Chocolate Week Event Guide

Published on Foodepedia on 11th October 2010:

Hey chocolate lovers, we know that Chocolate Week is like Christmas for you. So for Chocolate Week this year (11-17th October), we’ve put together a few other things that you could do to celebrate. In case you are not au fait with Chocolate Week, it is a week full of chocolate related events ending with Chocolate Unwrapped at the Vinopolis. You can also read the pick of Chocolate Week Treats here.

Chocolate making:

  • Artisan du Chocolat will be running a ‘bean to bar’ day at their Kent atelier on the 9th of October. This is a little ahead of Chocolate Week but it is a very special event because for the very first time, they will attempt to make 300kg of chocolate from Jamaican beans on site. This means all the roasting, winnowing, grinding, conching and refining. You can book in for the event for free by emailing and telling her why you should be invited. Of course if you can’t attend this, Artisan du Chocolat are also hosting free tastings of their bean to bar chocolate at their shops in Westbourne Grove, Lower Sloane street and Selfridges, Oxford Street.
  • William Curley will be setting up shop at Claridge’s on the 15th and 17th of October to spread his wisdom on truffle making and seasalt caramels. With classes at £100 per person, you can expect to walk away with some truly extraordinary chocolates. Call 0207 409 6307 to book. If that’s a bit pricey then you can still enjoy some William Curley specials during the rest of the week for Claridge’s Afternoon Tea or at one of his London stores. William also runs truffle master classes and other bespoke tutorials at his London stores, POA.
  • If you just fancied a hand at making chocolates at home, why not pick up a chocolate making kit from ChocChick? One pack has everything you need to make basic chocolate bars or get creative and add your own special ingredients. Kits are from £11.99 and are available on

 Chocolate dinners:

  • How could Chocolate Week be complete without some tea? On the 9th of October, Smugglers in Cornwall will be hosting a tasting master class with a three course dinner, wine and petit fours for £85 per head. The tea will be supplied by Tregothnan Teas, the only producer growing tea in England, and the chocolates are from Demarquette. Call 01872 520000 to book for the event.
  • Richmond’s Michelin-starred restaurant, The Bingham, will be serving up a chocolate themed gala dinner to launch Chocolate Week on the 11th of October. The menu is a collaboration between the restaurant’s executive chef Shay Cooper and chocolatier William Curley and is available for £120 per head. For the rest of the week until the 16th of October, there will be a tasting menu at only £65 per head. Visit to book.
  • For a dinner with a different, food journalist and author Sudi Pigott will be hosting a chocolate quiz at Northbank Restaurant, London, on the 12th of October. Tickets are £30 per head and includes a three course meal plus a glass of wine. Call 0207 329 9299 to book.

 Chocolate drinking:

  • There are more than a few Chocolate Afternoon Teas around for Chocolate Week but there is only one which is available all year round. The Hilton, Park Lane, serves up a delicious one called ‘Confessions of a Chocoholic’ with open sandwiches, chocolate tea pots and chocolate chip scones. The selection is usually dark chocolate based but for Chocolate Week only, they are changing their entire selection to milk chocolate. For only £25 per head, call 0207 208 4022 to book.
  • Harrod’s Wine Shop have teamed up with Godiva to do chocolate and rum tastings in-store on the 12th of October with UK Rum ambassador Ian Burrell. Call 0207 893 8777 to book. If you have to miss out, they also do a Godiva Rum ‘n’ Reason selection box.
  • K West Hotel & Spa, London, have created five chocolate cocktails – Liquid Bounty, Choconana, Jaffatini, Peppermint Crisp, Raspberry Blush. At only £5 each, they are a real treat. For more information go to

 Free chocolate tastings:

  • Fortnum & Mason will be hosting tastings of chocolates by Master Chocolatier Marc Demarquette throughout Chocolate Week. You can sample one of the seven flavours from the Orient Collection in store and even meet the man himself on the 14th of October.
  • La Maison du Chocolat are hosting a series of chocolate tastings at their Picadilly and Harrods stores during Chocolate Week. They have also launched a limited edition chocolate box which contains Caracas, a plain cocoa ganache with hints of grilled almonds and spices, and Extreme chocolat, an 100 % pure cocoa ganache with notes of roasted coffee, just for Chocolate Week.
  • Harvey Nichols will be hosting hot chocolate sampling with Choc-o-lait at selected stores on the 16th of October. Choc-o-lait is the Belgian company which makes chocolate sticks which you simply dip into hot milk and stir to create tasty hot chocolate. They will also have a number of other Chocolate Week events in store but will vary according to location.

 Other titbits…

  • For some light reading, Food and Travel magazine are doing a chocolate themed November issue with exclusive chocolate recipes from Marcus Wareing. Of course if you have more time, you could always enjoy Sarah Jane Evan’s new book, Chocolate Unwrapped: Taste and enjoy the world’s finest chocolate.
  • Young’s have used their Double Chocolate Stout to create some chocolate brownie recipes. Why not give it a go at home? We have the recipe here.
  • And last but not least, the UK national selection for the World Chocolate Masters takes place at this year’s Restaurant Show, London, on the 11th and 12th of October. The contestants have to create works of art according to the theme ‘Cocoa Quetzalcoatl’s Gift’. For more information, visit The event is held at a trade show so if you have anything to do with the restaurant industry, register here:

Foodepedia’s pick of Chocolate Week Treats

Published on Foodepedia on 11th October 2010:

Many of you chocolate lovers will know that Chocolate Week is coming up. From the 11th of October, Britain will be whipped into a chocolate consumption frenzy, ending with Chocolate Unwrapped at the Vinopolis on 16th and 17th of October. You can read our Chocolate Week guide here.

To help with the indulgence, the Foodepedia team (and a few lucky volunteers) gathered around the office to try out some truly delicious chocolates to give you our pick of Chocolate Week consumables. We want to thank all the chocolatiers who have sent in samples to help us decide and the choice has been by no means easy. And you know it was that good when it’s taken us almost three weeks to come up with the goods!

Chocolates truffles

We tried: Artisan du Chocolat Truffles, Booja Booja Around Midnight Espresso, Booja Booja Italian Hazelnut, Harrods Chocolatier Milk Chocolate Truffles, Harrods Chocolatier Pink Chocolate Truffles, Hotel Chocolat Classic Champagne Truffles, Hotel Chocolat Pink Champagne Truffles, Paul A Young Los Ancones Truffles.

We loved: Paul A Young Los Ancones Truffles

Because… it’s the classic truffle with an almost liquid centre which tastes like freshly made real hot chocolate. These truffles are rich, dark and delicious. We also detected a hint of nuttiness which made the flavours all the more intense.

You can buy it from: Paul A Young.

Retro chocolates

We tried: Guylian Chocolate Seashells, Harrods Milk Chocolate Pastilles, Harrods White Chocolate Pastilles, Neuhaus Lady Chefs.

We loved: Neuhaus Lady Chefs

Because… the packaging is so beautifully retro, and it tastes good too. Neuhaus is of course one of the most famous Belgian chocolatiers. The selection comes in a pink faux-leather case and the chocolates inside are all flavours created by female chefs. The girls in the team can’t imagine receiving a better chocolate gift.

You can buy it from: Harrods who are the exclusive stockists in the UK.

Dark chocolates

We tried: Amedei 63, Artisan du Chocolat Jamaica 72% Cocoa, Artisan du Chocolat Vietnam 72% Cocoa, Harrods Chocolatier Dark Chocolate 67%, Hotel Chocolat Rabot Estate 65%,

We loved: Amedei 63

Because… it’s smooth and velvety without the bitter after taste so often found in dark chocolate. The fact that the ingredients are from some of the world’s most sought after beans just makes it even better.

You can buy it from: Harvey Nichols, Chocolate Trading co.

Gourmet chocolates

We tried: Demarquette The Orient Collection, Neuhaus Lady Chefs, Paul A Young Sea Salt Caramels, Sir Hans Sloane.

We loved: Sir Hans Sloane

Because… it tastes intensely chocolaty, has beautifully classic packaging and the chocolates are easy to identify. We loved the fact that the chocolates are labelled in situ so there was no faffing about with paper guides. The flavours weren’t adventurous but they were good.

You can buy it from: Sir Hans Sloane, Harrods.

Milk chocolates

We tried: Artisan du Chocolat Jamaica 40% Cocoa, Cocoa Bean Chocolate co Irish Honey, Harrods Chocolatier Milk Chocolate 41%, Paul A Young Autumn Bar.

We loved: Artisan du Chocolat Jamaica 40%

Because… it’s not too sweet but very chocolatey. It’s plain, simply and good quality chocolate but there was also a hint of something we can’t quite place. It’s also available in a dark 72%.

You can buy it from: Artisan du Chocolat, Selfridges.

Cooking chocolates

We tried: Amedei Chuao, Hotel Chocolat Hacienda Iara 100%, Hotel Chocolat Hacienda Iara 80%, Valrhona Abinao, Willie’s Supreme Cacao Hacienda El Tesoro.

We loved: Amedei Chuao

Because… you can cook with it but it’s equally good as a nibble with the perfect balance between sweetness and bitterness. It’s really hard to pick the one we loved the most when all the ones that we tried were of such a high quality – as it should be if you’re cooking with it. But we know that Amedei chocolates are ethically sourced and they only use the highest quality beans. Plus, it helps if you can eat it as you cook.

You can buy it from: Harvey Nichols, William Curley.

Flavoured chocolates

We tried: Hotel Chocolat Rocky Road Slab, Paul A Young Aztec Emperor, Paul A Young Pina Colada, Cocoa Bean Chocolate co G&T, Cocoa Bean Chocolate co Rose & Pistachio, Cocoa Bean Chocolate co Sea Salt, Cocoa Bean Chocolate co Lime Zest & Black Pepper.

We loved: Hotel Chocolat Rocky Road Slab

Because… we couldn’t imagine a chocolate which has more flavours or textured incorporated into one. The Rocky Road Slab is a mixture of dark, milk and white chocolates plus cookies and rice puffs. There is something for everyone in this one bar.

You can buy it from: Hotel Chocolat

Chocolates with filling

We tried: Demarquette The Orient Collection, Neuhaus Lady Chefs, Paul A Young Seasalt Caramels, Paul Wayne Gregory Chocolate Lollies, Sir Hans Sloane.

We loved: Paul Wayne Gregory Chocolate Lollies.

Because… it’s outrageously different, and in a good way. The outer shell is a mixture of deliciously dark chocolate mixed with exploding candy which melts away to an intense seasalt caramel centre. The feel and taste is just incredible.

You can buy it from: Paul Wayne Gregory.

So, we hope you enjoyed our little round up. Do let us know your Chocolate Week favourites too.