London might never have a Willy Wonka-style chocolate river (pretty please, Boris!), but this weekend we’re getting the next best thing as The London Chocolate Festival takes to the banks of the Thames.
A chocolate market will run in the square behind Royal Festival Hall (on Belvedere Road) all day from Friday through to Sunday for buying and sampling, with stalls from top producers including Hotel Chocolat, Artisan du Chocolat, hot choc experts Jaz & Jul’s, and makers of chocolate truffles based on cocktail recipes, Choctails.
There’ll also be a chocolate cookery theatre with plenty of free demos packed with tips on where to buy, what type to choose and how to use your chocolate. On top of this, there are a number of more intimate sessions hosted by some of the UK’s most renowned chocolate experts (including London’s Paul A Young and the founders of Rococo) which can be booked online for a small charge (maximum £5).
If you’re not in the mood for splashing all your cash on Christmas gifts, invest some in yourself. For a spot of further indulgence on Saturday, just cross the road to Brasserie Blanc which will play host to a special chocolate afternoon tea created by legendary French chocolatier, Valrhona. There will be two sittings at 2pm and 4.30pm with options of a full tea with a glass of Champagne for £35 or without the fizz for £25.