We’re not sure there’s ever a wrong time for handmade chocolate, but Valentine’s Day is certainly the right time to send a confection made with affection. Particularly discerning cacao cognoscenti are unlikely to be bowled-over by these visually dazzling gems of sugar and spice and all things nice; but they are very pretty, quite good, and are hand-wrought locally. Packaging and boxing options help ensure the gift you’re sending delivers exactly the right message, and for those so-inclined there’s a DIY option too. The average price per piece is around 7.5RMB, but unless you’re planning on popping in for a single, decadent, lipid-rich treat, you’ll be paying either by net weight or by the arrangement. The shop itself is simple and unassuming, and the mere fact that it exists at all – tucked away on Jietansi Lane near the Vanwarm Building, across from The Old Man restaurant (reviewed in January) – is, we think, more than enough reason to give this small-scale independent confectioner a try. Cities are all the richer and all the sweeter for humble operations like Helena Chocolates; and if you’re sending chocolates as a present, the decision not to default to a sleeve of Ferrero Rocher from the closest Kedi is sure to be noted and appreciated.