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13 best chocolate hampers to celebrate World Chocolate Day 2021

These bumper boxes of sweet treats are the ultimate indulgence and make great gifts

Siobhan Grogan
Wednesday 07 July 2021 08:58
<p>There’s one to suit every taste from more family-orientated options including hot chocolate and biscuits to lavish hampers of gourmet chocs</p>

There’s one to suit every taste from more family-orientated options including hot chocolate and biscuits to lavish hampers of gourmet chocs

Fed up of flowers but want to spoil someone in your life? A chocolate hamper is a delightfully decadent way to say thank you, happy birthday or just let someone know you’re thinking of them.

Hampers range from around £20 to £150 and can be delivered straight to the recipient’s door, often with next day delivery, making them ideal for last minute gifts. Some include extra treats like wine or champagne but chocolate is the star of the show in all these hampers.

There’s one to suit every taste from more family-orientated options including hot chocolate and biscuits to baskets suited to vegans or dark chocolate lovers or lavish hampers of gourmet chocs when only the very best will do.

All come beautifully packaged and many arrived in impressive wicker hampers that could be used again around the home. We considered the presentation, value for money and originality of a range of hampers, tasting all their treats to find the ones that really made us swoon.

Our favourites all had the wow factor on unwrapping and were choc-full (sorry…) of goodies anyone would love to receive.

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The best chocolate hampers for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Willie’s Cacao el grande: £110, Wiilliescacao.com
  • Best from a small business – Wickedly Welsh wales forever hamper: £34.99, Wickedlywelsh.co.uk
  • Best thank you present – Hotel Chocolat large chocolate hamper: £40, Hotelchocolat.com
  • Best for drinkers – Love Cocoa boozy gift box: £36.95, Lovecocoa.com
  • Best for original flavours – Choc Affair choose your own chocolate gift hamper: £21.50, Choc-affair.com
  • Best unusual hamper – Bradfords Bakers it’s all about shoe gift tower: £29.90, Bradfordsbakers.com
  • Best to impress – Fortnum & Mason the chocolate lover’s hamper: £150, Fortnumandmason.com
  • Best for families – Cartwright & Butler chocolate & fizz hamper: £85, Cartwrightandbutler.co.uk
  • Best organic hamper – Green & Black’s chocolate lovers hamper basket: £30, Greenandblacks.co.uk
  • Best for dark chocolate – Hampers.com red wine & dark chocolate gift box: £36, Hampers.com
  • Best luxury hamper – Charbonnel & Walker thank you hamper: £145, Charbonnel.co.uk
  • Best for vegans – The Raw Chocolate Company deluxe gift hamper: £47.45, Therawchocolatecompany.com
  • Best budget hamper – M&S taste of Belgium chocolate gift bag: £30, Marksandspencer.com

Willie’s cacao el grande

Best: Overall

For any truly dedicated chocolate lover, nothing beats this el grande hamper, a full-to-bursting treasure chest of chocolate heaven for those keen to taste the real thing. It’s made by Willie’s Cacao, whose founder Willie Harcourt-Cooze was the subject of a 2009 Channel 4 documentary charting his journey from a cacao farm in Venezuela to his own chocolate factory in Devon. All the brand’s chocolate is still made using just cacao, natural cocoa butter and raw cane sugar to let the flavour of the bean shine through.

This signature collection costs £6.50 to deliver, comes in a huge red box and includes several products that aren’t available to buy in any shops. It brims with all sorts of chocolate loveliness including a box of unbelievably delicious hazelnut praline truffles with sea salt, cacao tea infusion, hot chocolate powder, irresistible hazelnut chocolate spread and a tasting collection of five single estate dark chocolate bars to learn a little more about cacao flavours from around the world. There’s even a small bottle of Janisson Baradon champagne and one of cacao nib brandy for making cacao champagne cocktails. It’s expensive, yes, but foodies or anyone who relishes the finer things in life will never forget this extraordinary present.

Wickedly Welsh wales forever hamper

Best: Hamper from a small business

Wales is fast becoming the UK’s chocolate capital, with a clutch of small companies producing outstanding artisan chocs that put the big names to shame. This patriotic stash of treats from a family run company is the perfect introduction to Welsh chocolate, packed in a slim black box and wrapped with a red ribbon emblazoned with the Welsh dragon. All the chocolate is made using only Welsh ingredients and delivery costs £4.50. It’s also possible to specify the delivery date, which makes it perfect for birthdays.

The box itself includes a generous stash of treats including two ribbon-wrapped boxes of six petit four chocolates that would be a dream for a dinner party and four bags of the company’s famous chocolate puddles – handcrafted choc droplets all the family will enjoy. There are also three enormous chocolate bars including a smooth-as-silk milk chocolate embossed with a Welsh dragon and a dark chocolate map of Wales, making this gift great value for money.

Hotel Chocolat large chocolate hamper

Best: Thank you present

This long black box wrapped with a white ribbon is one for the gourmet lover in your life. Chocoholics will adore the indulgent, cocoa-rich goodies that are a cut above the average box of chocs and made with 100 per cent ethical cocoa.

Treats include a large box of Hotel Chocolat’s bestselling milk, white and dark chocolates (we were obsessed by the “dizzy praline” and “billionaire’s shortbread” flavours) and a pack of divine salted caramel chocolates that took the company three years to perfect. There’s also a pack of salted caramel puddles and four slabs of pure chocolate including Hotel Chocolat’s award-winning 70 per cent dark chocolate and one made of 40 per cent cocoa scattered with shortbread biscuits, crunch cocoa and pools of caramel milk chocolate.

Wash it all down with the 70 per cent chocolate flakes melted into milk for a flavour-packed hot chocolate or even a chocolate tea, a great unusual addition in this hamper. Delivery costs from £3.95 and takes between seven and 10 days, so plan ahead or pay a little extra for next day delivery.

Love Cocoa boozy gift box

Best: For drinkers

James Cadbury’s family were no longer in the chocolate business by the time he was born in 1985 but he’s now following in the footsteps of his great-great-great-grandfather, who founded Cadbury in the 19th century. Love Cocoa makes all its chocolate in Britain and guarantees its products are palm oil free, made of single origin cocoa and come in 100 per cent recyclable packaging with compostable inners. Better still, they plant three trees in Northern Cameroon with every hamper purchase and planted more than 508,000 in 2020 alone.

This smart cardboard box of delights would make a fantastic present for a pal who needs pampering, stuffed with chocolates with an alcoholic twist. These aren’t fusty old liqueur chocs though. Instead, there’s a pack of espresso martini coffee beans, pink gin mini truffles, a decadent box of raspberry champagne truffles and (our favourite) a boozy bar of prosecco milk chocolate – plus a mini bottle of prosecco for the perfect night in. The company offers 48-hour delivery costing £3.50 but express delivery is available, and you can add a free gift card at checkout for an all-in winner.

Choc Affair choose your own chocolate gift hamper

Best: For original flavours

Tailor the perfect hamper to any taste and occasion with this fantastically-priced box from Choc Affair, which hand makes all its ethically sourced, palm oil-free goodies in York and delivers for just £3.50.

Arriving in a slim cardboard box, this hamper includes a large sachet of hot chocolate, four chocolate bars, two packs of buttons and a small milk chocolate bar personalised with your choice of message including birthday, good luck or congratulations wishes. Flavours of all the chocolate can be selected at checkout to make this gift even more thoughtful. All could be salted caramel for instance, while a family might prefer more traditional milk and dark options.

If you’re buying for someone more adventurous, select flavours including lime and sea salt, rhubarb, lemon and ylang ylang or raspberry and rose. Be sure to add a gin and tonic chocolate milk chocolate bar if sending to a gin-lover – we couldn’t get enough of it.

Bradfords Bakers it’s all about shoe gift tower

Best: Unusual hamper

This unusual tower of treats was one of the most impressive-looking hampers we tested, arriving in three sparkly turquoise gift boxes stacked on top of each other and topped with a huge white bow. It’s almost too pretty to open but there’s plenty to get excited about inside too. Delivered the next day from £5.95, one box has a stash of sweet surprises to indulge in, including a packet of double chocolate chip cookies, chocolate stem gingers, strawberry bon bons and a jar of toffees. Another has four large cupcakes which come in madeira or rich chocolate fudge flavours, while the final box reveals an exquisitely crafted chocolate high heel shoe. This can be made in dark, milk or white chocolate with pink, green or red decoration. Our edible stiletto came in white chocolate with pink polka dots and tasted every bit as good as it looked. It would dazzle any shoe addict in your life but its mix of chocolate, sweets and cakes would go down well in any family too.

Fortnum & Mason the chocolate lover’s hamper

Best: To impress

Who wouldn’t love receiving one of Fortnum & Mason’s distinctive wicker baskets? If you’re really out to impress someone, this single-handed huntsman basket won’t fail to wow. It comes wrapped in an enormous, duck-egg blue ribbon and will add pizazz to picnics for years to come.

Delivered from £5.95 with next working day delivery also available, there’s all sorts of treats hidden under the mountain of shredded raffia inside. These include a box of chocolate caramels, a bar of 70 per cent vegan dark chocolate, a selection box of chocolate pralines and a milk chocolate marc de champagne bar we adored. It’s the more unexpected goodies that really make this hamper a delight though. We loved the giant lucky penny chocolate coin in a copper foil Fortnum & Mason penny tin and became completely addicted to the “chocolossus” biscuits, macadamia nut wonders smothered in dark chocolate from a gigantic tin. The mini tins of Fortnum’s much-loved teas were a lovely surprise too. It’s not cheap but you’ll earn a lifetime of (chocolate) brownie points.

Cartwright & Butler chocolate & fizz hamper

Best: For families

Easily one of our favourite hampers, this generous box of gorgeousness would be a joy for anyone to receive but would be especially welcomed by a family with a sweet tooth. There won’t be any fighting over small bars of chocolate either as the hamper is stuffed with shareable treats (though there’s no judgement from us if you keep them to yourself).

Delivery is free and everything comes in a substantial grey box but gift sleeves to suit special occasions including birthdays, new babies and anniversaries can be added for an extra £3. It includes a tin of hazelnut truffles, Belgian chocolate fudge and even a tin each of milk and dark drinking chocolate plus a full-size bottle of prosecco. We were also smitten by Cartwright & Butler’s to-die-for biscuits, including packs of chocolate shortbread rounds, chocolate salted caramel biscuits and, our new obsession, chocolate wafer rounds filled with smooth cocoa-nut cream.

Green & Black’s chocolate lovers hamper basket

Best: Organic hamper

Green & Black’s pioneered organic chocolate in the UK and were the first British chocolate brand to be certified as Fairtrade in 1994. Its stylish, gold-embossed bars are now a go-to for anyone looking for grown up chocolate you won’t want to share with your children.

This black wicker hamper is filled with some of Green & Black’s most moreish flavours, costing £5.50 for standard delivery or £6.50 for next day delivery if you order before 4pm. It includes three 90g bars of organic chocolate – two dark, one milk with roasted almonds – and a gift box of six mini bars. The hefty tasting collection is the real thrill though, with 25 dark, milk and white chocolate bars plus tasting notes to help you find your favourite. Ours was crunchy milk chocolate with butterscotch though we wolfed down the whole box just to be absolutely certain.

hampers.com red wine & dark chocolate gift box

Best: For dark chocolate

Spoil any dark chocolate devotee with this chic box of decadent treats where nothing under 60 per cent cocoa solids gets a look in. Delivered for free the very next day with a gift message, the hamper includes a pack of large dark chocolate buttons, a Love Cocoa bar of 70 per cent dark chocolate from Peru and a Choc Affair bar of divinely rich Colombian dark chocolate. All pair perfectly with the included bottle of garnacha, a bold Spanish red wine with enough muscle to handle the intensity of the chocolate. It would be great for anyone who prefers more intense flavours or is always tricky to buy for, without spending a fortune.

Charbonnel & Walker thank you hamper

Best: Luxury hamper

Show someone you’re really grateful with this covetable “thank you” hamper stuffed with the finest chocolate from Charbonnel & Walker. The Bond Street-based company was founded in 1875 and is now known as one of the world’s best chocolatiers, loved by everyone from Princess Diana to Lauren Bacall and Noel Coward, who had a box delivered to his home every fortnight.

Just opening the midnight blue ribbon on the cream cardboard box feels special. Inside, there’s a selection of some of the company’s best-loved delicacies including two miniature heart-shaped boxes of milk and dark chocolate sea salt truffles, three larger boxes of truffles including the iconic pink marc du champagne selection and a large stuff-of-dreams box filled with assorted milk and dark chocolate. Not quite indulgent enough? There’s a 200ml bottle of Moet champagne thrown in to really make this superb hamper a once-in-a-lifetime treat.

The Raw Chocolate company deluxe gift hamper

Best: For vegans

Chocolate as a health food? Well almost. The Raw Chocolate Company makes organic treats from cacao that is sun-dried rather than heat-treated, keeping the chocolate as close to its natural state as possible. Free from gluten, soya, palm oil and refined sugar and suitable for vegans, the resulting raw chocolate is very intense and surprisingly smooth.

Delivered for free, this black wicker hamper is overflowing with virtuous delights that will thrill anyone on a health kick but are just as delicious if you’re not. The hefty haul includes packs of raw chocolate raisins, raw chocolate almonds, salted banoffee cashews and, our favourite, raw chocolate goji-berries. Six chocolate bars are included too with flavours including “koffee kapow”, “silky coconut” and “mint mania” to deliver a pleasingly powerful cocoa hit.

M&S taste of Belgium chocolate gift bag

Best: Budget hamper

If you’re not quite sure whether the lucky recipient of this golden gift bag is a gourmet truffle type or just loves dunking choccy biscuits in a cuppa, this is a fail-safe option for a great price. Everything inside comes from the heavenly creamy M&S Belgian range and includes flaked truffles, a melt-in-the-mouth couronne chocolate bar, a pack of triple chocolate chunk cookies and a tin of dark, milk and white chocolate biscuits. The highlight for real chocoholics though is the box of Belgian chocolate classics, featuring stand-out selections such as a dark chocolate dome filled with caramel and passion fruit compote, and a feather-light mocha coffee mousse on a chocolate base wrapped in white chocolate. Delivery is an extra £3.50 but trust us, this will make someone’s day.

The verdict: Chocolate hampers

All these hampers make fantastic gifts and will thrill anyone lucky enough to receive them. Willie’s cacao el grande is the real show-stopper for anyone with a refined palette keen to taste the very best chocolate. However, if you’re buying for a family or don’t want to spend quite as much, choose the Cartwright & Butler chocolate & fizz hamper or the fantastically-priced M&S taste of belgium chocolate gift bag to suit every taste.

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