March is here, and Mothering Sunday (26 March) is only a few weeks away. If you need to buy a present but are short on time or ideas, why not fall back on the perennial favourite? A carefully chosen box of chocolates will always go down well. We've done the hard work for you, taste-testing some of the best chocolate bars, boxes and gift sets around. We were keen to find products that offered a high-quality, moreish assortment for a reasonable price – and we weren't disappointed.
1. Lily O'Brien's Chocolate Desserts Collection: £6, Sainsbury’s
For those who like their chocolates to be packed full of different textures, from compotes and caramels to truffles and buttery biscuit bases, try this Chocolate Desserts Collection from Irish chocolatier Lily O'Brien's. Each box contains 18 miniature desserts in six different varieties, including Key Limey Pie and Passion Fruit Posset. They are not as delicately flavoured as most other options here, but they are after-dinner winners.
2. Sylvia and Terry Handmade Honeycomb in Dark Chocolate: £8.50, Sylvia and Terry
Sylvia and Terry may be a small enterprise – its products are handmade and it is named after the owner's late parents – but its chocolate honeycomb puts bigger brands in the shade. Each gift bag contains a handful of generously sized, irregularly shaped pieces to sink your teeth into. The honeycomb inside can differ in texture – some bits are gooey, some brittle. The latter works particularly well in combination with the dark chocolate outer layer. We only wish that there were more in each pack. Luxurious as the large chunks may be, they are likely to disappear very quickly. A great dairy-free option.
3. Bettys Lady Betty Chocolate Selection: £15.95, Bettys
Bettys is best-known for its Yorkshire tearooms, which serve all sorts of delicious cakes, chocolates and biscuits. Though the Lady Betty Chocolate Selection does not come cheap – its dozen chocolates are, like many on this list, more than a pound a piece – it is an indulgent treat for fans of floral fondants. As well as fragrant rose and violet creams, the collection also includes two blackcurrant ganache truffles, three hazelnut pralines and three vanilla caramel hearts. Some of the chocolates are tastier than others – we had less love for the hearts than we did for the truffles – but each one complements the others well.
4. Choc on Choc Chocolate Miniature Books: £9.99, Choc on Choc
If your mum's shelves groan under the weight of books bought but never read – a habit so common there's a Japanese word for it, "tsundoku" – here is her ideal Mother's Day present. Choc on Choc's set of eight edible hardbacks, each around 10g, come in an assortment of solid milk and white chocolates. Though the real draw here is the novelty value – the books even have titles on the spines – they don’t compromise on taste. Choc on Choc also offers a wide selection of other quirky chocolate creations, from animals and fruit to emojis.
5. Demarquette Delights & Decadence (Tea & Coffee Chocolate Caramel Cups): £20, Not On The High Street
Demarquette makes artisan products with a quintessentially British touch. If luxury chocolate is your mum's cup of tea, they have the perfect gift: cups of tea (and coffee) in the form of luxury chocolate. The caramel-filled, cup-shaped chocs are beautifully presented, with each coated in a different colour. Among the award-winners on offer are a figgy Viennese coffee and a citrus-tinged Earl Grey. Other Demarquette collections include the fruit-filled Great British Orchard and the flower-themed English Garden. You can also add a brief (20-word) gift card note.
6. Fifth Dimension The Journey Box: £25, Fifth Dimension
Fifth Dimension is a luxury London-based chocolatier. With their Journey Box, chocolate-lovers can take a worldwide trip with no walking required. The 18-piece collection is inspired by a continent-crossing range of locations, from Bangkok to Vienna, and its contents are similarly assorted. Some chocolates are variations on classics, such as the honey-laced Popayán House Dark, while others are a little more experimental. The Kagoshima Yuzu & Pink Peppercorn, for example, bursts with a sharp zesty buzz. If you want to add a personal touch, you can also include a custom sleeve with your own Mother's Day message.
7. Godiva Limited Edition Spring Selection Box: £25, John Lewis
Godiva's Spring Selection Box contains 16 chocolates and truffles, and is a great pick for mums who love hazelnut praline. Though Godiva's smooth signature praline fills most pieces in the box, there are a few anomalies thrown in there too. The Lady Noir stands out in particular, with its lush Madagascan vanilla and white chocolate ganache within a dark chocolate shell.
8. g.org.e Raw, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Organic Chocolate Bars - 10 Bars: £19.99, g.org.e
Health and ethics are at the heart of g.org.e's mission – the name stands for Guilt-Free Organic Eating. Free of dairy, gluten, soya and sugar, g.org.e's chocolate bars come in five different flavours: coconut, cranberry, mango, pistachio and walnut. This set includes two of each, making it ideal for a fortnight's worth of indulgent office snacks. The cranberry bar in particular is recommended, though it may be slightly on the tart side for some. The pistachio and walnut, meanwhile, add a satisfying crunch to the raw cacao. Not only are the bars suitable for diabetics, vegans and coeliacs – they also count as one of your five-a-day.
9. Montezuma's Mother's Day Gift Set: £15.99, Ocado
This gift is a safe choice for those who find pleasure in simplicity – the three flavours are: Milk Chocolate Mango Caramel Hearts, White Chocolate & Raspberry Hearts, and Milk Chocolate Honeycomb Pieces. The set comes as a trio of boxes tied together with a ribbon and, while it isn’t quite as fancy as most products on the list, it's well-suited to family sharing. If you are looking to minimise spending, the boxes can also be bought individually for £5.99 each - the sweet tang of the mango caramel works especially well.
10. Rawr Build Your Own Collection: £5.05-£19.75
Rawr puts paid to the myth that vegan chocolate is tasteless, giving better-known brands like Divine and Green & Black's a run for their money while managing to avoid all dairy products. Its Build Your Own Collection allows you to pick a mix of chocolate bars, with six types to choose from. Most are classic flavours, though there are a couple of Rawr specials available too – lucama, a creamy Peruvian fruit, and goji berries and vanilla. These bars are best-suited to those who like their chocolate simple and not too sugary.
The Verdict: Mother’s Day chocolates
Sylvia and Terry Handmade Honeycomb is recommended for any fans of dark chocolate, though the gift is only likely to last a single sitting if shared. Rawr and g.org.e also deserve a special mention for their consideration of dietary requirements – both provide a welcome alternative for mums who would otherwise miss out on the Mother's Day chocolate fest. If you do not have much cash to splash, though, look no further than Lily O'Brien's Chocolate Desserts Collection. It is great value for money, and it will go down well with any mums who have a particularly sweet tooth. The option to add a personalised photo is a nice touch, ensuring that a keepsake will remain even when the box's contents have been polished off.
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