London’s top five chocolate shops

Easter has arrived! We have found five of the capital’s finest cocoa emporiums for your convenience - chocs away!

In 2010, London hedge fund manager Anthony Ward took a large bite out of the world’s cocoa market when he bought 240,000 tonnes of cocoa beans. The chocolate booty was enough for Ward to make more than five billion chocolate bars and represented “the whole of Europe’s cocoa”.

Was Ward planning on “doing a Wonka” and creating a factory filled with chocolate rivers and snozberries, run by small orange men? Probably not. It’s more likely that he noticed the spike in the price of cocoa and decided to jump while the chocolate was hot.

Few understand the value of chocolate like us Brits. We have second highest chocolate consumption rate in Europe, seventh in the world, and it is an industry that is worth £3.2bn to the UK’s economy. And this week the country is showing its love for the “food of the gods” through National Chocolate Week.

London is full of artisan chocolatiers, cooking up epicurean delights for chocolate lovers all over the city. We thought we’d do your taste buds a favour and list our favourites.

1. Melt

59 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, W11 2AA

Melt Shop Notting Hill

Melt Shop Notting Hill

Named after the fact that chocolate is the only food to melt at body temperature, Melt is a boutique chocolate shop in Notting Hill. Established in 2006, Melt offers a chance for chocolate lovers to watch chocolates being made as well as devour them.

You can buy themed chocolate lollypops designed by Celia Birtwell as well as choose from Melt classics such as banana passion fruit and coconut bonbons and chilli cubes.

The team at Melt say: “You can only appreciate chocolate if you let it melt slowly in your mouth – so we encourage you to taste the best chocolate and eat it in a different, rather slower and more seductive way.” Oh well if you insist!

2. William Curley

10 Paved Court, Richmond, TW9 1LZ

William Curley chocolate shop Belgravia

William Curley chocolate shop Belgravia

William Curley has been awarded Britain’s Best Chocolatier by the Academy of Chocolate for five consecutive years and lucky for us not only does he have three London outlets (Richmond, Belgravia and Harrods) he is also opening a pop-up shop in St Martin’s Hotel to coincide with National Chocolate Week.

And of course if you still haven’t had enough of the Scotsman’s heavenly chocolate creations - you can buy his new book Couture Chocolate. The call of Scottish heather honey chocolates and malt whiskey truffles is too much for me to ignore…

3. Paul A Young

33 Camden Passage, Islington, N1 8EA

Paul A Young chocolate shop Soho

Paul A Young chocolate shop Soho

In June of this year Yorkshire chocolatier Paul Young opened his third London shop in Soho. The creator of the controversial Marmite Truffle worked with Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury’s developing their chocolate offerings before heading out on his own in 2006.

“Passion, determination, drive are what makes my business work,” Young told LondonlovesBusiness.com earlier.

“An attention to detail is important, especially in retail where there are so many elements to making the business work. It’s a lot of hard work so a love of what you do is essential. All of our chocolates are hand made on the premises. We have an ever changing collection which often uses seasonal ingredients. We’re very creative and quite edgy.”

I think the Marmite truffle may well cement the edgy badge, love it or hate it!

4. Rococo Chocolates

5 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, SW1X 8JU

Rococo chocolate shop, Marylebone High Street

Rococo chocolate shop, Marylebone High Street

Rococo Chocolates was established in 1981 by textile design graduate Chantal Coady. Her delicious concoctions are renowned throughout London and in 2008 was awarded the prize for “Changing the way people think about chocolate” by the Academy of Chocolate Awards. With a collection that ranges from hand-painted chocolate crocodiles to basil and Persian lime organic dark chocolate bars - you’ll be hard pushed not to find something that tickles your cocoa-fancy.

5. Cocomaya

12 Connaught Street, London, W2 2AF

Cocomaya chocolate shop

Cocomaya chocolate shop

Cocomaya fine chocolatier and artisan baker launched in 2009 in London’s Connaught Village. The co-founders have known each other for years having worked closely together in their previous roles in the fashion world. Walid Al Damirji (fashion and accessories designer and consultant) and Joel Bernstein (former head of concept at Liberty of London) share a love of fine chocolate and fabulous baking and so have decided to dedicate a business to it.

Team Cocomaya are on the ball when it comes to trendy flavours such as pomegranate, bramley apple and rose but I have to say the metallic chocolate skulls are my favourite.

  • Have we missed your favourite chocolate shop? Leave your comments below and help us to make the most comprehensive list of London’s cocoa champions

 

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