Our office baby photo wall is a common talking point with our visitors – this is me….As you can see chocolate was my favourite – and it still is.
Chocolate Walking Tour – My Top 3
I find myself outside Green Park station on a snowy January day with my mother, about to begin a mega, multi-stop, deliciously indulgent chocolate tour of London.
The first stop is Charbonnel et Walker in the Royal Arcade Piccadilly. The arcade connects Old Bond Street with Albemarle Street in London’s Mayfair, and it’s the city’s oldest purpose-built shopping arcade, built in 1879.
This beautiful arcade is the perfect setting for an indulgent purchase, and with the royal warrant, the interior is full of photos of the royal family. With a traditional glass counter displaying the extravagant chocolates this feels like the quintessential English chocolatierie.
They also happen to be supplying to a certain royal wedding later this year!! During the tasting we tried the praline milk chocolate truffle – not forgetting to hold the chocolate on our tongues for 10-15 seconds before eating, to ensure we get full experience!
Next up was the most exciting interior of the tour; Prestat in Princes Arcade – which also happens to hold the royal warrant as well.
Prestat had a famous regular other than The Queen – Roald Dahl, who wrote ‘Charlie and Chocolate Factory’, is said to have found inspiration from the chocolateirie. I can definitely see why! The exuberant interior was colourful and intriguing with lots of memorable packaging. We then tasted the Coffee Napoleon III truffle – from a 100-year-old recipe! Yum!
Finally, our last stop was Paul A. Young, an award winning chocolatier. This chic, purple-fronted boutique sells cutting-edge, innovative chocolates from a British artisan. This chocolate experience was very different to the others. We were told that the fresh chocolates are made on the premises daily and only last up to 7 days in total, due to the all-natural ingredients that they use.
The atmosphere was unique and somehow more special than any shop I had visited that day. There was a central circular table presenting the 12 flavours of chocolates – 6 house flavours, and 6 seasonal specials. The spectacular chandelier hangs in the middle showing an array of coloured glass baubles.
When it came to the tasting I chose the dark chocolate sea-salted caramel – which was invented by Paul himself and has won him multiple International Chocolate Awards, and more importantly, it was also my favourite.
Today was all about combining two of my favourite things – delicious chocolate and beautiful interior design. Witnessing how these elements create an indulgent experience was definitely worth bearing the snowy London weather – and the chocoholic in me loved it too!