My chocolate withdrawal symptoms have escalated and I've been reduced to sniffing around the Chocolate Emporium and Fortnum & Mason's on my lunch hour.
Yet, I'm not the only person in London who is going choco-crazy. The staff at Engine's offices at London's Great Portland Street now have a lickable lift as the walls are made of Jaffa Cakes. The Cavendish London created a chocolate hotel room where sweet-toothed guests could eat their way through the flowers, toothpaste, slippers and even the Do Not Disturb sign. It's the ultimate room for chocolate lovers and brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘dirty weekend'.
Thankfully, there are a few bars and restaurants in London that have the ethos that chocolate is not just for Easter. Be it plain, milk or white, chocolate is the world's best antioxidant/aphrodisiac and anti-carcinogen. So I'm off in search of my next fix and you're more than welcome to join me. The first step is admitting you have a problem. The second step is to read on, and the third step is to step away from the chocolate because it's mine, all mine beeyatch!
Here's where to go:
The team at Gaucho, Charlotte Street are working up their excitement over the chocolate extravaganza menu. So far there is talk of a chocolate-leek soup with goats cheese (sounds weird but apparently it tastes amazing), white chocolate risotto, Churrasco beef with chocolate-port sauce, sticky chocolate pork belly, and an avocado and white chocolate cheese cake. I don't know about you but I am already preparing for the diabetic coma that will ensue! The glorious event is £55 and taking place on Tuesday 24th April. The must sip cocktail is the chocolate and orange martini.
Walk into this bar and you might well think you've fallen into the realms of a beached up bar in some tropical island paradise. The man responsible is Victor Bergeron, who's aim was to inject the spirit of island living into the lives of people by tantalising the tastebuds and creating cocktails. He's known as the father of the original Mai Tai. With over 200 signature cocktails, insisting on a little zaniness and a touch of indulgence, and a menu showcasing the best cuisines from around the world, it's not surprising that the cacao bean is on the list of ingredients. Try the Grasshopper, Pink Cloud and White Cloud cocktails which have Crème de Cacao. For a bit of sustenance go for the Chocolate Kumquat Spring Rolls. Use the booking form below to book your table.
Pretty much is what it says it is. Founded by restaurant pastry chef Gerard Coleman, Artisan du Chocolat is one of the leading chocolate companies. Gordan Ramsey and Heston Blumenthal are huge fans. This Notting Hill chocolateria is a shop with a seating area where you can try rum or vodka chocolate cocktails, developed in collaboration with top cocktail bartender Nick Strangeway. The full range of Artisan chocolates are also on offer. If you're looking to expand your knowledge as well as your waistband then book a two hour tutorial and tasting evening for £40. It's the best excuse to sample most things on the menu.
Choccywoccydoodah, Carnaby Street
This is not your usual chocolate and cake shop by any means. The Brighton-based company has recently opened a new shop/café just off Carnaby Street. The idea of Choccywoccydoodah was dreamt up by the two Christines. Christine #1 is the Creative Director and boss. She's the extravagant one who believes nothing is impossible when it comes to all things chocolate. Her business partner, Christine #2, is the sensible one who overlooks the financial side of things and makes sure all the events that the company are involved in run perfectly. And then there are the Doodahs, the staff that help make Choccywoccydoodah so special. The Doodahs to look out for are senior designer Dave (also known as Captain Creative), cafe Manager Daveed (who has the most exquisite and gentlemanly hosting), Shop Manager Ben (who knows how to entice customers into the Choccywoccydoodah world) and Assistant Cafe Manager Henry (the man to go to when you want a white chocolate champagne truffle milkshake and a dishwasher tarot reading; he's perfected the art of both).
Image courtesy of Flickr user stevendepolo.
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