Monday sees the beginning of National Chocolate Week here in the UK – yes, you read that right – 12th-18th October is Chocolate Week. We’ve just survived London Cocktail Week and now a further seven days of indulgence is practically forced upon us. Perhaps the universe is somehow making up for the fact all traces of summer are well and truly gone?
Whatever the reason, we’re not going to question it too much, especially when it means bars and restaurants are getting creative with cocoa (such as the gooey Chocolate Sharing Brownie from York & Albany, above). To help you successfully plan your sugar-laden schedule, here’s the Business of Everything’s Best of Chocolate rundown.
The Afternoon Tea:
Move over cucumber sandwiches, you’re on the bench – there’s a new treat in town. Mary Berry would be proud as punch with the variety of chocolate indulgence on display with the Chic Chocholic Afternoon Tea, from luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair. Offering a contemporary twist on this quintessentially English event, guests can indulge their inner Downton while munching on chocolate scones, luxurious petit fours, freshly-made sandwiches, a choice of specialty loose leaf teas and, to really cap the occasion, a glass of Jacquart Rose Champagne.
Served daily in the newly-renovated, opulently appointed Drawing Room from 12:30pm to 5pm, booking with 24 hours notice is essential.
The (kind of) Savoury Dish:
Lobster and chocolate – there’s no doubt they’re both delicious, but together?! Well, this is the plate that Michelin star chef Steve Smith, Head Chef of Bohemia restaurant in Jersey, is putting forward. Excite your taste-buds by eschewing the normal cakes and puddings in favour of some odder flavours. Steve has created a white chocolate & lobster starter, made with Butter Poached Lobster, Cauliflower and Divine White Chocolate, with Sorrel & Caviar. If you weren’t salivating already then that should do it…
The chocolate dish will be a special starter on the restaurant’s Classic Menu, priced at £59 for a three-course dinner, including the lobster dish.
The Bottomless Mousse:
Never-ending Mousse au Chocolat a Volonte? Definitely sounds like a dream we once had. And now Le Restaurant de PAUL, newly opened at Tower 42 one of the City’s most iconic skyscrapers, is offering diners this limitless dessert for only £6.50. Challenge accepted.
The Luxury Experience:
Trust the Savoy Hotel to do something extravagant and incredible for Chocolate Week. They are introducing a complete Wheel of Temptation – a decadent new offering of gourmet chocolate, desserts and hand-crafted cocktails, guaranteed to get any cocoa-lover seriously hot under the collar. Executive Pastry Chef Ludwig Hely has scoured the globe for some of the finest and rarest examples of cocoa finery available, and turned them into sublime desserts that are matched to the flavour and texture of the chocolate itself. And naturally booze is needed to make this a completely sumptuous experience, so the team at the Beaufort Bar have created blended cocktails to match each treat. We personally love the idea of the Salted Caramel Verrine – Milk chocolate mousse, caramelized popcorn, and salted caramel cremeux.
And something a little different…
It isn’t just for eating and drinking you know… now serious chocoholics can go one step further and be wrapped in the stuff. We all agree that chocolate is an indulgent treat, so why not combine it with a spa experience? This is exactly what the geniuses at K West Hotel in Shepherd’s Bush have come up with. For £125 per person, head to the K Spa and opt for this limited edition experience, only available during chocolate week. It includes a Cranberry Body Wrap, a deliciously aromatic Chocolate Balm Massage, and access to the hotel’s award-winning Wet Spa facilities.