The Handbook
The Handbook
By | 2nd April 2010

Two for ones on supermarket eggs driving you hopping mad? Happily there’s way more to Easter than gorging on sugar fests masquerading as chocolate. From Art Deco eggstravaganzas at Claridge’s and pimped up Scotch eggs at Artisan du Chocolat to an Easter meadow at St Paul’s Cathedral and chocolate brunch at Andaz Hotel in the City, the capital’s Easter treats are guaranteed to put the discerning bunny into a veritable tailspin.

So much for the first daffodils in St James’ Park, over on Brook Street, the gathering of Claridge’s pastry team to create its annual Easter egg has long been synonymous with the beginning of spring. And this year’s offering takes inspiration from the iconic hotel’s Art Deco checkerboard lobby. Head Pastry Chef Nick Patterson has created just 100 limited-edition, hand-crafted Deco eggs using the finest Valrhona chocolate. Each is filled with a selection of home-made Champagne truffles and carefully packaged in a glamorous eau de nil coloured box and wrapped in a black and white Art Deco foil secured with a black satin bow. And if you check in over the break, you’ll get three nights for the price of two.

And from exquisite taste to a nonetheless exquisite celebration of the kitch comes Artisan du Chocolat’s 2010 Collection. There’s the Pin Up which sits on a drawer of chocolate pearls and is inspired by Betty Page; The Merry-Go-Round featuring edible garden gnomes, ladybirds & colourful mushrooms and best of all, the Scotch Egg: a rich dark chocolate shell rolled in chocolate crumbs is filled with pink chocolate marshmallow with a vanilla ganache egg white and a passion fruit yolk.

However, if you’d prefer to keep it real and a little closer to god, we suggest you go to church. Well The Restaurant at St Paul’s at least! The Wren Suite in the Crypt has been transformed into an indoor meadow of daffodils, hot cross buns, Simnel cake, hidden chocolate eggs and a modern take on the British roast in the shape of head chef Candice Webber’s new carvery. Easter lunches see succulent free-range Norfolk turkey, giblet gravy, apple orchard stuffing, bacon wrapped chipolatas, roasted King Edwards with thyme and rosemary, buttered spring cabbage & Regent’s Park honey glazed carrots followed by cinnamon poached pears with vanilla ice cream.

But for those who want to start the day the way they plan to continue, there’s the chocolate brunch at the glamorous Andaz Hotel. Its brasserie restaurant, Eastway, has created a winning formula of chocolate hot cross buns with home-made chocolate spread, chocolate eggs served with toasted brioche soldiers and chocolate corncakes with vanilla foam and caramelized plum compote.

With so much choice, you’d best not put all your eggs in one basket.

Claridge’s, Brook Street, W1, 020 7107 8842,
Artisan du Chocolat, 89 Lower Sloane Street, SW1, 0845 270 6996,
The Restaurant at St Paul’s, St Paul’s Cathedral, EC4,
Andaz Hotel, 40 Liverpool street, E2, 020 7961 1234,