Think Valentine's Day and you think chocolates. Indeed, you can’t walk down any high street or through any shopping mall at the moment, without being faced with seemingly endless shelves of pink and red-hued boxes. But which one is going to win your loved one over? We’ve picked out the best of them, for budgets big and small, so you can make your decision with confidence.
1. Chococo Valentine’s Selection Box, from £12.95, chococo.co.uk
Unusually, this Dorset-based family firm makes truly fresh chocolates, with no additives or preservatives, meaning that the chocolates themselves taste unbelievably good. This box, available in medium or large, is based on a “love” theme, with examples including Romantic Rose and Champagne and Kalamansi chocolate.
This pretty box is simple but classy, containing a selection of pink and red chocolate praline hearts and flowers that taste gorgeous. Great for making a heartfelt but understated romantic gesture, without costing a bomb, they also taste really, really good.
3. Charbonnel et Walker Pink Marc de Champagne Truffles: £9.99, lakeland.co.uk
Can’t afford champers and chocolates? Combine the two with this fancy box of top-quality champagne truffles from this chocolatier that’s been around since 1875. The box looks classy and the contents can’t fail to win the heart of even the most discerning chocolate lover.
4. Hotel Chocolat Nudge Nudge: £2.50, hotelchocolat.com
This fun pack contains five sweethearts of exceptionally yummy caramel chocolate. Just the thing to leave on a desk or pillow for some flirtatious fun. If the apple of your eye isn’t keen on milk chocolate, there’s a Wink Wink pack, where sweethearts are made from 70 per cent dark chocolate with chilli.
5. Fortnum & Mason The Champagne and Chocolate Box: £60, fortnumandmason.com
You can always depend on Fortnums for pure decadence. So it’s no surprise that this box contains not one, but two draws of sumptuous truffles and a bottle of bubbly too. Plus, it’s all presented in a tasteful satin-lined box. Start saving though – it’s pricey.
6. Cadbury Say it With Hearts: £3.99, groceries.morrisons.com
You get a lot of bang for your buck with this heart-shaped box of milk chocolates with smooth hazelnut filling. Made by the UK’s most famous chocolate brand, these are particularly good as an office pleaser and they go a treat with a nice cup of tea or coffee.
7. M&S Perfect Pairs Heart Collection: £15, marksandspencer.com (in store only)
You could be forgiven for snapping this box up on the basis that “perfect pairs” means this box is to be shared between the pair of you. In fact, it refers to perfectly paired flavours, such as strawberry and balsamic, truffle and sea salt and caramel and passion fruit. But you might get lucky and get offered some.
8. Lindt Master Chocolatier Collection Love Box: £6, lindt.co.uk
Lindt is great because you can depend on their chocolate being really tasty, but without having to pay a fortune. This is a particularly elegant offering, containing an array of praline hearts that are beautifully presented. Their marketing blurb says they’re a joy to give, a delight to receive. We agree more with the latter statement.
9. Prestat Heart Assortment: From £6.50, prestat.co.uk
Prestat has a royal warrant and that’s not all they have going for them. They are one of the few British artisan chocolatiers to make all its own chocolates and the results are fabulous. These heart boxes come in various sizes an contain the likes of rice crisp nougat and passion fruit fondant.
10. Thorntons Valentines Heart Chocolate Box: £4, thorntons.co.uk
Another heart-shaped box with another set of yummy, indulgent delights. This one contains gooey caramel and smooth melty chocolate truffles, encased in tasty milk chocolate. Not quite sure? Thorntons have loads of other Valentine options too.
11. Hotel Chocolat The Sleekster Valentine Selection: £22, hotelchocolat.com
These 27 heart-shaped truffles aren’t the cheapest, but my goodness, they’re good. Made from a mixture of milk, dark and white chocolate, examples include the 72 per cent Madagascan Cocoa Truffle, the longstanding favourite Passion Fruit Truffle and the Salted Almond Praline.
12. Godiva Darling Box: £20 godivachocolates.co.uk
This gorgeous nine-piece box contains a selection of the new fondant chocolates created by Godiva’s master chef chocolatiers, especially for this most romantic time of the year. We love the packaging too – it’s pretty and fresh, as well as being classy.
13. Pierre Marcolini's Valentines Collection: £38, marcolini.com
This box are a real treat to look at, as well as eat. The Coeurs collection is made up of little chocolate hearts filled with delicious fillings from the brand's signature chocolate ganache to passion fruit.
For our money, the most moreish box is Coco's selection. If you're looking for just a fun, token box, try Hotel Chocolat’s Nudge Nudge (you can also get Wink Wink).