With its new Roast + Conch shop at Seven Dials, British luxury chocolate brand Hotel Chocolat brings small batch chocolate making to London. Cocoa beans from the company's Rabot Estate plantation on Saint Lucia are delivered fresh to the shop and converted daily into a range of “rare” chocolate batches in an open basement kitchen where customers are free to view. The upstairs retail space has been in operation since a soft launch back before Christmas but the downstairs yum factory has only opening over the past week. Just in time for Valentine's Day, eh?
In addition to gawking at the manufacture of fine chocolate, the new venue presents punters with a chance to sample Hotel Chocolat's “cacao cuisine” menu developed at the company's own restaurant on Saint Lucia. Wraps and open sandwiches cost about a fiver and include savoury sounding numbers such as duck confit with roasted cocoa nibs and goat's cheese with walnuts and dark chocolate. Hmmm … Londonist might need to head back there soon to review the lunch menu.
Roast + Conch is located at 4 Monmouth Street (or 180 Shaftesbury Avenue depending on which door you enter), WC2H 8JB.