When I was 9 years old, my mum took me to Harrods for the first time. Long before the Al Fayed nouveau riche years, Harrods was still then the grande dame of department stores. My brother and I had each been given £10 by our grandparents to take on our London trip, and whilst the brother hung on to his anticipating a toy splurge at Hamleys later, I made a beeline for the delights of the luxury goods store.
I purchased just one thing that day - a beautiful cotton and silk mix handkerchief in fuchsia pink with the Harrods logo hand-stitched in white in one corner. That hankie is still going strong to this day, and if anything the fabric is even more beautiful than it was then. I adore it. Now why I am telling you this anecdote when this should be a chocolate review? My point, dear reader, is that I am a believer in quality over quantity. Quality lasts, quality is worth paying extra for, quality counts.
My elder daughter has inherited the same belief in luxury, quality goods, exclaiming over luxe fabrics in The Little White Company and turning her tiny nose up at Primarni rubbish. The same goes for chocolate. This girl knows her chocolate, and already passes on the cheap Christmas confectionery in favour of the adorable Lindt snowmen and Santas; and a gold foil-wrapped Lindt bunny is a ubiquitous Easter gift. So when some products with that familiar golden logo appeared at the door, Lara was very excited indeed. As were the rest of us, of course!
We were asked to sample three of the Excellence bars: Orange Intense; Caramel and Extra Creamy. Following on from my mention of quality above, you need only one large and delicious square of these bars at a time to know you are in for a real treat. The Orange Intense is made from dark chocolate, but the orange flavour removes any bitterness from the dark chocolate, sufficient that both Lara and Sophia enjoyed a piece too. I loved the extreme orangey-ness of the flavour too, making it a great after-dinner chocolate.
I found the Caramel - dark chocolate with caramel brittle pieces and a hint of sea salt - a little overwhelming, but Steve (our resident dark chocolate fan - the higher the cocoa content the better!) loved it. There is just enough saltiness to meet the sweetness of the caramel and provide a party of flavours on your tongue. The Extra Creamy bar was, perhaps predictably, a HUGE hit with the girls. Intensely creamy and delicious, melting milk chocolate is just the kind of thing you want in those 'I need some chocolate!!' moments. Oh come on, that can't be just me?!
The 100g bars retail at £1.89 each, and are widely available.
First of all, I just adore the amber coloured box, it's such a distinctive and beautiful colour, and the shiny individually wrapped treats inside look like such an indulgence. This would make a delightful gift. With aromas of burnt sugar and toffee/caramel wafting up from the wrapper, it was time to indulge! The new Caramel flavour is made from the usual decadent melting milk chocolate, but with the addition of caramel, and has a rich, chocolatey centre.
Surprisingly they are not too sweet, very indulgent and creamy but not overly sweet, although I think you could (should!) only eat one or two at a time. The little balls do literally melt in the mouth, and are just perfect with a cup of coffee. Absolutely delicious! As for the girls, Lara didn't like the caramelly flavour, but Sophia loves them!
The Lindor Caramel retail at £4.59 for a 200g box, and the same flavour is also available as a 100g bar which would be lovely!! Just make sure you store them in the fridge in this hot weather.
Definitely quality worth paying for!
You can view the full range of Lindt products, and buy online, on their website. Yum!