|My fellow chocolate tourers.|
I can’t believe a week has gone by since hubby and I joined 8 others on a Chelsea Chocolate Ecstasy Tour and I am certainly getting chocolate withdrawal symptoms whilst writing and thinking about our experience!
|William Curley chocolate.|
We firstly met Elle, our lovely guide, plus our fellow chocolate tourists at William Curley in Ebury Street. The displays of the most exquisite patissierie and sweet confections were an absolute feast for the eyes – we knew we were on to something good! As we sat drinking hot chocolate, Elle asked about our favourite flavours, and we happily munched upon one or two samples before leaving for our next destination.
|Artisan du Chocolat.|
Our second stop of the day was at Artisan du Chocolat. True artisans are often fanatical about their products and it was evident from the tastings here that this company insists on high standards. I sampled my favourite, sea salted caramel chocolate, and its liquid centre was truly delicious. I also noticed bottles of the caramel in the window and I was sorely tried but resisted the temptation to buy. I knew there would be more delights to follow.
|Pierre Herme macarons.|
Elle expertly shepherded us to the next location, pointing out places of interest along the way, and I couldn’t believe my good fortune when I discovered that we were to visit the establishment Pierre Herme of Paris. What could be better than beautiful chocolate, as well as their famous exquisite macarons. I have to tell you, macarons are my guilty pleasure and when I sampled the ‘Infiniment Café Iapar Rouge du Bresil’ sample, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
I really can’t emphasise enough how each retailer on our tour was so welcoming, samples were freely given, at no time were we rushed, and all our questions were answered with enthusiasm.
|Our guide Elle.|
Our final stop took us to Rococo Chocolates and a fascinating in-depth talk by Elle on the growing of cacoa and all the facets of chocolate production. Of course, we were almost at chocolate overload but still had room to sample various cocoa solid examples from zero per cent - a white chocolate which, of course, had no cocoa solids, just the butter but it was flavoured with cardamom and was yummy – to one which was 100% and was rather too overpowering for most of the group.
Although this was my first visit to Rococo, I have read about its creator, Chantal Cody, and her inspiration to open ‘a chocolate paradise’ and, seated in her Sloane Street shop, it was obvious where her passion lies. Delicious chocolate containing healthy ingredients surrounded us, which is sourced ethically, produced and packaged beautifully. I do hope it won’t be too long before I can revisit.
|A Rococo display.|