Now, truth be told, even the most sanguine amongst us would be hard pressed to find pleasure in all that comes through the letterbox. Take today, for example; I have come home to find a note saying "windows cleaned today" (which in itself is clearly not problematic, were it not a sign that someone will knock on later and demand £6.50 of cash money that could otherwise be spent on beer), and a Boden catalogue. I have never ordered from Boden in my life, and find it astonishing that my consistent track record of showing absolutely no interest at all in their wares should justify the expense of sending me a brochure every month or so; still, if I ever need an overpriced cardigan, I shall know exactly where to look (the recycling bin, most likely).
As we get older though, we can take steps to mitigate this flood of unpleasantness and turn the tide in favour of nice, wanted items plopping onto the front door mat. In recent times, I have done this by moving ANYTHING that might be likely to send me a bill to "online only", and by subscribing to a fleet of subscription magazines that mostly involve food: so much nicer to come home to a glossy picture of a sausage roll smiling up at you from the mat. And, of course, there is - in theory - the joy of the online purchase, although this in practice often leads to its own particular set of traumas: if there's one thing worse than arriving home to a bill, it's coming home to a jaunty card telling you that your parcel has been taken away to a depot whose opening hours are between 5am and 6am on every second Saturday.
So a big hurrah then for the increasing number of companies who are deliberately designing and packaging their goods to fit through the letterbox. This includes Drop Dead Chocolates, an online supplier of luxury confectionary based in Sale, Greater Manchester, who made my day last week by sneaking up to my front door like a good fairy in the night and depositing THIS through the letterbox:
You will note the sleek, handsome box - and perhaps think that such a size and shape could not hold anywhere enough chocolate to assuage the remnants of a day's worth of M60 road rage. Au contraire: inside, my feverish hands found forty eight chocolates (those Neopolitans down the middle are stacked four deep), beautifully presented and lucky to make it into this photograph before the first of the truffles nobly gave themselves up for the greater good (mine). I've eaten about half of them now, and haven't found a duff one amongst them - the white chocolate champagne truffle is my favourite so far, with a good kick of booze and just the right texture, but whilst typing this I have also enjoyed one of the more unusual choices in the form of mint mousse in dark chocolate (although some of the little sugar crystals from the top have gone between the keys - I must make a note to let them know about this).
I was lucky enough to be sent a mixed taster box for reviewing purposes, but I would buy again - either as a gift for someone else or as an occasional treat for myself (although to be fair, this is only really feasible as I am one of those annoying people who can make a box of chocolates last for about three months, whilst poor Mr Liz sits dog-like near whatever surface is currently holding said chocolates occasionally shooting a baleful glance in their general direction). Prices start from £2.50 for a box of twelve Neopolitans, and go up to £24.50 for the larger boxes of 36. There is also the option to personalise your selection by choosing which chocolates are included, but you do need to spend a whopping £100 to qualify for free P&P.
Still, you can't argue with the quality or service here - all I need to do now is find a way of keeping Mr Liz's paws off the box when it next arrives on the front door mat; indeed, this may be a service best suited to those whose husbands do not get home from work before them...
- Drop Dead Chocolates is a Perception company; read more about their chocolatey stable here on their website.