As I’m sure most people who like food enough to read this blog will know, the past week has been National Chocolate Week.
While there is a very strong argument for celebrating chocolate every week of the year, I think it’s kind of ok to embrace NCW and go over the top in cocoa indulgence – and by far the best place to do so has to be Salon du Chocolat.
The three day show, which travels all over the world, came to London for the first time this year, bringing some of the finest chocolatiers from the UK and Europe together for the most fabulous showcase of chocolate you can imagine.
As a fairly MASSIVE fan of chocolate, it would have been crazy for me to pass us the opportunity to go along and see what all the fuss was about. Before arriving I was a little worried that it might not live up to it’s promise as a chocolate lover’s heaven, but thankfully I was wrong – if anything it was better.
My friend and host for the weekend prepared for the show in the best possible way – lots of cocktails the night before, coffee in the morning and skipping breakfast, meaning we had built up a pretty substantial appetite for chocolate by the time we arrived.
Waiting for us in the press room was a tray of Edd Kimber’s cocoa nib choux buns fresh from his demonstration – they were seriously delicious and something I will have to try and recreate at home. We also got a goody bag with the freebies in the picture below, also a good way to start the day!
Starting to make our way around the exhibitors was actually rather daunting, there were so many fabulous looking stands it was almost impossible to know where to start.
Literally every single company there was freely giving away samples of their products, which was great because not only did we get to eat our weight in chocolate, but without being able to try I would never have known which of the beautifully crafted and packaged chocolates were actually the best to buy, as they all looked incredible.
After going about half way around we hit the wall of chocolate fatigue, but a half hour tea break was enough to refresh, and I think we managed to make it to see pretty much everyone there.
As well as the exhibition, chocolate theatre demonstrations and chocolate tasting room, there was a display of chocolate couture – dresses made either partly or entirely of chocolate – and also a chocolate spa, complete with a bath full of chocolate ganache. I haven’t quite decided if that would be amazing or slightly disgusting, but impressive nonetheless!
The Benoit Nihant coffee flavour is probably the best coffee flavoured chocolate I’ve tasted, which is apparently down to the fact the coffee beans are ground with the cocoa beans, rather than being a flavour added later on. I’d never even heard of tonka beans before, but the flavour is sort of similar to vanilla, and absolutely delicious.
Lauden chocolates are generally amazing, and I’m sure the box of 12 will all be good – while at the stand we tried the lime, passionfruit and champagne flavours, all of which we loved, so I’m going to save these for when I feel like I’ve earned a special treat!
Thanks again to the lovely Sarah at Nudge PR for arranging my tickets for the show – although having now been, I’d be more than happy to pay the usual £15 a ticket to go again! I’d also be up for going to the show when it visits Brazil next year, although how much of an actual possibility that is I’m not too sure…