Love chocolate? Obviously. And if you really do love chocolate, you’ll know that International Chocolate Week (10-16th October) starts today. This year, Londoners will be totally spoilt with a whole host of irresistible chocolate creations, taking chocolatey indulgence to a whole new level. From cocktails to pastries and even spa treatments, there’s never been a better time to get your chocolate fix in the capital. Here’s our guide to the most mouthwatering moments in London this Chocolate Week. On second thoughts, maybe a week isn’t long enough…
Choc-tastic Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea is all well and good, but it needs less chat and more choc. Fortunately The Bingham hotel in Richmond seem to be on the same wavelength. To celebrate chocolate week, they’ve added some proper chocolate heaven to their afternoon tea. You can enjoy chocolate scones, dark chocolate and honeycomb trifle, and milk chocolate marquis – worthy additions to any afternoon tea – while relaxing in the Bingham’s Thames-side dining room. And if you’re really serious about chocolate, you can substitute the chai for a heavenly hot choc. Bliss!
Where: 61-63 Petersham Road, Richmond Upon Thames, Surrey, TW10 6UT, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Richmond (0.6 miles)
Chocolate milkshakes are obviously something which should happen more. And for Chocolate Week Darwin Brasserie are upping their game. New to their brunch menu are two new chocolate milkshakes, made with quality British milk and a range of divine additions. They’ve added salted caramel and a whole doughnut balanced on the rim in the Freak Dough; coconut, passion fruit and raspberry macaroons with the Freakin’ Macaroons; and a whole gooey brownie in the Choco Freak. Head up to the 36th floor of the Sky Garden and for serious chocolate indulgence.
Where: Sky Garden, 20 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 8AF, UK
Nearest station: Monument (0.2 miles)
Chocolate Bar Martinis
They recently launched a flight of Espresso Martinis in honour of International Coffee Day but a new festivity calls for a new limited edition drink. Introducing the martini trio inspired by classic chocolate bars. The Bounty is obviously coconutty in taste, made with rum and coconut cream, The Aero Bubble has a hint of mint with green mint liqueur whilst a classic chocolate martini is made with vodka, brown creme de cacao and a combination of white and milk chocolate liqueur. All three are garnished with crumbs of the relevant chocolate bars for a seriously decadent drink.
Where: Rooftop Terrace, 1 New Change, St Pauls, London, EC4M 9AF, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Mansion House (0.2 miles)
A Fountain Filled with Chocolate
How does The Handbook like its chocolate? Gushing from a fountain, of course. This weekend (October 8th – 9th) The Balcon at Sofitel St. James are spoiling guests with a special chocolate fountain, with creamy milk chocolate running throughout breakfast, lunch and dinner. You probably can’t stick your head in it, but The Balcon are offering special delicacies to dip into the streams of chocolate, as well as a special range of extra chocolatey desserts to celebrate.
Where: Sofitel London St James, Waterloo Place, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus (0.3 miles)
Cocktails and Truffles
Soho favourite, 100 Wardour Street, is getting in on the chocolate spirit with the help of chocolate experts, Paul A Young. Two specially created cocktails have been paired with truffles to compliment the taste of the drink (or that’s what you can tell yourself). The After 8 Affair is made with Sailor Jerry, coffee liqueur, espresso and creme de menthe to resemble an espresso martini, paired with a 72% dark chocolate truffle – intense, strong and well-balanced. The other cocktail is the Kalamansi Sour; Johnny Walker Black, Otima Port and coco liqueur with choco bitters combine to make a smooth, lingering chocolate taste – perfect when paired with a Kalamansi truffle.
Where: 100 Wardour Street, Soho, London, W1F 0TN, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road (0.4 miles)
Spa days – could they be any better? Yes, apparently. For chocolate week, hotel and spa K West are offering a chocolate-inspired spa treatment. Starting with a back exfoliation using a Mediterranean orange scrub, followed by a soothing sweet almond oil massage. A warm firming and hydrating chocolate mask will then be applied to the back, before moisturising it with a vanilla and cardamom oil. If the thought of chocolate on your back frustrates you – any chocolate that isn’t eaten is wasted as far as we’re concerned – then don’t worry. There’s a special chocolate cocktail waiting for you after your treatment, made with mint liqueur, white Mozart liqueur, double crème, Divine milk chocolate and dark chocolate Azteca bitters, and finished with a rim of ark chocolate and a dusting of white chocolate powder. Amazing!
Where: Richmond Way, Shepherd's Bush, W14 0AX
A Chocolate Baguette. Seriously.
The French know their chocolate. And patisserie chain PAUL are taking France’s love affair with chocolate to a whole new level, with a chocolate baguette. A rich, cocoa brown in colour, the bread is filled with chunks of dark chocolate. You choose the topping, from salted caramel to whipped cream or even something savoury. PAUL have promised to give the most creative topping a bread making masterclass for two as a prize when you share it on Instagram. As if we needed incentive to eat chocolate…
Do you really love chocolate? Do you want to bathe in it? The Courthouse Hotel in Soho is putting it to the test. During chocolate week, guests can get a 75 minute Triple Deluxe Chocolate pampering session including a full body sugar cane and chocolate scrub, followed by a rich heated chocolate face mask, before finishing with a soothing sweet honey and ginger mask. If you’re not tempted to lick it off, you’re doing it wrong. Or if that’s too much for you, try the Sweet Chocolate Sugar Scrub – 55 minutes of full chocolate body scrub, with a Swedish massage and a selection of milk and dark luxury chocolates to keep you going and a glass of champagne to wash it all down.
Where: 19 - 21 Great Marlborough Street, Soho, W1F 7HL