I`m always on the lookout for fine chocolates, you can ask the ones that know me best and they will confirm this. I am after all born in the land of chocolates, Belgium.
When I was in Australia on a trip to Uluru I met some wonderful people and one of them mentioned this fancy place in St Lucia – which happens to be one of my favorite Caribbean Islands – where you can have a “tree-to-bar” experience. You`re probably asking yourself the same question as I did: What`s that?
Apparently Hotel Chocolat in St Lucia offers you the unique opportunity to start with a visit at the plantation, pick out your cacao plant to make it into your own chocolate bar. After hearing about this, it peaked my interest and I wanted to know more about Hotel Chocolat. I thought it would be a good idea to try some of their chocolate while in London. And lucky me, Laura from @AboutLondon (a London expert!) took me with her on our wild goose chase for London`s finest chocolates!
Immediately when entering this shop I felt like I`d reach chocolate heaven. Chocolate boxes, chocolate bars, chocolate pralines, chocolate pieces… they have it all.
The name of a special chocolate bar caught my eye, called The Purist.
”Just like grapes and fine wines, chocolate is made from a huge array of cocoa. But all varieties fit into one of two categories – bulk or fine cocoa. This is where our Purist comes in. Every bean of this rare cocoa has a story to tell, with unique flavours influenced by its terroir – location, soil, sun, tropical downpours and its treatment after harvesting. Unlocking that story is what Purist is all about.”
Of course I couldn`t resist and had to try this for myself. Yes, I understand the uniqueness now!
When you`re on a tasting adventure you have to try multiples ones for comparison, right? So, we made 2 other stops at Paul a Young and Rococo.
PAUL A YOUNG
I have to admit this chocolatier works with special herbs and flavors who aren`t that obvious to use in combination with chocolate and quite unique. Marmite Truffle, Port and Stilton or garlic, just to name a few. I bought 2 pralines (they`re not cheap! – £2.00 apiece): the Dominican Truffle and Raspberry Chocolate. Both were divine!
Walking up to this store already brought a good vibe with it, as the street was decorated for a street party. Entering this shop was different than the previous one, maybe the chocolate fragrance wasn`t that overwhelming, but the interior of this shop definitely was. We were welcomed by a lovely lady who let us try some of their fancy chocolate.
I ended up buying chocolate bars with a lovely wrapping which made for a nice gift and at the same time a delight for the senses.
Find the Best Belgian Chocolates in Brussels
Photo Credit: Hotel Chocolat Ltd