Check yourselves in for festive fun at Hotel Chocolat

Hotel Chocolat chocolate Christmas tree

We’ve been busy doing lots of Christmas-themed posts in the past couple of weeks. So much so that we need to give our own Christmas plans a little more attention maybe – especially on the Yuletide gift front.

Hotel Chocolat packaging | H is for Home

We’ve just been sent a beautiful chocolate parcel by Hotel Chocolat and it got us thinking… chocolate has to be the best foolproof Christmas present ever. We’re don’t know the exact percentages involved, but surely there aren’t many people who don’t like a bit of chocolate! In fact, in all my years, I’ve only ever met one person that doesn’t like chocolates… and I think they were just in denial! You can be pretty confident that a present involving chocolate will be a big hit with most people.

Christmas Hotel Chocolat

The standard newsagent bar of chocolate is fine for everyday consumption however, at Christmas you want something just a little bit special – whether it be superior quality, creative flavours or festive themes & packaging. Fortunately, Hotel Chocolat has built it’s reputation on fulfilling all three.

Hotel Chocolat Christmas stocking | H is for Home

Chocolate is the perfect gift idea for grown ups and for children. Kids especially like the fun shapes, novelty packaging, exciting flavours and quirky twists on a Christmas theme. The chocolate parcel stocking we received contains some lovely little treats including creamed caramel puddles, a sleigh team and Santa on a stick!

Children's chocolate from Hotel Chocolat | H is for Home

The kids’ section on the Hotel Chocolat website contains a myriad of chocolate-themed Santas, snowmen, robins, penguins, snowflakes, puddings and the like. We’re looking forward to trying our novelty reindeer/ we enjoyed sampling our novelty reindeer, but perhaps most grown ups will be looking towards more sophisticated options.

Hotel Chocolat & Prosecco gift box

The classic champagne & chocolate springs to mind. A variety of choices are available on this front. There are other boozy options too including gin, Prosecco or even beer & chocolate collections. Or how about incorporating the chocolate into the drink itself with delicious salted caramel cocoa vodka?

Hotel Chocolat wreath box

There are things for the whole family to share – such as Christmas crackers, advent calendars and tree decorations. There are hampers too with something for everyone to enjoy. Some of the hampers and boxed collections are so attractive that they’d make a wonderful centrepiece display for those festive get together meals and parties.

Hotel Chocolat subscription box

The Hotel Chocolat website is a joy to browse – full of tempting choices for all occasions. Chocolate is wonderful gift for Christmas, however – Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day and anniversaries provide plenty of other chocolatey opportunities too!

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Top 5 Christmas gadget gifts to get this holiday season

Gold paper wrapped Christmas presents

It’s that time again! The most wonderful time of the year. The season that brings families together in the spirit of giving and joy. Depending on how good you are with picking presents, there might just be a tinge of terror mixed in with all the merriment.

We’ve all been either the perpetrator or the recipient of what can honestly only be described as a less than stellar gift. Maybe even a terrible one. We’re looking at you, pair of socks and multi-coloured, comedy sweater!

As much as we know that gifts are not really what Christmas is all about, it certainly helps to feel confident about the presents you bought and to see sincere joy and amazement in your loved ones’ faces. If in the past you’ve stood in shops, helpless and surrounded by too much choice, this article’s for you.

We’ve decided to take on the role of Santa’s elves and help you come up with some fantastic gift ideas. We’ll focus on gadgets in this post. Gadgets always make great gifts because they tend to be functional and useful, new ones are launched each year, and there’s such a variety available today that it definitely isn’t solely the domain of dads or teenagers any longer.

So, without further ado, let’s see what great Christmas gadget gifts you can get to help spread some festive cheer this season.

XBOX ONE X

Xbox One X

Proudly dubbed the “World’s most powerful console” by its creators, you can rest assured that any console gamer in your family would be absolutely thrilled to receive this gift. Playing games in native 4K HDR has been the dream of gamers for a long time now. To make things even better, all pre-existing Xbox One games will be compatible on the X so it’s a great choice as an upgrade. Especially considering the recent release of some big game titles such as Assassin’s Creed: Origins and Shadow of War that can now be taken full advantage of.

Who’s it for?

Practically any console gamer you know would be ecstatic with this gift.

Alternatives

  • PlayStation 4 Pro: Very similar to the Xbox One X, this console was brought out as a more powerful version of the PS 4. Although not as powerful as the One X, PS is known for the most tantalising, exclusive games.

DJI Mavic Pro drone

DJI Mavic Pro drone

What might have seemed like just a fad a few years ago, they have proved to be anything but. Drones are still popular and more in demand than ever. We’ve only recently begun to realise the potential for these awesome gadgets, for even the average person. From shooting incredible holiday videos to drone racing with VR headsets, they’ve captured the imagination. The DJI Mavic Pro Drone is a higher-end drone and comes packed with capabilities that more than justify that price tag. It has a 12.35 megapixel stabilised camera that can shoot 4K video in up to 30fps and boasts a 27-minute flight time.

Alternatives

  • Parrot Bebop 2: This is a more affordable and slightly lower-end alternative. The biggest downsides being that it’s not as easy to pack up and go as the DJI and doesn’t feature the same build quality.
  • GDU O2 Plus drone: A more direct competitor for the DJI Mavic, this drone features almost all the same capabilities and has a very similar aesthetic.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite e-reader

Amazon Kindle E-reader

What better gift can you give to the bookworm in your family than a Kindle e-reader? A device that lets you store hundreds… even thousands of books on a single, hand-held, lightweight, portable, tablet-like device? What’s even better, is that the E ink electronic screens are anti-glare so that they don’t strain your eyes and can be read in bright light with ease. Some newer models also come with built-in LEDs to self-illuminate in low light conditions. To top it off, these devices provide you with the widest access to books straight from Amazon itself. The Kindle Paperwhite and Oasis are variations that come enhanced features such as higher resolution screens and the Oasis is even waterproof.

Who’s it for?

Anyone who loves books and is constantly on the go.

Alternatives

  • Kobo Glo HD: The Kobo Glo HD is a like for like replacement for the Amazon Kindle. It’s definitely one of their staunchest competitors in a market dominated by Kindle. This specific model has a similar screen and most of the same features as the Paperwhite.

Sphero R2D2 droid

Sphero R2-D2 app-enabled droid action figure

Since the start of the Star Wars story all those years ago, our hearts & minds have been captured by the adorable and capable android, R2-D2. This unlikely looking droid managed to be both cute, yet completely indispensable with its emotive beeps and bleeps and multitude of tools. The newest in a line of in-phone, app-controlled droids, this one promises to be just as much fun and rekindle your love for Star Wars.

Who’s it for?

It’s suitable for all ages. As long as you can play games on an app you can handle this droid. A fantastic gift for any Star Wars fan in your family or one who has a love for novel gadgets.

Alternatives

  • Sphero BB-8 app-enabled droid: The BB-8 managed to do the seemingly impossible: become a worthy successor to R2-D2 and be just as adorable. It came out a few years ago and reviews have been mostly positive.
  • BB-9E app-enabled droid: This is the “evil twin” of the BB-8. Most users will prefer the BB-8 but this is a great addition if you want to complete the collection.

We hope you’ve found some fantastic and appropriate Christmas gift ideas on our list! Now, with your shopping list done you can finally sit back, relax, and take in all the merriment going around this festive season. If nothing else, maybe you’ve found an idea for a present you yourself want and can now go hint to your family members. And don’t forget to set up your workstation for the new year with a desk from Jason L!

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Etsy List: Christmas foodie gifts

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Christmas foodie gifts Etsy List curated by H is for Home

One of the real pleasures of Christmas is the foodstuffs that are once a year treats or distinctive to the season. Sometimes you pop them into your own festive shopping basket, and other times (even better) you’re given gifts that make your mouth water. Chocolates, cakes, relishes and the like… we’re getting excited! Here are a few favourite Christmas foodie gifts we found on Etsy.

Christmas foodie gifts
Curated by H is for Home

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Adelle’s Christmas haul

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Adelle's Christmas haul

Justin bought me lovely presents again this year, so I thought I’d sing his praises and share a few pics of my Christmas haul.

Vintage industrial iron letter A

My presents were marked with this huge lovely old letter A – just in case I couldn’t find the large pile of gifts when I awoke on Christmas morning!

Tweed jacket

The first thing I opened was this gorgeous coat in Burren tweed. It’s made by Jack Murphy and has a modern country look. It’s perfect for all kinds of occasion – walking the dog on a sunny, crisp winters morning; browsing the shops in one of our Yorkshire market towns – or a day at the races all spring to mind!

Tweed jacket detail

As Justin knows, the shade of purple in this tweed is just about my favourite colour. He also bought me some cosy, fleecy pyjamas which carried on the theme. The purple ones have a sweet little heart design and the grey ones have festive snowflakes!

Pyjamas detail

Justin usually buys me a piece of jewellery at Christmas. This year he chose something from Element in Hebden Bridge. The stone is polished flint with a silver mount. I love the simple Scandinavian style and the fact that something beautiful has been created from such a humble material.

Polished flint ring from Element in Hebden Bridge

Next came some vintage fashion! Justin spends a lot of his time trawling for vintage loveliness, so I do quite well for handbags and the like. These two pieces date from the 1970s – a lovely pale blue, soft leather handbag and a roomy vanity case in yellow ochre.

Vintage handbag and vanity case

And what about this gorgeous little man! Well, he’s not so little – standing 16 inches tall. The robin’s breast is covered in Wiltshire Berry R Tana Lawn patterned fabric from the Liberty Art Fabrics Collection. I’d mentioned how gorgeous I thought he was when I was sourcing gift ideas for our blog. Then lo & behold – this wonderful splash of colour emerged from a simple brown paper package. He’s making me smile just looking at this photograph!

Large Liberty print robin figure and pair of bird books by Matt Sewell

There were more charming birds in the form of this little books. They’re produced by a favourite illustrator of ours, Matt Sewell. They’re entitled Our Garden Birds and Our Woodland Birds, so they’ll cover many of the birds I’ll see on our walks.

Pair of bird books by Matt Sewell

And Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a chocolatey treat! He bought me some luxury chocolate spread – perfect for the morning croissants.

Tin of fine chocolate spread

I think this girl done good!

Gifts for… The last minute

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Selection of last minute gifts for Christmas

It’s the 22nd of December and you’ve suddenly realised that there’s a gaping hole in your Christmas present list. What do you do? Where can you go for those last minute gifts… you know, ones that don’t look as though they’re last minute gifts?

Don’t panic, we’ve got a few recommendations. Some of these are ‘virtual’ gifts such as the charity support and activity days. You can simply email your gift to the recipient on Christmas day. The others such as the chocolates and the flowers can be ordered as late as the afternoon of the 23rd for delivery before Christmas Day.

  1. Tasting for two choice voucher: £30, Buyagift
  2. Adopt the snow pack: from £10 per month, WWF
  3. Contribute towards building 3 maternity wards in a rural hospital in Kenya: £20, Present Aid
  4. The Christmas luxe: £32, Hotel Chocolat
  5. Christmas rose gift bag with truffles: £20, Moonpig
  6. 2 for 1 pamper day at Bannatyne’s Health Club: £79, Prezzybox
  7. One night glamping break collection: £59, Virgin Experience Days

Gifts for… the Home

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selection of Christmas gifts for the home

We’re all busy buying presents for each other at this time of year. Spare a thought for your home – it has feelings too! 🙂

  1. Red Liberty print felt stocking: £39.95, Liberty
  2. FÉE DES NEIGES duvet cover: £35-£75, La Redoute
  3. Macedonia coasters: £8 each, Anthropologie
  4. Stem Jacquard clementine towels: £4-£38, Orla Kiely
  5. Marimekko Kukkuluuruu tin: £15, John Lewis
  6. Country Living – Modern Rustic: £9.99, Hearst Magazines
  7. Zigzag tiles long matchbox: £10, The Conran Shop
  8. Bugatti Vera kettle in orange: £189, Amara
  9. Three white & copper leaf tea light holders: £20, Cox & Cox