So you love chocolate? Doesn’t everyone? Whether your guilty pleasure is a Snickers bar or you’re seriously contemplating a career as a chocolatier — at least in your fantasies — you’ve come to the right place.
Chocolate is for life, so indulge your tastebuds all year, at these chocolate restaurants and cafés, and the best places to enjoy chocoholic afternoon tea. Plus, where to walk off the calories afterwards.
Chocolate Restaurants and Cafes
Restaurants occasionally introduce chocolate menus for a limited period — especially during Chocolate Week — but these venues are the only ones entirely dedicated to chocolate.
What: Rabot 1745
Where: Borough Market
We told you about this restaurant and bar, in which every menu item contains a part of the cacao tree and freshly roasted cocoa is judiciously used as a spice, when it opened in 2013. It’s owned by Hotel Chocolat and named after its Saint Lucian plantation, serving Modern British food influenced by Caribbean and West Indian cuisines. Take a look at the menu and tells us you're not tempted.
What: Hotel Chocolat Cafés
Where: Covent Garden
Hotel Chocolat also owns a café with a simple, choc-centric menu in Covent Garden. Try cakes such as ‘65% supermilk millionaire’s shortbread’ and ‘rocky road superhighway’ along with chilli-spiked hot chocolate, spiced milk cocoa, ‘peppermint and cocoa shell infusion’, cocoa beer, or a cocoa gin with a twist of lemon or orange.
We’ve already told you how besotted we are by the hot chocolate at this Italian chocolate shop — but the stylish venue also serves an imaginative range of food and drink, including chocolate cakes and ‘chocolate and cheese salad’.
What: Artisan Du Chocolat Boutique and Chocolateria
Where: Notting Hill
This swish boutique has a small café area where you can taste your way through a well thought-out menu of chocolate fondant, waffle, sundae, ice cream, macaroon and delicious cacao pulp juice. There’s even a ‘chocolate ceremony for two’ — a chocoholic take on the Japanese tea ceremony (not to be confused with shamanic cacao ceremony).
What: Café Godiva at Harrods
Where: Second Floor, Harrods
This Belgium chocolate brand’s very own eatery inside the luxury store is a piece of pure chocolate heaven. Choose from a large selection of cakes, pastries, desserts, crêpes, fondues, hot chocolates and delightful choc ice cream-and-whipped cream concoctions called ‘chocolixirs’.
Renowned for its extravagant, over-the-top chocolate and cake designs that are guaranteed to impress at parties and special occasions, this fantastically-named shop also has a small café. It serves a small range of chocolate cakes, brownies, cookies, pastries, fondues and hot chocolates.
Chocolate Afternoon Tea
You can find more chocolate-themed afternoon teas on the excellent Afternoon Tea website, but try these fabulous ones for starters.
What: Afternoon Tea Inspired by Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
Where: One Aldwych
Cost: £39/ £49 with a glass of champagne or cocktail; £29 children under 12
To celebrate the West End musical, this fun, highly imaginative afternoon tea takes inspiration from the Roald Dahl classic, and is suitable for both children and adults. Sample such wonders as golden chocolate eggs with vanilla cheesecake and mango; chocolate caramel milk; lime, coconut and white chocolate pops, and cocoa bean financier.
What: Chocolate Afternoon Tea
Where: The Landmark London
Cost: £48 or £63 with a glass of champagne
Located in the heart of an impressive eight-story glass roof atrium, the Winter Garden restaurant serves a magical afternoon tea choc-full of sweet treats. The sumptuous menu includes coconut and chocolate macaroon; banana, pecan nut and milk chocolate cake; cranberry, blood orange and dark chocolate mousse, and pistachio and chocolate opera gateau.
What: Confessions of a Chocoholic Afternoon Tea
Where: Podium Restaurant and Bar at Hilton on the Park Lane
Cost: £36/ £46 with a glass of champagne
Chocolate meets art at this innovative afternoon tea themed on pop art legends like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Prepare to be dazzled by chocolate chip scones with chocolate praline spread; citrus and chocolate cake with blood orange foam; white chocolate shortbread lollipop; chocolate and honeycomb macaroon and more — some of it served on an edible chocolate plate.
What: David Leslie’s Chocoholics Afternoon Tea
Where: The Penthouse bar and nightclub
When: 1.30pm, 3.30pm, 5.30pm and 7.30pm on selected days that they operate at the venue; check the website
Cost: £43 per person/£80 for two
David Leslie is a Cordon Bleu-trained chocolatier, baker and cake artist, and he has a residency on the eighth floor Penthouse Suite. With amazing views of London’s skyline, you’ll have the option of piping your own choice of fillings into your macaroons and decorating your own truffles, before sitting down to enjoy them with hot chocolate made from real melted chocolate.
Walks and Tours
So you’ve eaten enough chocolate. Why not walk it off… er, with more chocolate?
What: Chocolate Ecstasy Tours
Where: Mayfair; Chelsea; Covent Garden, Soho and Piccadilly; Notting Hill
When: Every Saturday and some weekdays in Mayfair; every Sunday and some weekdays in Chelsea; monthly on a Thursday in Covent Garden, Soho and Piccadilly; coffee and chocolate tour of Notting Hill on some Sundays
Cost: £40 (Mayfair); £45 (Chelsea); £49 (Notting Hill)
This leading chocolate tour company, founded by respected chocolate expert Jennifer Earle, offers luxury walks during which you’ll learn about an area’s history while tasting and shopping for gourmet chocolates. You’ll sample truffles, caramels, pralines and more during a gentle one-mile walk through beautiful streets, arcades and boutiques. The small group walks are led by passionate and highly knowledgeable chocoholics; and dairy-free, gluten-free and alcohol-free options are available on most tours.
- Keep yourself up to date with chocolate reviews, recipes, news, features and videos with Dom Ramsey’s respected, long-established Chocablog.
- Read Lee McCoyand’s Chocolate Reviews, in which he gives detailed, unbiased opinions about chocolate products from small producers as well as international brands.
- Sign up to the highly acclaimed monthly chocolate subscription service, Cocoa Runners.
- Hire chocolate fountains for parties and special occasions from Chocolato or Hot Chocolates.