm for the disorganised en-route to Sunday lunch. One last thing. Dogs are hyper sensitive to theobromine, a drug contained in chocolate, of which a much higher percentage is present in high quality stuff. Canine fatalities from chocolate poisoning have been reported, so advise mother against sharing her spoils with her favourite King Charles. Or it may be a nasty case of death by chocolate.

Aoife O'Riordain