Sometimes simple says it best. This Valentine’s Day if you are looking for a classic gift such as chocolates or flowers, or are on a budget but want to give a tasteful, beautiful present to your loved one, consider this selection of chocolatiers and florists.
For centuries chocolate has been the gift of love. The Aztecs served chocolate drinks at weddings. Apparently the Emperor Montezuma consumed large quantities of cocoa, chocolate’s raw ingredient, before entertaining his harem. Casanova believed it was an aphrodisiac and often plied his romantic interests with gifts of chocolate.
People have been giving flowers on Valentine’s day for centuries now. The most popular flower is roses – often a single red one – but there are many contemporary alternatives on offer today. And if you have trouble choosing most florists are happy to help.
CoccoBlack has been recognised by the Scottish Borders Business Awards and won UK Best Chocolates in 2011. They are a member of the World Chocolate Masters.
Cocoa Black runs a pastry school in Edinburgh and makes wonderful cakes too. Don’t worry if you can’t get to their shop for Valentine’s Day – you can order online.
For flowers, consider Darling Buds of Kelso, which puts together some really classy arrangements and they take pride in finding the perfect arrangement for Valentine’s Day.
In Jedburgh is Stems, a florist that specialises in simple yet elegant designs. If you’re struggling to find the right blend of blooms, Stems knows its flowers and can really help.
For a true Northumberland flavour look no further than Kenspeckle.co.uk. They give the greatest favourites of yester-year a traditional artisan twist, from Northumbrian honey truffles to Puffin Beak pralines.
Kenspeckle is traditional Northumbrian word meaning distinctive or easily recognised. They aim to make their confections distinctive by bringing together the finest chocolate the world has to offer, with the unique tastes and cultures of the North-East.
The Northumbrian Chocolate Company is in the heart of Northumberland and run by Emma Burnett. It produces wonderful chocolates and fresh cream truffles that must be eaten within two weeks (yes, they’re that fresh!)
Emma is careful not to use excessive amounts of fat or sugar and her products are true Belgian chocolates.
Coquet Chocolates is another Northumberland chocolate company. It has great creative flare and makes chocolates hearts, shapes, flavoured bars, decorated truffles and chocolate sticks. The truffles in particular come in delicate and ornate designs. Personalised chocolates and party bags are available too.
For flowers, Lilly Rose is a relatively new addition to the high street in Northumberland. This Morpeth-based business offers very friendly staff who give great advice and you can find the perfect arrangement for any budget.
In Rothbury you will find Flowers and Foliage, a lovely shop that creates traditional and beautiful arrangements. This family run firm can offer help and advice and also delivers nationally and world-wide.
Tyne & Wear
Davenport’s Chocolates is one of the few chocolatiers in Tyneside.
Run by Jane Williams, she makes contemporary chocolates and added flavours include cinnamon, raspberry, rose and many more. Jane trained under a Swiss master chocolatier and the focus is on the Swiss tradition of making chocolate.
This sees the chocolate refined so that it is as smooth as possible, and there is no granular texture. The chocolates are created by making the centre first. They are then enrobed in the chocolate. These are premium chocolates that appeal to contemporary flavour and taste.
Some of the best flowers can be found at The Secret Garden, Jesmond, a Tyneside florist which offers a bespoke service and great creative flair. At last glance their website was ready for Valentine’s Day so clearly this is the place to shop for flowers for your loved one.
Katherine’s Florists is a well know Newcastle florists which “turns thoughts and emotions into flowers.” So, if you need a little help expressing how you feel this Valentine’s Day, Katherine can help.