Valentine’s Day 2021: the best chocolates and food gifts to share with the ones you love
Don’t let shut restaurants pose a problem this Valentine’s Day. These incredible chocolates and delectable food hampers mean you can celebrate at home, be it with your one true love, or just the one you’re with.
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This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that has not affected our editorial judgement.
Truth be told, our favourite Valentine’s celebrations have taken place not out at restaurants or bars, but at home, having a cosy picnic in the living room. Our favourite LPs playing, chilled Champagne flowing, and a selection of delicious foodstuffs with the one we love: that’s a great time, regardless of whether you care for the celebration itself.
Don’t concern yourself with notions of what you’re missing: from an ideal fry-up, to hampers that will form the perfect grazing lunch, to chocolates to languorously indulge in all day: whether you’re coupled-up, living with friends, or on your own, there are ample ways to treat yourself this Valentine’s Sunday.
We took on the arduous task of trying some of the tastiest hampers and most exquisite chocolates in the UK. Here’s what to order now for a memorable Valentine’s feast.
If you’re lucky enough to have browsed the food halls of Harvey Nichols, and are currently missing their delectable delights, this hamper will remind you just how great their produce is.
We love that it’s not too chocolate heavy - although the chocolate fudge is buttery and rich, the rest of the food is more off piste: we particularly love the lemon curd and clotted cream biscuits, and the salted nuts.
All washed down with lashings of their dry, crisp, Brut Champagne. This is the perfect spread for a sexy picnic - there’s even a bag of delicious coffee for the morning after.
Harvey Nichols Premier Cru Brut Champagne NV 750ml
2 x Harvey Nichols Salted Nut Selection 200g
Harvey Nichols Sunflower & Pumpkin Seed Brittle 125g
Harvey Nichols Strawberry Hearts Jelly Box 75g
Harvey Nichols Lemon Curd & Clotted Cream Biscuits 200g
Harvey Nichols No.7 Really Chocolatey Fudge 125g
Harvey Nichols House Blend Coarse Ground Coffee 200g
A gorgeous selection of Italian delicacies that will transport your taste buds in an instant.
This is truly a feast. Start with a surprisingly palatable prosecco, while savouring the taste of pesto made with basil fresh from Liguria (you’ll never settle for Sacla again).
There’s everything you need to make the pasta dishes of your dreams, with truffle infused salsa and brilliantly ferrous olive oil - make a giant bowl and eat with two forks, for maximum romance.
The chianti is smooth and full, too - and, as a parentheses - made by an Italian rock star. Ooft.
Contents: Harvey Nichols Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore NV 750ml
Harvey Nichols Chianti 2016 750ml
Harvey Nichols Pesto Alla Genovese 180g
Harvey Nichols Bruschetta di Peperoni 180g
Harvey Nichols Salsa Truffina 130g
Harvey Nichols Extra Virgin Olive Oil 500ml
Harvey Nichols Balsamic Vinegar 55ml
Harvey Nichols Cantucci 170g
Harvey Nichols House Blend Fine Ground Coffee 200g
Seeking to seriously impress your other half this Valentine's? The Fortnum and Mason's Utterly Smitten Hamper is such a thing as audible gasps are made of.
In a handsome wicker picnic basket – think the sort of hamper the aristocracy take on outings in a Jane Austen novel – you'll find a lovingly curated selection of Fortnum and Mason's finest delectables.
The Blanc de Blanc Champagne is dry, biscuity, and premium. The confectionery is uniformly excellent, though we have a particular soft spot for the dark chocolate covered cherry biscuits – black forest in a tin.
If we have one quibble it's that the selection feels small on first appraisal, but the extraordinary quality – and picnic basket keepsake – makes it worth the cost.
Chocolate & Macadamia Biscuits, 200g
Cherrilossus Biscuits, 600g
Strawberry & Gooseberry Preserve, 195g
Valentine's Chocolate Covered Raspberries, 120g
Fortnum's Personalised Blanc de Blancs Champagne, Hostomme, 75cl
Rose Pouchong Tea, 125g Loose Leaf Tin
Miniature Heart Chocolate Truffles Box, 40g
A heart-shaped box of chocolates on Valentine's day may seem, to some, lacking in imagination, but for us, we say: you can't improve on the classics.
All we will stipulate is that you should opt for the best chocolates, in which case this Dorchester selection will fit the bill.
With milk, dark, and white chocolate coated truffles, we struggled to identify a favourite, though the milk salted caramel was especially seductive. That said, our seven year old was rapturous in response to the white chocolate raspberry truffle, so there's something for everyone.
Gosh, this hamper is good fun.
At first glance it may seem like a curious choice for Valentine's – no red hearts or cutesy touches. But that's one of the (many, many, many) reasons we love it – there's not a trace of cliché in sight.
Many people will be concerned that Valentine's might lack a sense of occasion, given we can't head to a restaurant or bar, or even out for a languorous picnic. Trust us, this hamper feels like a treat – one that will last for days.
With a diverse range of independently produced British delicacies, the quality of the produce in this hamper is exceptional. We adored the sweet, buttery Cornish fudge, the delightfully umami Worcester sauce flavoured Yorkshire crisps, the piquant Mexican sweet chilli nuts. What's lovely here is that you can enjoy a long, grazing feast on Valentine's Day itself, and then stock up your larder with the remaining spreads, biscuits and sweets for the week's ahead.
British Hamper Co. - Bespoke gift packaging
The Simply Delicious Cake Company - Apricot and Ginger Cake
Miller's Elements - Smoked Flour and Red Hot Chilli Crackers
Great British Biscotti Co - Cheddar & Fennel Biscotti
Willie's Cacao - Five Wonders of the World Luxury chocolate
Olives Et Al - Rosemary & Garlic Olives
Millers Toast - Cranberry & Raisin
Lincoln Tea & Coffee Co - Columbian Filter Blend Coffee
Hawkshead Relish - Seville Orange Marmalade
Hawkshead Relish - Traditional English Mustard
Sloane's of London - Drinking Chocolate
Mighty Fine - Dark Chocolate Coated Almonds
Lincoln Tea & Coffee Co - Traditional Breakfast Tea
All You Need - Red Onion Chutney
Perry Court Farm - Sweet Apple Crisps
Elegant and English - Strawberries & Cream Biscuits
Teoni's Cookies - All Butter Shortbread
The Natural Candy Shop - Jelly Beans
Galloway Lodge Preserves - Scottish Raspberry Jam
Cornish Artisan Confectionery - Caramel Sea Salt Crumbly Fudge
Mr Filberts - Mexican Sweet Chilli Mixed Nuts
Beech's Fine Chocolates - Dark Chocolate English Mint Creams
Yorkshire Crisps - Worcester Sauce flavour
If you're lucky enough to subscribe to the Chocolate Society's box-of-the-month, you'll know all too well how glorious their small batches of seasonal chocolates are. Made by Valrhona-trained chocolatier Alasdair Garnsworthy, their subscription boxes are experimental, fun, and sophisticated.
For Valentine's, we trialled the dark chocolate salted caramel and – oh, my.
The flowing salted caramel is delicious, flowing and prepared to just shy of burnt – perfection, for us. The dark chocolate casing is thin and crisp, offering a perfect contrast. The chocolates come with a 'best by' date – so indulging in several at once is just following orders. And – delightfully for us – they're dusted in cocoa powder, a touch we like but was enough to put our chocolate-adoring child off, so they remained sole provenance of the adults in the house.
We confess, we haven't tried this selection, but it's simply too niche to exclude.
M&S have managed to rouse headlines two years running with their sale of a 'love sausage' at Valentine's – a heart-shaped pork sausage, wrapped in smoked bacon and laced with truffle.
For the full experience, you can try their cooked M&S breakfast hamper, with their heart-shaped crumpets, Rwandan coffee, cheery tomatoes, and refreshing Bellini (Valentine's Day falls on a Sunday this year, so you can have a tipple early). Afterwards, there are chocolate hearts. If your other half likes their Valentine's celebrations cheeky, this will delight.
Love sausage (460g)
Piccolino cherry tomatoes on the vine (250g)
4 I love crumpets (300g)
Single origin Rwandan ground coffee (227g)
Go gooey hearts (110g)
Peach & passion fruit Bellini (750ml) (Alcohol Content- 4%)
This pedigree brand is official chocolatier to the Queen, and it's immediately obvious why they meet with royal approval.
Smooth, delectable truffled filling, wrapped in crisp melting chocolate – we're yet to find a Charbonnel et Walker truffle we don't adore, though we have singular affection for the particularly celebratory Milk Marc de Champagne Truffles.
Award-winning London chocolate house Rococo offers delectable bon bons packaged in incredibly stylish packaging, and their Valentine's selection absolutely knocks it out of the park. On the one hand, it couldn't be more obvious: a gold embossed cupid atop a heart-shaped box.
But, as with the chocolates within, they've taken something traditional and executed perfectly. It looks amazing, and the dark, milk, and salted caramels truffles within are meltingly perfect. If you have fantasies of lounging in fluffy pjs, eating chocolates from the box like you're a Doris Day heroine, these are the chocolates you need to make it happen.
Hotel Chocolat are such a popular brand that it behoves us to include them here, although this selection didn't quite hit the mark for us.
Don't let us dissuade you – we have no taste for prosecco (too sweet, the bubbles too fat), and we find their chocolate truffles to have a curiously waxy mouthfeel.
That said, the creamed caramel puddles are deliciously moreish. If you have a sweetheart that favours the brand – and many do- they'll be utterly delighted.
Creamed Caramel Puddles Ribbon Bag
Strawberry Smoothie Selector
Pillow Pack, Melting Hearts – Milk
Ultimate Caramel Nano Slab
Fruit & Nut Nano Slab.