A BOX of chocolates is a perfect Valentine’s Day gift - but who makes the best? The Star’s Richard Blackledge asked Sheffield City Hall’s tea dance couples to try out five boxes.
Here’s their verdicts.
PEARL Ibbotson, aged 73, and her dancing partner Henry Newett, 80, trip the light fantastic weekly at a tea dance at Sheffield City Hall.
And to celebrate Valentine’s Day the young-at-heart couple will enjoy a special meal at The Carlton Park Hotel in Rotherham.
“It’s important to celebrate Valentine’s Day and to do things together,” says Pearl, from Parson Cross. “Why not enjoy it? It only happens once a year.”
Enjoying a breather from their ballroom dancing, she and Henry, from Shiregreen, tucked into Cadbury’s Milk Tray.
“Milk Tray have always been my favourite from being young,” said Pearl. “It’s a nice selection, I think they’re the best.”
Henry said the Aldi seashells were a nice idea, but thought people “might be put off by the shapes”.
He liked Thorntons’ offering. “Thorntons have a variety of centres, a lot of choice - I like that if you go in the shop, you can have just the ones you want,” he said.
But he had reservations about the price. “I would usually pay a fiver. I think £7 is a little bit too expensive.”
Also taking a break from whirling around the dancefloor were Pauline Tindall, 74, from Handsworth, and Dennis Ward, 78, of Kiveton Park.
The couple have been together six months, and are excited about their first Valentine’s Day together.
“We’ve known each other for 15 years,” said Pauline. “Dennis was recently widowed and I lost my husband 11 years ago. This will be a special Valentine’s Day because it’s our first.
“When you’re on your own it’s nicer to have someone to share your life with.”
Dennis agreed: “We like coming to dances together because it’s social life - you meet nice people, we enjoy it.”
Pauline chose a Thorntons chocolate. “It’s very nice, very rich,” she said. “They probably are a bit expensive for 12, but they’re supposed to be a treat.”
But she was pleasantly surprised by the price and quality of the Poundland selection. “They’re possibly better than the Thorntons,” she said. “They don’t taste like they were £1.”
Doreen Gallantree, 88, and Ken Moore, 80, from Fulwood, tried the M&S assortment. Doreen thought her chocolate was ‘too hard’, and Ken said: “Eight pounds is quite dear, isn’t it.”
But the £1 chocolates were again a hit. “Chocolate bars cost more than £1!” said Ken. “I’d buy a box of them now if I could.”
Leslie Richardson, 81, and Joyce Younger, 79, also from Fulwood, have been together eight years, and will have a romantic meal out for Valentine’s Day.
“Romance keeps you young,” said Joyce. “You’d grow old faster if you didn’t go out dancing or go on nice trips out.”
They indulged their sweet tooth with the Thorntons - “nice and soft” - and Milk Tray - “definitely worth £3” - before Poundland triumphed again.
“They’re excellent value for money,” said Leslie. “I’m shocked they were only £1.”
Proof that luxuries don’t have to come with a hefty price tag - and that love keeps you youthful whatever your age.
* Marks and Spencers - Swiss selection - £7.99
* Thorntons - Premium Collection - £6.65
* Cadbury’s - Milk Tray - £3
* Aldi - Belgian chocolate seashells - £1.79
* The winner with our taste testers
* Poundland - Lithuanian Pergale - £1