What could be better than the combination of a leisurely stroll through one of the most prestigious areas in London, and an endless supply of one of the greatest cuisines on the planet? That’s right, nothing. Chocolate Ecstasy Tours provide exactly this experience, and I must say, it’s a good’un.
Getting the train up to Victoria, the initial meeting point was only a short walk away, at the William Curley patisserie down Ebury Street. Starting with a delicious hot chocolate, we introduced ourselves as a group, and settled down to listen to Jennifer, our tour guide for the day. There were ten of us including Jennifer, which was a great group size as it wasn’t too big, and we still got personal treatment.
Jennifer is an expert in the chocolate industry, she does consultancy work for huge firms like Tesco Finest, and used to be a buyer (best job ever?!). All this knowledge meant she was extremely interesting to listen to, especially as you could tell she was thoroughly enthusiastic about the subject. I have a feeling this blog will mostly feature pictures, as there’s no way I could write down everything Jennifer taught us, plus I don’t want to spoil the surprise!
At the William Curley patisserie, we tasted two delicious chocolates, including a beautiful juniper and blackcurrant flavoured one. I doubt I’ll be able to remember all the fabulous flavours we sampled, so you’ll just have to take the tour yourself!
Heading outside, we walked through the famous Belgravia district, and learnt about the lives of Wolfgang Mozart and his sister while they lived there. I have to say, Jennifer’s knowledge of the area was very impressive, I wasn’t expecting a history tour as well as the chocolate tour – bonus!
The second stop along the way was Artisan Du Chocolat, where we tried the most DIVINE mint chocolate. I was always a bit dubious about mint as a flavour in confectionery, I’ve never been a fan of mint ice cream or mint chocolates, but this one was different because it used fresh mint – like a little bitesize mojito! I could have eaten them all day, but there were more to try, including a lime flavoured chocolate, a lovely truffle, a liquid caramel chocolate, and most fascinating of all, a tobacco flavoured one! This one was quite strange, but not unpleasant, it was like taking a drag on a cigarette with a mouth full of chocolate.
Moving on, we walked through Sloane Square, learning about the history of the King’s Road and the Peter Jones department store. Heading down Lowndes Street, we arrived at the Pierre Hermés store, who specialise in macarons. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to film or take pictures inside, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that it was a beautiful little store and the macarons were the best I’ve ever tasted! I tried the rose, ginger and orange blossom flavour, which was simply sublime. Again, Jennifer taught us the rich history of the establishment, and how Pierre made his name in the patisserie industry.
The last stop on the tour was Rococo Chocolates, where we really got down to business learning about the history of chocolate, the making process, and did some serious taste tests. Most people have never tried 100% chocolate, but I’ve tried it twice in a year now! It was incredible how clearly you could taste the difference between chocolates that were essentially the same, just grown in different countries. The varying soils, climate and surrounding plant life all affect the taste, giving each one a distinct flavour.
I could go into loads of details about this tour, about everything we tasted and everything Jennifer taught us, but it’s much better to just go yourself rather than vicariously through me! I think the best thing was that most of the places we visited I’d be too intimidated to go into by myself, but this tour really helps you understand how these establishments work, and now I can’t wait to go back and stock up! Huge thanks to Chocolate Ecstasy Tours for having me, I’ll just get back to dreaming about chocolate now…
Check out the Mayfair London Chocolate Tour as well!