Amelia’s Magazine | Easter Biscuits from the Biscuiteers

Biscuiteers Easter egg biscuit tin
Biscuiteers Easter egg biscuit tin.

Think buttered icing is over-rated? Fed up with cupcakes? Sick of chocolate eggs? Then how about trying something a little different this Easter? Biscuiteers have a knack of producing wonderful decorated biscuits for every occasion.

Biscuiteers Easter Biscuits-crown
Easter Egg Biscuits by Holly Rogers
Easter Egg Biscuits by Holly Rogers.

And in the run up to Easter the nice folks at Biscuiteers have sent me a delightful selection of Faberge inspired Easter eggs to sample. The tin contains nine gorgeous decorated biscuits, sick thick with sugary icing, crystals and crunchy baubles – my favourite ones feature crown designs. The Easter Egg mini collection costs £30 but if you feel like splashing out there is also the Easter Family Tin for £38.50, containing bunnies, ducklings and lambs alongside the eggs – a sure fire hit for the kids.

Biscuiteers Easter Egg Biscuits mini collection

Or, for those on a smaller budget there is also an Easter Bunny Card, with two bunnies for £9. In true Easter style the biscuits are chocolate flavoured. My one quibble would be that it’s a shame the tin is decorated with very pretty Easter illustrations that have been printed onto stickers rather than integrated into the tin so that it can easily be washed and re-used: something for the future?

Biscuiteers Easter Biscuits-bunny tin

For the monarchists out there there is also the Royal Wedding Tin, which contains crowns, Union Jacks, sparkly heels fit for a princess, a cake, a wedding dress (possibly not THE ONE, whatever that might be) and the world famous engagement ring. These biscuits come on a vanilla flavoured base as a tin of 16 for £40. Perfect if you feel like celebrating… for whatever reason.

Royal Wedding Biscuits by Rosemary Cunningham
Royal Wedding Biscuits by Rosemary Cunningham.

NEWS JUST IN: use the discount code AMELIA when ordering to get 10% off the Biscuiteers Easter range up until midday on Thursday 21st April 2011.

Categories ,Biscuiteers, ,Biscuits, ,chocolate, ,Crown, ,Cupcake, ,Easter, ,Easter Bunny Card, ,Easter Egg mini collection, ,Easter Eggs, ,Easter Family Tin, ,Engagement Ring, ,Holly Rogers, ,Icing, ,Princess, ,Rosemary Cunningham, ,Royal Wedding, ,Royal Wedding Tin, ,Union Jack, ,Wedding Dress

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Chocolate Festival at the SouthBank Centre, April 2011

Chocolate Festival
The Chocolate Festival logo, remedy on a fairtrade bag, approved get in.

I do so love to discover something by accident. This evening I went to meet my boyfriend at the SouthBank Centre for some dinner after a long day grafting over a sewing machine at a quilting class at the Papered Parlour (blog to follow) and chanced upon The Chocolate Festival. Logo: a chocolate dipped strawberry. Times are tough my friend, especially when the weather is delightful and there are free tasters at hand.

Chocolate Festival-053
Oreo Cupcakes by My Sweet Tooth Factory

Naturally I had to do the rounds whilst I waited for the boyf to turn up, and I had to sample a taster… or two. With Easter just around the corner I thought it would be nice to do a round up in case you fancy splashing out on something rather more special than your common chain store egg… all of these artisanal chocolatiers make wonderful Easter gifts.

Chocolate Festival-Cocouture
Chocolate Festival Cocouture marshmallows.

First up I sampled a marshmallow with a difference for 50p courtesy of CoCouture (geddit?) Clever indeed.

Chocolate Festival
Dunno who these are by, but aren’t they cute? Potentially Lick the Spoon?

Chocolate Festival-Artisan du Chocolat
Artisan du Chocolat egg.

Then I was woo-ed by the amazing salted caramel and passion fruit chocolates over at Artisan du Chocolat. Some £13 for a box of 24, they were generously giving away samples… which were utterly divine.

Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Rococo Chocolates

I have been given a box of drinking chocolate from Rococo Chocolates in the past, but I had no idea just how far their beautiful packaging extends. A selection of unusually flavoured chocolate bars feature packaging inspired by the Moroccan tiles in a garden behind one of their shops. And for Easter they are doing real hen’s eggs filled with praline. Very special.

Chocolate Festival-Chocolution cocoa beans
Chocolution cocoa beans

Chocolution was busy proving that raw chocolate is every bit as desirable as the cooked stuff, with a bowl of stunningly beautiful (and edible, I tried one) cocoa beans, a terracotta orange colour with an interior a beautiful shade of deep purple.

Chocolate Festival-Chocolution raw chocolate
Chocolution raw chocolate

Prettiest chocolates came courtesy of Italian chocolatiers Baruzzo, who like many others use a fine cocoa transfer designs to top them off with colourful designs. In the end I opted to buy some chocolates for my brother’s 30th birthday from William Curley, even though I got immediately sugar high off the muscavado caramel that I tried. I liked the sound of their other flavours, so I’m sure he won’t be disappointed.

Chocolate Festival-Charmaine Mok
Charmaine Mok macaroons

I’ve written about Charmaine Mok before, when I sampled her outstanding sesame macaroons at Cakes for Japan, and here she was represented I got rather confused (see below) thinking that here she was represented by the Asian/French fusion Cafe On. In fact it was chef Loretta Liu and her team who were responsible for all sorts of intriguing flavours ranging from blueberry to pink champagne and everything in between. Do check them out online!

Chocolate Festival-Cocoapod
Chocolate Festival-Cocoapod
Chocolate Festival-Cocoapod
Cocoapod goodies

Kent based Cocoapod had an extremely colourful stall full of orange and lemon and caramel naturally flavoured chocolate lollies and drops and fun transfer bookmarks… which tasted as good as they looked.

Chocolate Festival-The Big Yum
Chocolate pretzels from The Big Yum

Last but very much not least I bought a big bag of chocolate pretzels from The Big Yum – I was disappointed when Nestle discontinued theirs, so this was a real find (and a bargain at £4 a big bag)

The Chocolate Festival continues tomorrow, and there’s a packed line up of speakers to listen to as well. What the hell are you waiting for?! There is this and so much more… More info for chocolate lovers here.

Categories ,Artisan du Chocolat, ,Baruzzo, ,Cafe On, ,Charmaine Mok, ,chocolate, ,Chocolution, ,Cocoapod, ,CoCouture, ,Easter, ,Lick the Spoon, ,Loretta Liu, ,Moroccan, ,My Sweet Tooth Factory, ,Papered Parlour, ,Raw Chocolate, ,Southbank centre, ,The Big Yum, ,The Chocolate Festival, ,William Curley

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Chocolate Festival at the SouthBank Centre, April 2011

Chocolate Festival
The Chocolate Festival logo, remedy on a fairtrade bag, approved get in.

I do so love to discover something by accident. This evening I went to meet my boyfriend at the SouthBank Centre for some dinner after a long day grafting over a sewing machine at a quilting class at the Papered Parlour (blog to follow) and chanced upon The Chocolate Festival. Logo: a chocolate dipped strawberry. Times are tough my friend, especially when the weather is delightful and there are free tasters at hand.

Chocolate Festival-053
Oreo Cupcakes by My Sweet Tooth Factory

Naturally I had to do the rounds whilst I waited for the boyf to turn up, and I had to sample a taster… or two. With Easter just around the corner I thought it would be nice to do a round up in case you fancy splashing out on something rather more special than your common chain store egg… all of these artisanal chocolatiers make wonderful Easter gifts.

Chocolate Festival-Cocouture
Chocolate Festival Cocouture marshmallows.

First up I sampled a marshmallow with a difference for 50p courtesy of CoCouture (geddit?) Clever indeed.

Chocolate Festival
Dunno who these are by, but aren’t they cute? Potentially Lick the Spoon?

Chocolate Festival-Artisan du Chocolat
Artisan du Chocolat egg.

Then I was woo-ed by the amazing salted caramel and passion fruit chocolates over at Artisan du Chocolat. Some £13 for a box of 24, they were generously giving away samples… which were utterly divine.

Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Chocolate Festival-Rococo Chocolates
Rococo Chocolates

I have been given a box of drinking chocolate from Rococo Chocolates in the past, but I had no idea just how far their beautiful packaging extends. A selection of unusually flavoured chocolate bars feature packaging inspired by the Moroccan tiles in a garden behind one of their shops. And for Easter they are doing real hen’s eggs filled with praline. Very special.

Chocolate Festival-Chocolution cocoa beans
Chocolution cocoa beans

Chocolution was busy proving that raw chocolate is every bit as desirable as the cooked stuff, with a bowl of stunningly beautiful (and edible, I tried one) cocoa beans, a terracotta orange colour with an interior a beautiful shade of deep purple.

Chocolate Festival-Chocolution raw chocolate
Chocolution raw chocolate

Prettiest chocolates came courtesy of Italian chocolatiers Baruzzo, who like many others use a fine cocoa transfer designs to top them off with colourful designs. In the end I opted to buy some chocolates for my brother’s 30th birthday from William Curley, even though I got immediately sugar high off the muscavado caramel that I tried. I liked the sound of their other flavours, so I’m sure he won’t be disappointed.

Chocolate Festival-Charmaine Mok
Charmaine Mok macaroons

I’ve written about Charmaine Mok before, when I sampled her outstanding sesame macaroons at Cakes for Japan, and here she was represented I got rather confused (see below) thinking that here she was represented by the Asian/French fusion Cafe On. In fact it was chef Loretta Liu and her team who were responsible for all sorts of intriguing flavours ranging from blueberry to pink champagne and everything in between. Do check them out online!

Chocolate Festival-Cocoapod
Chocolate Festival-Cocoapod
Chocolate Festival-Cocoapod
Cocoapod goodies

Kent based Cocoapod had an extremely colourful stall full of orange and lemon and caramel naturally flavoured chocolate lollies and drops and fun transfer bookmarks… which tasted as good as they looked.

Chocolate Festival-The Big Yum
Chocolate pretzels from The Big Yum

Last but very much not least I bought a big bag of chocolate pretzels from The Big Yum – I was disappointed when Nestle discontinued theirs, so this was a real find (and a bargain at £4 a big bag)

The Chocolate Festival continues tomorrow, and there’s a packed line up of speakers to listen to as well. What the hell are you waiting for?! There is this and so much more… More info for chocolate lovers here.

Categories ,Artisan du Chocolat, ,Baruzzo, ,Cafe On, ,Charmaine Mok, ,chocolate, ,Chocolution, ,Cocoapod, ,CoCouture, ,Easter, ,Lick the Spoon, ,Loretta Liu, ,Moroccan, ,My Sweet Tooth Factory, ,Papered Parlour, ,Raw Chocolate, ,Southbank centre, ,The Big Yum, ,The Chocolate Festival, ,William Curley

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Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with Paul Tomlinson of Cocoa Hernando Chocolates

cocoahernando-chocolate case
I first tasted Cocoa Hernando chocolates when I visited the Startup Showcase at Somerset House a few months back: so when founder Paul Tomlinson offered to send me some samples of his latest ‘collection’ I of course jumped at the chance to sample some of this fabulous artisanal chocolate. The deliciously smooth flavours of Cocoa Hernando are also delightfully unusual – try Masala Chai or Chipotle Chilli – and beautifully packaged to boot. I caught up with Paul to find out a bit more about the launch of his new range.

Cocoa Hernando India
What is the ethos behind Cocoa Hernando chocolates, and what is different about your brand?
Cocoa Hernando discover the finest chocolate and most exciting flavours from around the world. It is these unusual flavours complemented by the beautiful travel inspired packaging which makes us different.

A bit like a fashion label you have curated collections of flavours: what prompted this approach to chocolate making?
Indeed. I think it’s a lovely and refined way to present the chocolate bars. I’m an avid collector of records and books which also inspired this approach. Penguin paperbacks and Factory Records especially spring to mind…..

Cocoa Hernando Himalaya
You have some very distinct flavours in your range – how do you establish what works well together?
I’ve always been obsessed with food, so it’s an absolute pleasure to experiment with different flavours. Like any creative process, you keep researching and experimenting until you come up with something that blows your mind!

It was your wonderful packaging and display that caught my eye at the start up showcase: how did you come up with these designs and who created them?
Thank you. I’m also obsessed with design, especially the styles which typified the golden age of travel. We did all the graphic design of the packaging ourselves and then commissioned an illustrator to add the magic.

Cocoa Hernando Mexico
What was the process of producing the labels?
Since discovery is a key theme of the brand, we first looked for wonderful and unusual locations from the countries of the chocolate bars. We then created extremely detailed briefs and handed them to our talented illustrator, Rui Ricardo.

I was unfortunately unable to join you for the launch of the Herbs and Spice collection: what did I miss?
You missed lots of delicious chocolate and a wonderful party in the classy surroundings of Monmouth Street. It was great to finally celebrate our achievements so far!

Cocoa Hernando Morocco
Where can fans buy bars of Cocoa Hernando chocolate?
We sell online and hope to be in certain department stores before the end of Summer. Smaller shops are starting to pick up on us now too. We also like to pop-up with our suitcases around London whenever we can, so keep an eye out.

Do you have any new launch plans you can share with us?
We’re currently working on the next collection, which I’m very excited about and we’re also planning an exciting and extended pop-up event for the end of the year. Exciting times!

You can keep in touch with Cocoa Hernando and find out about upcoming events by following them on twitter and facebook. I can’t wait to try their next collection…

Categories ,Chipotle Chilli, ,chocolate, ,Cocoa Hernando, ,Factory Records, ,Herbs and Spice collection, ,Masala Chai, ,Monmouth Street, ,Paul Tomlinson, ,Penguin, ,Rui Ricardo, ,Somerset House, ,Startup Showcase

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Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with Paul Tomlinson of Cocoa Hernando Chocolates

cocoahernando-chocolate case
I first tasted Cocoa Hernando chocolates when I visited the Startup Showcase at Somerset House a few months back: so when founder Paul Tomlinson offered to send me some samples of his latest ‘collection’ I of course jumped at the chance to sample some of this fabulous artisanal chocolate. The deliciously smooth flavours of Cocoa Hernando are also delightfully unusual – try Masala Chai or Chipotle Chilli – and beautifully packaged to boot. I caught up with Paul to find out a bit more about the launch of his new range.

Cocoa Hernando India
What is the ethos behind Cocoa Hernando chocolates, and what is different about your brand?
Cocoa Hernando discover the finest chocolate and most exciting flavours from around the world. It is these unusual flavours complemented by the beautiful travel inspired packaging which makes us different.

A bit like a fashion label you have curated collections of flavours: what prompted this approach to chocolate making?
Indeed. I think it’s a lovely and refined way to present the chocolate bars. I’m an avid collector of records and books which also inspired this approach. Penguin paperbacks and Factory Records especially spring to mind…..

Cocoa Hernando Himalaya
You have some very distinct flavours in your range – how do you establish what works well together?
I’ve always been obsessed with food, so it’s an absolute pleasure to experiment with different flavours. Like any creative process, you keep researching and experimenting until you come up with something that blows your mind!

It was your wonderful packaging and display that caught my eye at the start up showcase: how did you come up with these designs and who created them?
Thank you. I’m also obsessed with design, especially the styles which typified the golden age of travel. We did all the graphic design of the packaging ourselves and then commissioned an illustrator to add the magic.

Cocoa Hernando Mexico
What was the process of producing the labels?
Since discovery is a key theme of the brand, we first looked for wonderful and unusual locations from the countries of the chocolate bars. We then created extremely detailed briefs and handed them to our talented illustrator, Rui Ricardo.

I was unfortunately unable to join you for the launch of the Herbs and Spice collection: what did I miss?
You missed lots of delicious chocolate and a wonderful party in the classy surroundings of Monmouth Street. It was great to finally celebrate our achievements so far!

Cocoa Hernando Morocco
Where can fans buy bars of Cocoa Hernando chocolate?
We sell online and hope to be in certain department stores before the end of Summer. Smaller shops are starting to pick up on us now too. We also like to pop-up with our suitcases around London whenever we can, so keep an eye out.

Do you have any new launch plans you can share with us?
We’re currently working on the next collection, which I’m very excited about and we’re also planning an exciting and extended pop-up event for the end of the year. Exciting times!

You can keep in touch with Cocoa Hernando and find out about upcoming events by following them on twitter and facebook. I can’t wait to try their next collection…

Categories ,Chipotle Chilli, ,chocolate, ,Cocoa Hernando, ,Factory Records, ,Herbs and Spice collection, ,Masala Chai, ,Monmouth Street, ,Paul Tomlinson, ,Penguin, ,Rui Ricardo, ,Somerset House, ,Startup Showcase

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Amelia’s Magazine | Dairy Milk Gets A Conscience

In case you missed it, healing visit web everyones favourite nostalgic treat – Cadbury’s Dairy Milk – is moving with the times and going Fairtrade. Last week, cost Cadbury’s announced that from the end of Summer 2009, nurse it will receive Fairtrade certification, a move which will triple the amount of Fairtrade cocoa sold in Ghana (where Cadbury sources its cacao beans). Cadbury’s believes that this will also open up new opportunities for farmers to benefit from the Fairtrade system. It is a worthy – and savvy- move for a food item which, at least in my mind, is so rooted in the past. In recent years the general public have moved away from the old-school confectionaries and embraced the more ethically produced chocolates; Green and Blacks, Fairtrade’s own Divine chocolate to name a few. While Dairy Milk always maintained a strong foothold in the market – with 300 million bars sold annually in Britain and Ireland – Cadbury’s clearly see that the current zeitgeist is ethical, ethical, ethical and wants a piece of this pie too.

dairy%20milkresized.jpg

Am I a dissenting voice here? Is it bad form to rise a cynical eyebrow over what appears to be a good deed? At the end of the day, whether this is a PR exercise or not becomes irrelevant because there are thousands of farmers who will be better off regardless of Cadbury’s motivations. Still, while the response has been generally warm, some issues have been raised. The publics general idea of a Fairtrade business is a co-operation or small business – which Cadbury certainly is not. And while we would be forgiven for thinking that when an food item is bestowed the coveted Fairtrade status, it must be 100% Fairtrade. Not quite. Especially when it comes to something with as many ingredients as a choccie bar.

farmer%20resized.jpg

The key components of a humble square of chocolate are cocoa beans, sugar and milk. So the cacao is covered, what about the other ingredients? Wanting to do a bit of journalistic digging, I went onto Cadbury’s blog and was reassured to see that the general public remain an inquisitive and suspicious bunch. There were enough people asking about the origins of the other ingredients to warrant a response from Cadbury’s PR in the form of a written explanation and a live web Q+A. So here’s facts. The sugar is also Fairtrade certified, but the milk is not. The milk comes from British farmers, who Cadbury’s are keen to continue a relationship with. So there is a little bit of a percentage issue arising here. Barbara Crowther from Fairtrade defended this slightly tricky situation, saying

“For ingredients like cocoa and sugar which primarily grow in developing countries, our rules say that anything that can be Fairtrade, should be – 100%. Also, if a product (like chocolate or cakes) has lots of different ingredients, there must be at least one that makes up 20% of the product. Ideally, the total combination should be 50% or more (this isn’t always possible if only one ingredient can be Fairtrade. Otherwise we agree, there’s not enough Fairtrade content there to justify the FAIRTRADE Mark.”

So there you have it; some might say that Cadbury have slipped through the net with this one. The concept of what constitutes a product being Fairtrade was always fixed in my mind; perhaps I need to adapt my pre-conceived notions a touch. Still, once it gets its certification, I look forward to picking up a Dairy Milk for old times sake.

Categories ,Chocolate, ,Dairy Milk, ,Fairtrade, ,Farmers, ,Ghana

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Amelia’s Magazine | Dairy Milk Gets A Conscience

In case you missed it, healing visit web everyones favourite nostalgic treat – Cadbury’s Dairy Milk – is moving with the times and going Fairtrade. Last week, cost Cadbury’s announced that from the end of Summer 2009, nurse it will receive Fairtrade certification, a move which will triple the amount of Fairtrade cocoa sold in Ghana (where Cadbury sources its cacao beans). Cadbury’s believes that this will also open up new opportunities for farmers to benefit from the Fairtrade system. It is a worthy – and savvy- move for a food item which, at least in my mind, is so rooted in the past. In recent years the general public have moved away from the old-school confectionaries and embraced the more ethically produced chocolates; Green and Blacks, Fairtrade’s own Divine chocolate to name a few. While Dairy Milk always maintained a strong foothold in the market – with 300 million bars sold annually in Britain and Ireland – Cadbury’s clearly see that the current zeitgeist is ethical, ethical, ethical and wants a piece of this pie too.

dairy%20milkresized.jpg

Am I a dissenting voice here? Is it bad form to rise a cynical eyebrow over what appears to be a good deed? At the end of the day, whether this is a PR exercise or not becomes irrelevant because there are thousands of farmers who will be better off regardless of Cadbury’s motivations. Still, while the response has been generally warm, some issues have been raised. The publics general idea of a Fairtrade business is a co-operation or small business – which Cadbury certainly is not. And while we would be forgiven for thinking that when an food item is bestowed the coveted Fairtrade status, it must be 100% Fairtrade. Not quite. Especially when it comes to something with as many ingredients as a choccie bar.

farmer%20resized.jpg

The key components of a humble square of chocolate are cocoa beans, sugar and milk. So the cacao is covered, what about the other ingredients? Wanting to do a bit of journalistic digging, I went onto Cadbury’s blog and was reassured to see that the general public remain an inquisitive and suspicious bunch. There were enough people asking about the origins of the other ingredients to warrant a response from Cadbury’s PR in the form of a written explanation and a live web Q+A. So here’s facts. The sugar is also Fairtrade certified, but the milk is not. The milk comes from British farmers, who Cadbury’s are keen to continue a relationship with. So there is a little bit of a percentage issue arising here. Barbara Crowther from Fairtrade defended this slightly tricky situation, saying

“For ingredients like cocoa and sugar which primarily grow in developing countries, our rules say that anything that can be Fairtrade, should be – 100%. Also, if a product (like chocolate or cakes) has lots of different ingredients, there must be at least one that makes up 20% of the product. Ideally, the total combination should be 50% or more (this isn’t always possible if only one ingredient can be Fairtrade. Otherwise we agree, there’s not enough Fairtrade content there to justify the FAIRTRADE Mark.”

So there you have it; some might say that Cadbury have slipped through the net with this one. The concept of what constitutes a product being Fairtrade was always fixed in my mind; perhaps I need to adapt my pre-conceived notions a touch. Still, once it gets its certification, I look forward to picking up a Dairy Milk for old times sake.

Categories ,Chocolate, ,Dairy Milk, ,Fairtrade, ,Farmers, ,Ghana

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Amelia’s Magazine | Valentines Day 2013: Jewellery, Handmade Gifts & Discounts on Chocolates

I’ve given you some great ideas for unique handmade Valentines cards, and now I bring you a round up of beautiful and unusual gifts, including, of course, some delightful jewels.

dowse design anatomy brass pendant
Dowse Design don’t pander to the usual romantic image of Valentines, instead they have crafted an unusual gesture of love that is bound to turn heads: the Anatomy etched pendant comes in steel or brass and is made in England.

With Love Silver Necklace_Nicola Crawford_RRP £135
Jewellery designer Nicola Crawford has based her designs on the lost art of letter writing in a collection entitled With Love. These tumbling letters may well spell out your own feelings.

Georgia Wiseman Sirus Limited Edition pendant
For something more jewel encrusted, Georgia Wiseman has some glamourous earrings. I love the art deco influenced Capella design, but she has also created a special limited edition pendant for Valentines; Sirus, which looks like a modern day flint, is made with a smokey Swarovski crystal set in rose gold. She’s offering free P&P up until February 14th too.

EOTW designs Hand made Solid SIlver Earrings
We profiled Eye of The World Designs back in 2011, and since then designer Hope Von Joel has been busy building the brand, which bridges interior design and jewellery. I love these bold laminated wood and perspex earrings.

Made & Told heart ikat cushion
Moving on to other gift ideas, Made & Told are offering hand woven Ikat cushion covers with a heart pattern. They are handmade in Uzbekistan and come gift wrapped for £30 (including P&P) using the code SAINTVALENTINE. The company promotes traditional crafts from central Asia and you can watch a film about the making of the cushion on their website.

Nichollette Yardley-Moore vintage silk scarf Rose cushion
Designer Nichollette Yardley-Moore collects vintage fabrics, scarves and original flags which she then transforms into beautiful one-of-a-kind cushions. I like her romantic floral cushions, which are made up with vintage silk scarves from the 1960s

MrPS happy hearts Hankies
These pretty hankies by illustrator Robert Shadbolt are covered in smiling hearts. They are screen-printed by hand in the Mr.PS studio and come in double-packs of candy pink & sky blue, and plum & turquoise.

Chloe Cook painted teapot
If you find an overload of hearts a bit saccharine, how about this starry hand painted teapot by Chloe Cook?

M.Hulot Strapped howe red bag
Or how about a beautiful rich red hand made leather Howe clutch from M.Hulot?

London Kills Me Reclaimed slate Heart
Slate hearts from London Kills Me are hand cut from reclaimed roof slate, much of it from the nineteenth century, meaning that each one has a slightly different patina. They can be written on in chalk pen: making them an ideal alternative to a paper card.

sabina savage hummingbird scarf
This wool and silk mix scarf by Sabina Sauvage features four bold hummingbirds and comes with a lovely blood red border.

Charlotte Linton Cove_paisley scarf
There’s something a bit, I don’t know, meaty, about this unusual bright red Cove Paisley scarf by designer Charlotte Linton. It would make an unusual gift, the swirls reminiscent of hearts and body parts.

David Shillinglaw Double Heart painted bottle
Artist David Shillinglaw offers beautiful hand painted bottles, which come with a short personal message: perfect for a beer lover perhaps?

YouTube Preview Image
And: for something a bit different, how about a personalised serenade over the phone from consummate karaoke professionals Hot Breath (above). ‘Intimate, passionate and 100% from the heart. All sung by a professional amateur to the best of their ability.’

To find exclusive handmade designs, go no further than the Love.Make Designs pop up shop at Craft Central’s Corner Shop in Farringdon, London from the 11-17th of February.

Luxury-Valentine-Gifts-My Voucher Codes Chocolates Hotel Chocolat
And don’t forget, chocolates will always go down a treat, so why not take advantage of some great discounts at My Voucher Codes? Get 10% off any purchase from Hotel Chocolat: how about their Sealed With a Kiss selection, which comes in a pretty heart shaped box?

Thorntons Be My Valentine chocolate selection my voucher codes
Or you could really make an impression with this Be My Valentine chocolates selection from Thorntons, with a bespoke message hand iced onto a chocolate tag. Take advantage of My Voucher Codes and get a free box of chocolates when you spend £20 with Thorntons, plus free delivery on orders of £25 or more.

To round off the blog, here’s a clever infographic describing spending patterns on Valentines Day, brought to you by the folks at My Voucher Codes.

Valentines Day spending patterns infographic
Fancy being featured in one of my regular round ups? Make sure you follow me on twitter @ameliagregory: most of these designers responded to open callouts for Valentines ideas.

Categories ,2013, ,anatomy, ,Be My Valentine, ,bespoke, ,Capella, ,Charlotte Linton, ,Chloe Cook, ,chocolate, ,Cove Paisley, ,Craft Central, ,cushions, ,David Shillinglaw, ,discounts, ,Dowse Design, ,Eye of The World Designs, ,Georgia Wiseman, ,gifts, ,handmade, ,Hope Von Joel, ,Hot Breath, ,Hotel Chocolat, ,Howe clutch, ,Infographic, ,jewellery, ,Karaoke, ,London Kills Me, ,Love.Make Designs, ,M.Hulot, ,Made & Told, ,Mr PS, ,My Voucher Codes, ,Nichollette Yardley-Moore, ,Nicola Crawford, ,Robert Shadbolt, ,Sabina Sauvage, ,Sealed With a Kiss, ,Sirus, ,Swarovski, ,The Corner Shop, ,Thorntons, ,Uzbekistan, ,Valentine’s Day, ,Valentines, ,Vouchers, ,With Love

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Amelia’s Magazine | Valentines Day 2013: Jewellery, Handmade Gifts & Discounts on Chocolates

I’ve given you some great ideas for unique handmade Valentines cards, and now I bring you a round up of beautiful and unusual gifts, including, of course, some delightful jewels.

dowse design anatomy brass pendant
Dowse Design don’t pander to the usual romantic image of Valentines, instead they have crafted an unusual gesture of love that is bound to turn heads: the Anatomy etched pendant comes in steel or brass and is made in England.

With Love Silver Necklace_Nicola Crawford_RRP £135
Jewellery designer Nicola Crawford has based her designs on the lost art of letter writing in a collection entitled With Love. These tumbling letters may well spell out your own feelings.

Georgia Wiseman Sirus Limited Edition pendant
For something more jewel encrusted, Georgia Wiseman has some glamourous earrings. I love the art deco influenced Capella design, but she has also created a special limited edition pendant for Valentines; Sirus, which looks like a modern day flint, is made with a smokey Swarovski crystal set in rose gold. She’s offering free P&P up until February 14th too.

EOTW designs Hand made Solid SIlver Earrings
We profiled Eye of The World Designs back in 2011, and since then designer Hope Von Joel has been busy building the brand, which bridges interior design and jewellery. I love these bold laminated wood and perspex earrings.

Made & Told heart ikat cushion
Moving on to other gift ideas, Made & Told are offering hand woven Ikat cushion covers with a heart pattern. They are handmade in Uzbekistan and come gift wrapped for £30 (including P&P) using the code SAINTVALENTINE. The company promotes traditional crafts from central Asia and you can watch a film about the making of the cushion on their website.

Nichollette Yardley-Moore vintage silk scarf Rose cushion
Designer Nichollette Yardley-Moore collects vintage fabrics, scarves and original flags which she then transforms into beautiful one-of-a-kind cushions. I like her romantic floral cushions, which are made up with vintage silk scarves from the 1960s

MrPS happy hearts Hankies
These pretty hankies by illustrator Robert Shadbolt are covered in smiling hearts. They are screen-printed by hand in the Mr.PS studio and come in double-packs of candy pink & sky blue, and plum & turquoise.

Chloe Cook painted teapot
If you find an overload of hearts a bit saccharine, how about this starry hand painted teapot by Chloe Cook?

M.Hulot Strapped howe red bag
Or how about a beautiful rich red hand made leather Howe clutch from M.Hulot?

London Kills Me Reclaimed slate Heart
Slate hearts from London Kills Me are hand cut from reclaimed roof slate, much of it from the nineteenth century, meaning that each one has a slightly different patina. They can be written on in chalk pen: making them an ideal alternative to a paper card.

sabina savage hummingbird scarf
This wool and silk mix scarf by Sabina Sauvage features four bold hummingbirds and comes with a lovely blood red border.

Charlotte Linton Cove_paisley scarf
There’s something a bit, I don’t know, meaty, about this unusual bright red Cove Paisley scarf by designer Charlotte Linton. It would make an unusual gift, the swirls reminiscent of hearts and body parts.

David Shillinglaw Double Heart painted bottle
Artist David Shillinglaw offers beautiful hand painted bottles, which come with a short personal message: perfect for a beer lover perhaps?

YouTube Preview Image
And: for something a bit different, how about a personalised serenade over the phone from consummate karaoke professionals Hot Breath (above). ‘Intimate, passionate and 100% from the heart. All sung by a professional amateur to the best of their ability.’

To find exclusive handmade designs, go no further than the Love.Make Designs pop up shop at Craft Central’s Corner Shop in Farringdon, London from the 11-17th of February.

Luxury-Valentine-Gifts-My Voucher Codes Chocolates Hotel Chocolat
And don’t forget, chocolates will always go down a treat, so why not take advantage of some great discounts at My Voucher Codes? Get 10% off any purchase from Hotel Chocolat: how about their Sealed With a Kiss selection, which comes in a pretty heart shaped box?

Thorntons Be My Valentine chocolate selection my voucher codes
Or you could really make an impression with this Be My Valentine chocolates selection from Thorntons, with a bespoke message hand iced onto a chocolate tag. Take advantage of My Voucher Codes and get a free box of chocolates when you spend £20 with Thorntons, plus free delivery on orders of £25 or more.

To round off the blog, here’s a clever infographic describing spending patterns on Valentines Day, brought to you by the folks at My Voucher Codes.

Valentines Day spending patterns infographic
Fancy being featured in one of my regular round ups? Make sure you follow me on twitter @ameliagregory: most of these designers responded to open callouts for Valentines ideas.

Categories ,2013, ,anatomy, ,Be My Valentine, ,bespoke, ,Capella, ,Charlotte Linton, ,Chloe Cook, ,chocolate, ,Cove Paisley, ,Craft Central, ,cushions, ,David Shillinglaw, ,discounts, ,Dowse Design, ,Eye of The World Designs, ,Georgia Wiseman, ,gifts, ,handmade, ,Hope Von Joel, ,Hot Breath, ,Hotel Chocolat, ,Howe clutch, ,Infographic, ,jewellery, ,Karaoke, ,London Kills Me, ,Love.Make Designs, ,M.Hulot, ,Made & Told, ,Mr PS, ,My Voucher Codes, ,Nichollette Yardley-Moore, ,Nicola Crawford, ,Robert Shadbolt, ,Sabina Sauvage, ,Sealed With a Kiss, ,Sirus, ,Swarovski, ,The Corner Shop, ,Thorntons, ,Uzbekistan, ,Valentine’s Day, ,Valentines, ,Vouchers, ,With Love

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Amelia’s Magazine | Lucky’s London Exclusive Chocolate Cake Collection inspired by Alice in Wonderland: Honey Time

Lucky's Honey Time chocolates by Kirstie Battson
Lucky’s Honey Time chocolates by Kirstie Battson.

Love chocolate? Love cake? How about a unique combination of the two? Well, information pills the good people at Lucky’s London have decided to whack these two yummy delights together in a delicious new collection which they asked if I would like to sample. Well, I’d be a fool to say no.

Luckys chocolate review
Luckys chocolate Honey Time review
Luckys chocolate Honey Time review

The Lucky’s luxury cake range is inspired by their favourite book, Alice in Wonderland. I tried the Honey Time gift set, comprising of several exciting gingerish honey based morsels in a (fake) fur lined box: Hurry Bunny is covered with white chocolate and has an intense blueberry compote on top. Sour Kick is a moist combination of milk chocolate and apricot compote. Coco Rush has a layer of oozy coconut beneath dark chocolate. Lazy Rabbit combines milk chocolate with a Baileys infused ganache and walnut brittle. Fancy Fudge and Nutty Delay complete the mix.

Lucky's in Wonderland by Laura Frame
Lucky’s in Wonderland by Laura Frame.

All the cakes are fully enrobed in premium Grand Cru Valrhona chocolate from France which means that they have a long shelf life of up to 8 weeks. They taste delicious, and would make a unique gift for that someone special who loves cake… and chocolate.

Luckys vista
Lucky’s London has great design by creative director Fabio Buzzati, who is the co-creator of Lucky’s with Armand Falcao.

Another exciting concept being pioneered by Lucky’s is Lucky Cards – wherein customers will be asked to chose from one of a range of beautifully designed cards with an exclusive code that can then be used to claim a free gift when it arrives with their order. Lucky Cards are coming soon, but in the meantime you can marvel at their lovely design.

Luckys London Chocolates
Luckys Chocolates Mad Hatter Gift Set of 12
Also available: Lucky’s Chocolates Mad Hatter Gift Set of 12.

Categories ,Alice in Wonderland, ,Armand Falcao, ,Baileys, ,Cake, ,chocolate, ,Coco Rush, ,Coconut, ,Compote, ,Fabio Buzzati, ,Fancy Fudge, ,france, ,Gift, ,Grand Cru Valrhona, ,Honey, ,Honey Time, ,Hurry Bunny, ,Kirstie Battson, ,Laura Frame, ,Lazy Rabbit, ,Lucky Cards, ,Lucky’s London, ,Luxury, ,Mad Hatter, ,Nutty Delay, ,Sour Kick

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