Tasting Notes: The B… Chocolate Week Round…

Chocolate Week Roundup and an International Chocolate Award

We’ve just come to the end of another great Chocolate Week of meeting new people and catching up with of old friends and loyal customers we’ve met over the last 30 years.

CW13 Dinner - Soup

Courgette & parmesan soup with chocolate tapenade croute

We started the week with our traditional Chocolate Week dinner at Hardy’s brasserie in Marylebone, with many of the dishes coming from Chantal’s new book and a chocolate tasting session. Hardy’s is a charming restaurant that never fails to do justice to Chantal’s recipes, so huge thanks to Dominique and her team for another lovely evening.

CW13 Chantal Talk cropped

Chantal speaking at King’s Road

On Tuesday Chantal spoke about her experiences over the last 30 years at Rococo, accompanied by some of our classic chocolates. Barry, our Principal Chocolatier, came along with samples of his new autumn collection and some of the recent award winners.

Richard Ponsonby and Sam Smallman

Richard Ponsonby and Sam Smallman

It was Moxon Street’s turn on Wednesday, and manager Sam opened up the new tasting classroom for a beer and chocolate tasting with Rupert Ponsonby. It’s an unusual pairing that people sometimes come to with a skeptical mind, and Sam has been enjoying the process of matching flavours and showing customers how well they can work together. That expression on his face is, he assures us, a look of concentration.

CW13 Champagne Tasting

Bessarat de Bellefon and chocolate champagne tasting

Thursday was a busy evening. In London we held a champagne tasting with Bessarat de Bellefon at One-O-One, while the Chester shop had chocolate canapés and drinks.

Annie serving canapés at Chester

Annie serving canapés at Chester

Annie, our manager in Chester, says that Chocolate Week was virtually unheard of in Chester last year and she’s really enjoyed encouraging new customers into the shop. As well as a make-your-own hot chocolate stand and Grenada tastings, they ran a canapé evening called Surprising but Brilliant Pairings. Treats included sea salt milk chocolate wafers with goats cheese and milk and dark chocolate dipped streaky bacon. Delicious.

CW13 Tapas Sweet2

Biscuits with ‘Donna Tella da Kids’ chocolate spread & lemon, chocolate salami, frozen hot chocolate, white chocolate cherry campari cake

On Friday night we transformed the Motcomb Street cafe into a tapas bar for the evening, serving savoury and sweet tapas with drinks and fresh ganaches to finish. It made such a great romantic restaurant that we may well have to do it again next year!

Sam shows off his chocolate painting skills

Sam shows off his chocolate painting skills

The weekend was busy, with storytelling and chocolate painting for children in the shops, along with the first ever Salon du Chocolat fair to be held in London. Chantal spoke at the event and did a demonstration with Barry, and the world final of The International Chocolate Awards 2013 took place.

We’re delighted to say that we won a Gold Award for our Organic cardamom white chocolate and Silvers for the Kalamansi lime caramel, Passion fruit & rosemary caramel and our Salted chocolate toffee and hazelnut praline (only available in our own stores). Exciting times!