A box of chocolates never goes wrong with me; although I love my bars of chocolate I think a box always trumps them - there's just something about the way they're laid out, the selection to choose from, which one to go for first?!
When I saw these Marks & Spencer Personality Chocolates way back at Christmas time I just knew I had to try then; I'm pleased to see that they weren't just part of their Christmas range but are a standard feature of their chocolate selection now!
So you may wonder why these are called "Personality Chocolates" - well the box contains 5 different types of chocolate each named after a specific person and flavoured accordingly; we have :
The Duke - A balsamico praline + caramel in white chocolate
Rebecca Adams - A milk griotine cherry caramel + hazelnut praline
Lady Loxton - A milk orange tapenade and aniseed praline
Mr Grey - A dark honey caramel + sea salt praline
Miss Hannigan - A dark hazelnut crunchy praline
As you can see these are not your typical standard box of plain chocolates and this was one of the main reasons that they stood out to myself; I like that M&S have been a bit more adventurous with the flavours used to add a bit more "oomph" to the box of chocolates.
It was "The Duke" that intrigued me the most; and although I'm not normally a huge fan of white chocolate bars I'm quite partial to the filled one if done correctly. I must say I loved this one; a smooth luxurious nutty praline that has all the right hints of nut without being overly sweet whilst the caramel adds a nice sweetness but also a sharper tang from the balsamic. Heaven!
I'm not sure whether "Mr Grey" was meant to be based on the "Christian Grey" from 50 Shades; however both would probably have the tendency to make women go weak at the knees as this chocolate was delightful. The dark honey caramel gave a rich, decadent feel to the chocolate whilst the sea salt provided a nice tang on finish.
Unfortunately "Rebecca Adams" wasn't as pleasing; I mean don't get me wrong, it was still nice, but I'm not particularly fond of cherry chocolates - it had too much of an acidic tang for my liking and even though the hazelnut praline did help to balance it slightly, it wasn't my favourite.
"Lady Loxton" fared even worse; the milk orange tapenade and the aniseed praline weren't really to my tastes; I found the aniseed flavour to be overall a bit too powerful and the flavour to be too tangy + bitter. I think this chocolate would more be down to personal preferences rather than it is done badly - so if you love that tang of aniseed then this chocolates for you!
"Miss Hannigan" was the last chocolate for me to try; simple, plain but still delicious. The crunchy hazelnut praline did what it said on the tin, and, ok, it wasn't the best hazelnut praline I've had by any means but it still hit the spot and did its job of satisfying that chocolate craving.
I always enjoy trying chocolates from shops that aren't necessarily specific to the chocolate market, in order to see how they fare and I must say I was thoroughly impressed with this selection from M&S; although there were a few that didn't fare as well I think this was more down to personal preference than an atrocious chocolate! If you're wanting to try something a bit different but don't want to break the bank too much then definitely give them a go!
Taste - 7.3/10 - Some nice, some not so nice, but "The Duke" was definitely my favourite.
Texture - 7.7/10 - All nice, smooth centres encased in a correctly proportioned chocolate shell.
Appearance - 8.3/10 - These look beautiful and come presented in a wonderful slide out box that you can keep afterwards!
Price - 7.9/10 - These are priced at £8 which I think is pretty good value!
Overall - 7.8/10 - A nice sophisticated box of chocolates.
WHO FOR?I'd definitely say these are more of an adult's box of chocolates; someone looking for something a bit more sophisticated and different.
WHERE TO BUY?You can pick these up from M&S in the Food Hall section.