Published on February 13, 2013 | by Tsubasa Kawata

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Sweet like chocolate

La Maison du Chocolat products.

La Maison du Chocolat offer special chocolate assortments for this Valentine’s Day. [Flickr: EverJean]

Do you feel stuck on what to buy or where to go to get something for your loved one this Valentine’s Day? Well, fear not. Arts London News has compiled a list of our top five places to buy your Valentine’s gifts this February 14.

La Maison du Chocolat

46 Piccadilly, London, W1J 0DS

Just a few minutes walk from Piccadilly Circus, La Maison du Chocolat gives you a variety of chocolate and sweets which could be the perfect present this Valentine’s Day.

The shop stocks two types of Valentine chocolate boxes – the Heart Box is an assortment of praline and ganache placed in a cute heart-shaped box, and the Valentine Box is a special assortment of exclusive duos of flavours such as Woodsy Caramel and Peppery Vanilla.

Not only does the shop offer chocolate, but it also sells cakes, macarons, pralines and exclusive chocolate, ensuring you can find exactly what you are looking for this February 14.

The Heart Box and Valentine Box come in at £8.50 for four pieces or £15.00 for nine pieces, while the shop also provides normal chocolate boxes from £4.80 for four pieces or £6.70 for six pieces.

Minamoto Kitchoan

44 Piccadilly, London, W1J 0DS

For people who are cloyed with chocolate, Minamoto Kitchoan is the best place to go and try traditional Japanese sweets called Wagashi.

Normally made from plant ingredients such as red bean, kidney bean and sweet potato, Wagashi contain almost no animal fat, making them extremely healthy and pretty low in calories.

The best selling Wagashi at Minamoto Kitchoan are Tsuya, which contain a sweet red bean paste sandwiched between sweet, soft and fluffy mini pancakes. Offering a completely different flavour to what you would have tasted from westernised sweet shops, Tsuya are quite reasonable at £2.00 for one or £11.50 for five.

The other Wagashi they sell – made from chestnut and potato – are popular among the locals, whilst Minamoto Kitchoan also offers some western sweets such as Baumkuchen and Bouchée.

Leonidas

75 New Bond Street, London, W1S 1RU

Leonidas is a traditional Belgium confectionery shop that sells some of the most popular chocolate choices among the Flemish.

There are many types of Valentine’s Day chocolate gifts, where most of them focus on traditional packaging designs such as the heart-shaped box. Leonidas uses fabric wrapping for some of their Valentine’s products, creating a luxuriousness that encases the abundant flavours of chocolate, that include; milk, white, grapefruit, lemon and vanilla.

The shop manager recommends the ‘Velvet Heart with Heart Shaped Milk Praline’ – which is perfect if you are celebrating Valentine’s Day on a budget, as it only costs £2.90.

The ‘Valentine Heart with Assortment’ is a good choice if you are planning on spoiling your loved one this February 14, coming in at the more expensive price of £9.00 for 90g or £16.99 for 220g.

Leonidas also offers cookies, cakes, pies, marzipans and muffins, which can be eaten in the café area inside the shop

Cybercandy

7 East Yard, Camden Lock, London, NW1 8AL

What better way to surprise your partner this Valentine’s Day, than treating them to some retro classics reminiscent of their childhood? With four stores across the capital – in Covent Garden, Islington, Camden and Shoreditch – Cybercandy offer the ultimate in candy experiences.

Offering British classics like Giant Parma Violets, Jawbreakers and Wham bars, you are spoilt for choice on what sugary treats to buy this Valentine’s Day.

Or why not try some tooth-rotting delights from across the pond? Cybercandy also sells American classics such as Razzles, Pez and Wonka’s Nerds (remember them?) as well as offering candy from Europe, Australia and Japan.

The store prizes themselves on being “committed to bringing the Cybercandy “WOW” experience to as many people as possible” – which they certainly do well.

What better, the sweets are all extremely reasonable – with a Wham bar priced at 29p, Skittles Sour at £1.45 and Pop Rocks popping candy at £1.05. So, whatever your budget, you have no excuse not to buy your Valentine a gift this year.

Suck and Chew

130 Columbia Road, London, E2 7RG

Striving themselves on offering “good, old-fashioned personal service”, Suck and Chew in London’s East End sell traditional sweets – probably not too dissimilar to the ones your grandparents used to give you when you were little.

The family run business will weigh your sweets out for you by hand and let you try before you buy – an added bonus if you are not sure if your Valentine will like the sweets you have picked for them.

A great place if your partner loves anything vintage, Suck and Chew offers classics such as Kola Kubes, Candy Shrimps and Rhubarb and Custards – where most come in at just under £2.00 for 200g.

And, if you fancy sticking to the theme of Valentine’s Day, we recommend a bag of Mini Love Hearts or Juicy Lips.

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