Dessert Correspondents

A Melbourne, London & Hong Kong dessert blog

Belgravia Chocolate Hop Tour – Charbonnel et Walker, Cocomaya, Rococco, Artisan du Chocolat, William Curley

INTRODUCTION

We have given you our thoughts of Melbourne’s best doughnutslemon tartsyum cha dessertssouffles and American-inspired desserts. We have also written guides to mooncakes in Singapore and Melbourne, and briefly explored Chinese New Year desserts. It’s time to shift our attention to a little further afield — let’s say, approximately 20 hours+ by plane away, approximately twelve time zones behind. Hello London! As the first of a series, let’s conjure up images of chocolate on mirror-bright silver trays and plush velvet cushions, red geraniums cascading from balconies of pretty white terraced houses….let’s go to Belgravia….

MoMo & Coco's Belgravia Chocolate Hop, London - the precinct

MoMo & Coco’s Belgravia Chocolate Hop, London – the precinct

BELGRAVIA CHOCOLATE HOP

CHARBONNEL et WALKER

  • Dessert adventure address: 1, The Royal Arcade, 28 Old Bond Street, London W1S 4BT.
  • Signature: Pink Marc de Champagne Truffles

We dare you to find more intimidating insignia on a chocolate box than “Britain’s Master Chocolatiers since 1875,” a Royal Warrant to that effect, and an undisputed reputation of being HRM Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite chocolatier. Chocolates by Charbonnel et Walker are certainly housed in palatial style, within a supremely elegant boutique in Old Bond Street’s Royal Arcade.  C&W’s signature product are the “Pink Marc de Champagne Truffles” – little icing sugar-dusted balls of milk chocolate that encase a teeny squirt of liquor. Ok – maybe C&W’s signature are not as potent as some other chocolate booze-balls we have sampled (Paul A Young, we are looking at you). This actually means therefore, that one could very easily, and prettily, present them on a silver tray accompanied by ribbon sandwiches and dainty cakes for any generation of lady…including those from Her Majesty’s generation. In short, messieurs and mesdames, C&W captures the essence of classical chocolate making.

MoMo & Coco's Belgravia Chocolate Guide - Charbonnel et Walker

MoMo & Coco’s Belgravia Chocolate Guide – Charbonnel et Walker

MoMo & Coco's Belgravia Chocolate Guide - Charbonnel et Walker

MoMo & Coco’s Belgravia Chocolate Guide – Charbonnel et Walker

MoMo & Coco's Belgravia Chocolate Guide - Charbonnel et Walker

MoMo & Coco’s Belgravia Chocolate Guide – Charbonnel et Walker

COCOMAYA

  • Dessert adventure address: 12 Connaught St, London, W2 2AF (two other locations also)
  • Signature: London “Strawberries and Cream” Chocolate Block

Past the white awnings of Cocomaya, the chocolate boutique itself is one part country home (note long wooden, rustic communal table) and another part, quintessential English parlour (note glistening glass display cabinets and chintzy porcelain stands of chocolate). Oh the aromas wafting from this place! The head chocolatier is doing some crazy things here. Take for example, chocolate armoured in edible glitter…available in a variety of shapes, from saucepans to shoes to alphabets. If you can restrain yourself from the truffles or even the bakery items on display, these Dessert Correspondents believe that you can’t go past Cocomaya’s “Around the World” Range, particularly the London “Strawberries and Cream” white chocolate block — delightful enough to give you that flushed, apple-pink cheek-look that until now, only a London winter can. (Apologies for the lack of photos — we gobbled without thinking).

MoMo & Coco's Belgravia Chocolate Guide - CooMaya

MoMo & Coco’s Belgravia Chocolate Guide – CooMaya

ROCOCO

  • Dessert adventure address: 5 Motcomb Street, London SW1X 8JU
  • Signature: English Rose and Violet Creams, Kalamansi & Lime, Salted Caramel Ravioli. Also the Grenada Chocolate Company Bars.

Fairtrade chocolate. Two little words, so polarising. For the hipster, out comes the wallet. For the preppy, snort, smirk and farewell. We dare say we might fall into the latter category — for too long has “fairtrade chocolate” simply been synonymous to marketing blubber, all rhetoric, no tangible “giving-back,” and almost always, a mouthful of sawdust chocolate. Not so at Rococo. Australian chocolatiers, take note. While the Grenada Chocolate Company Bars hail from the Carribean plantation joint venture (and simultaneously redefine the meaning of fairtrade chocolate and also chocolate price at $6 GBP for a 85g block), it must be the assortment of chocolate bites that had us at the company’s motto — “once bitten, truly smitten.” We can’t recall precisely all that was sampled, but we do recall that the “Rosemary Passionfruit Caramel,” “Kalamansi and Lime,” and the English rose and violet fondant creams were particularly memorable. And chocolate pasta — being salted caramel stamped into a chocolate ravioli, need we say more? Another tick for some of the loveliest packaging in the chocolate industry too — blue and white animal sketchwork.

MoMo & Coco's Belgravia Chocolate Guide - Rococo

MoMo & Coco’s Belgravia Chocolate Guide – Rococo

MoMo & Coco's Belgravia Chocolate Guide - Rococo

MoMo & Coco’s Belgravia Chocolate Guide – Rococo

MoMo & Coco's Belgravia Chocolate Guide - Rococo

MoMo & Coco’s Belgravia Chocolate Guide – Rococo

MoMo & Coco's Belgravia Chocolate Guide - Rococo

MoMo & Coco’s Belgravia Chocolate Guide – Rococo

MoMo & Coco's Belgravia Chocolate Guide - Rococo

MoMo & Coco’s Belgravia Chocolate Guide – Rococo

MoMo & Coco's Belgravia Chocolate Guide - Rococo

MoMo & Coco’s Belgravia Chocolate Guide – Rococo

ARTISAN DU CHOCOLAT

  • Dessert adventure address: 89 Lower Sloane Street, London, SW1W 8DA (2 other locations)
  • Signature: Serendipity Liquid Salted Caramels

French? Non! Artisan du chocolat is British chocolate at its finest. Sired by a brain who created “tobacco chocolates” and who then launched the salted caramel craze onto the world stage, Artisan du Chocolat is one of these Dessert Correspondents’ top three favourites chocolatiers in London. We might still be unmoved and give the accolade to Paul A Young for the very best salted caramel chocolates that we have had the pleasure of tasting, but AdC’s remains unparalleled for the sure breadth of creativity as to what one can do with salted caramel. If you like Chanel No.5, you would probably select the original, AdC’s No. 1, a deceptively plain brown orb encasing a caramel liquid tinged with Noirmoutier Island grey salt, whimsically “harvested by hand from clay marshes.” Maybe your next pick might be the No 4 (a salted caramel spiced with Indian and Madagascan peppercorns), the sweeter banoffee pie-inspired No 5, the Modena-bred No 6 containing “balsamic vinegar ages for 6 years in oak casks”, the dance of the tropics in the lemongrass-accented No 9, the zingy No 14 with a kiss of passionfruit, the herbal tonic of thyme and sage in No 15, or No 25’s Christmassy touch of figs, ginger, clove, nutmeg and cinnamon (almost like mulled wine in a chocolate). This is our kind of lottery draw.

MoMo & Coco's Belgravia Chocolate Guide - Artisan du Chocolat

MoMo & Coco’s Belgravia Chocolate Guide – Artisan du Chocolat

MoMo & Coco's Belgravia Chocolate Guide - Artisan du Chocolat

MoMo & Coco’s Belgravia Chocolate Guide – Artisan du Chocolat

MoMo & Coco's Belgravia Chocolate Guide - Artisan du Chocolat

MoMo & Coco’s Belgravia Chocolate Guide – Artisan du Chocolat

MoMo & Coco's Belgravia Chocolate Guide - Artisan du Chocolat

MoMo & Coco’s Belgravia Chocolate Guide – Artisan du Chocolat

WILLIAM CURLEY CHOCOLATE DESSERT BAR

  • Dessert adventure address: 198 Ebury St, London SW1W 8UN
  • Signature: Dessert degustation, and also the Oriental-inspired bites

If you consider yourself a more ardent worshipper of chocolate than the Aztecs, then round-off your Belgravia Chocolate Hop with a five-course dessert degustation at William Curley. Previously reviewed here.

MoMo & Coco's Belgravia Chocolate Guide - William Curley Dessert Bar

MoMo & Coco’s Belgravia Chocolate Guide – William Curley Dessert Bar

Advertisements

2 comments on “Belgravia Chocolate Hop Tour – Charbonnel et Walker, Cocomaya, Rococco, Artisan du Chocolat, William Curley

  1. Daisy@Nevertoosweet
    January 31, 2014

    So awesome 🙂 you haven’t haven’t been in Melbourne lately? So cool get to travel I love London!

    • MoMo & Coco
      February 4, 2014

      Hello Daisy! Thanks for dropping by! No indeed, we have been off the reviewing/blogging radar for the last six months or so. Work…what can we say. We love London too, probably a second home haha. Hope you have been well, keep in touch, we really ought to meet up and share dessert adventures some time. 🙂 MoMo & Coco.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Dessert archives

January 2014
M T W T F S S
« Nov   Feb »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Dessert lovers guestbook

  • 300,505 worldwide

Countdown to next dessert review

December 1st, 2014
New dessert review published.
%d bloggers like this: