Who wouldn’t want to receive a monthly box of chocolates through their mailbox, especially in these unsettled times when treats are essential? Chocolatiers across the country offer selections of milk, white or dark, chocolate truffles, bars or ganaches, in exciting flavors on a monthly rolling subscription, or you can pay up front for a pre-determined amount of time. Here are some of the best chocolate clubs to choose from for decadent treats on World Chocolate Day, 7 July, or all year round.
Cocoa Runners (from £19.95/month) launched five years ago with a “bean to bar” offering that appeals to serious chocolate aficionados. Just as the way grapes are grown and nurtured is critical for the quality of great wine, the same is true for cocoa beans and chocolate. Soil conditions, climate and the care and attention of the farmers and chocolate makers all impact the final product. The best chocolate often comes from chocolate makers who have a direct relationship with the farmers they buy from. This direct trade also cuts out middlemen and ensures higher payments to cocoa farmers in some of the world’s poorest countries. Subscribe to Cocoa Runners and you’ll receive four small batch, single estate craft chocolate bars each month through your letterbox, wherever you are in the world. The bars are chosen from over 100 makers, with written notes detailing the stories behind the bar, bean, maker and farmer.
London luxury chocolatier Paul Young has a popular monthly box of 16 chocolates selected from house and seasonal collections. This artisan chocolatier is known for his unusual and interesting flavors and textures. A recent subscription box included flavors like tea and malted milk biscuit, gin and pink lemonade, bakewell tart, peanut butter and raspberry and pineapple upside down cake. A six-month mail order subscription is £199.80 or twelve months for £375.
The Chocolatier’s founder Aneesh Popat was recently voted as one of the 1,000 most influential Londoners. This award-winning chocolatier has a clientele that includes royalty, Michelin-starred restaurants, luxury hotels, department stores and leading global brands. His accolades include “The True Innovation in Fine Chocolate” award by The Academy of Chocolate for an experimental approach to fine chocolate. The monthly subscription box (£24.95) includes 18 delicious water ganache truffles and pralines in six flavors. The chocolates are made using single origin cacao and natural ingredients, without any cream or butter. There’s also a vegan subscription box available.
The Chocolate Society (box of the month £22.50) is a small team of chocolatiers based in Bruton, a village in rural Somerset. Every month their chocolatiers create a brand new box of the month with eighteen chocolates in six flavors. Only 750 of these mouth-watering boxes of chocolates are made each month so they tend to sell out quickly. As the chocolates are made using only fresh cream and butter and real herbs and spices, they have a six-month shelf life but they’re so good they definitely won’t last that long. Their June box was made up of customer suggestions, with the following six creative flavors: Peanut Butter and Jelly (raspberry caramel and peanut praline); Chai Latte (milk chocolate chai latte ganache); Mango and Coconut (mango caramel and coconut ganache); Rhubarb and Custard (rhubarb gel and custard ganache); Marmalade on Toast (orange gel and toasted sourdough praline); and Amaretto Affogato (white chocolate vanilla ganache, milk chocolate amaretto ganache, dark chocolate espresso ganache).
Harry Specters (9 chocolate box/ £12 for 12 months) produces handmade, preservative-free chocolates in Cambridgeshire, with the help of autistic employees. The company was founded by Mona, Shaz and their son Ash, who has autism. The trio wanted to create a business that would provide employment for young people with autism and they are involved in every aspect of the business – from making and packaging the products to administration, design and photography. Aside from the company’s admirable altruistic aspect, the chocolates themselves are excellent and have won numerous awards. With enticing and imaginative flavors such as banana caramel, rose and cardamom, blueberry smoothy, passionfruit and lemongrass – what’s not to like?
Love Cocoa (3 bar monthly subscription £10 or 6 bars £20) was founded by James Cadbury, great-great-great grandson of John Cadbury who set up Cadbury, the much-loved British chocolate company almost 200 years ago. For your monthly subscription, you can either choose your own flavors or opt to be surprised by letting the Love Cocoa team select what will to be sent to you. The flavors in dark and milk chocolate are certainly enticing, ranging from Strawberry Champagne and Gin and Tonic to English Mint, Honeycomb, Maldon Sea Salt, Salted Caramel and Earl Grey. Vegan options are also available. Ingredients are sourced from British suppliers. The chocolate itself is manufactured in a family-run British factory that sources fair trade and organic cocoa from farmers in Columbia, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. The bars are in attractive, colorful packaging and arrive through your letterbox in a slim parcel. For every bar ordered, a new tree is planted in partnership with Trees for the Future. In 2020, Love Cocoa aims to plant 500,000 trees, in Northern Cameroon by planting one tree with every product sold.
Much loved London chocolatier Rococo (4 quarterly boxes of 25 chocolates £139) has launched a new subscription offering, available as a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly delivery. Rococo has won plenty of awards from the Academy of Chocolate and the International Chocolate Awards, leading to the award of Chocolatier of the Year and the inaugural Golden Bonbon Award, for the highest-scoring chocolate of the year. No two boxes of Rococo Fresh are the same and their fresh chocolates, change with the seasons. They’re handmade in small batches in their London kitchen by Head Chocolatier Mireille Discher and her team of chocolatiers. Expect moreish flavors like Pistachio Praline, Miso Caramel, Matcha Latte-White Truffle and Banoffee Caramel.