There’s a lot of chocolate in London. A lot of fine chocolate even. Some people may even argue the best fine chocolate shops in the whole world are located in London. Theirs is a strong argument really. But the proof is truly in the truffle. Here’s a cream-of-the-crop list of some of London’s finest of the fine chocolate shop offerings. And just in time for Valentine’s Day too!
Harrods, Second Floor, 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7XL
There are only two of Godiva brand cafes on the planet – one in Beijing and the other here in London. And although the London venue is one of more than 30 different restaurants and eateries located within the world famous Harrods department store, for fans of premium Belgian chocolate, the Godiva Cafe is a destination definitely worth a visit and is an especially luxe place to rest one’s shopping-weary feet while indulging in everything from a three layer “ Hot Chocolixir” to a chocolate afternoon tea or a glass of bubbly,
Paul A Young
33 Camden Passage, Islington, N1 8EA;
143 Wardour Street, Soho, W1F 8WA; and
20 Royal Exchange, Threadneedle Street, City of London EC3V 3LP
With locations in Angel, The City and a flagship in Soho, Paul and crew create some of London’s finest chocolates. They eschew preservatives and additives for fresh herbs and spices, organic essential oils and fresh fruits. Everything is handmade, and the vast majority of the chocolates are created in the shops’ downstairs kitchens. They have arguably the best brownies in London, and the sea salted caramels are to die for.
2 Stoney Street, Borough Market, Southwark, SE1 9A
From the folks behind the Hotel Chocolat luxury chocolate brand, the Rabot Estate shop is located in London’s foodie central – Borough Market. It’s the UK post for Hotel Chocolat’s plantation on Saint Lucia connecting caco growing with lovers of fine chocolate and offering a range of items to devour immediately or to take back home as edible souvenirs.
Roast + Conch
180 Shaftesbury Avenue at Monmouth Street, Seven Dials, WC2H 8JB
Another one from Hotel Chocolat, London’s newest chocolate shop is also one of its most unusual. Roast + Conch brings small batch chocolate making to the heart of London. The shop receives cocoa beans delivered fresh from Hotel Chocolat’s plantation on Saint Lucia. Once in shop, the beans are converted daily into a range of rare chocolate batches in an open basement kitchen where customers are free to view. A great place to shop, learn and sample a range of cacao items (both savoury an sweet).
10 Paved Court, Richmond, TW9 1LZ; and
198 Ebury Street, Belgravia, SW1W 8UN
Gourmet master of fine patisserie with shops in riverside Richmond and upscale Belgravia and more rewards and accolades than you’d ever even imagined existed for chocolate makers, William Curley is also an innovator, author and an extremely smart choice if you’re looking for a tasteful treat or the perfect gift for that someone special.
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Photo: Chris Osburn