My Dream – A Chocolate Walking Tour in London

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Jess writes: Our family loves chocolate, and we could all happily eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Naturally, when mum and I were given the option to go on a Chocolate Ecstasy Tour around Mayfair, we immediately said yes.

The three hour long tour started at 10am, when we all met at Sketch. This was possibly one of the coolest and strangest restaurants I’ve ever been to, as it consists of many different parts. There is a tea room, an enchanted forest, a large diner-style room and award winning toilets! These toilets were like little pods, and the ceiling had colourful glass. It certainly wasn’t something you see every day…

The weird but brilliant toilets
The weird but brilliant toilets

Our small group (only eleven people) sat at the back of the tea room, where our tour guide Lindsay taught us all about chocolate.

We learnt that the Mayans were the first group of people to use cocoa beans, but they made it into a drink which translates into “bitter water”. The drink was cold, and does not sound nice at all…

I was particularly interested that the Aztec Emperor Montezuma used to drink over 50 goblets of a hot chocolate drink every day. He mixed red berries into his drink to turn it into “blood” and told his subjects that he would drink them if they misbehaved – this was an unconventional but effective way to get them to do what he wanted!

We gradually went forward in time, to learn about the development of the first chocolate bar, and how milk chocolate was created. Next, we were told how chocolate is made, and how to tell if it is good quality or not.

We all got to touch cocoa beans, which have nibs inside once the outer shell is removed. These nibs have over 50,000 antioxidants – who knew eating chocolate was so healthy?

The delicious hot chocolate
The delicious hot chocolate

We were given a hot chocolate and a delicious apple pastry, and Mum and I agreed that the hot chocolate was the best we have ever tasted – it was even better than the ones in Vienna!

After sampling some Valrhona dark chocolate, it was time to leave. Our first stop on the tour was London’s oldest chocolate shop: Charbonnel et Walker. The company has been at this site since the 1970s but have been on Bond Street since the company was established in 1875.

Truffles!
Truffles!

Charbonnel et Walker provides chocolates to the Royal Family, and has some fascinating and very intimate pictures up on the walls – given to them by the Royal family. I particularly liked one of Princess Anne and Prince Charles, where Princess Anne is halfway out of the window!

A rose cream
A rose cream – the Queen’s favourite

We got to try the Queen’s favourite chocolates – rose and violet creams. I thought that these were utterly delicious, and could have happily eaten more. Next were Marc de Champagne truffles, the shop’s best-seller. Mum and I adored these, and they were not too alcoholic.  As we were on the tour, we had a 10 per cent discount on the shop’s chocolates. Consequently, we bought some, and mum was even offered another free chocolate.

Next came Prestat, favourite of the Queen Mother and Roald Dahl alike. The shop was tiny, but it was full of loads and loads of chocolates. We were given a choice of four cocoa-dusted Napoleon truffles, which were fabulous. I chose the plain chocolate one as the others were alcoholic, and absolutely loved it. We were also allowed to choose any chocolate of our choice, which was a very hard decision indeed! I eventually decided on a honey nougat chocolate and was not disappointed.

Me with a knickerbocker glory bar we purchased
Me with a knickerbocker glory bar we purchased

Our third stop Carpo was definitely my favourite. It is a mixture of scrumptious chocolate, amazing nuts and dried fruit, which was amazing. We were given chocolate covered almonds, which were so good mum and I had to buy some to take home. We also bought salty macadamias, which we finished instantly when we got home as they were just too good…

Chocolate slabs from Carpo
The huge slabs of chocolate at Carpo. We would have loved to buy one!

The last shop we visited on our tour was Paul A Young, home of the best salted caramel chocolate in the world. We were allowed to choose any chocolate we wanted, which was a very difficult choice. Mum tried the salted caramel which she absolutely raved about afterwards (and then bought one for dad to try), whereas I braved the Marmite. It was mouth-watering, and I liked it more than I thought I would.

From left to right: award-winning salted caramels, the display table, marmite truffles
From left to right: award-winning salted caramels, the display table, marmite truffles

We left the store with a stick of marzipan, and a small bag of chocolates including salted caramels, peanut butter and raspberry truffles and banoffee pie truffles.

By the end of our tour, we were all thoroughly chocolated-out. Lindsay thanked us, gave us leaflets and even gave us chocolate hearts as a late Valentine’s day gift.

Mum and I in Paul A Young
Mum and me in Paul A Young

Mum and I had such a brilliant time, and learnt a lot. The small group size meant we all felt included, and Lindsay was really lovely and knowledgeable. All of the chocolate was delicious, and I liked how there wasn’t too much walking. I had a fantastic time, and would be more than happy to try another chocolate walking tour in the future!

Disclosure: The Mayfair Chocolate Ecstacy tour costs £40 per person, and includes the tastings (and hot chocolate!). The company also runs tours elsewhere in London and in Brighton. Check out their website for more. We took part in the tour on a complimentary basis, but all our views are our own. 

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21 Responses

  1. Oh wow, this looks like such a fun way to spend the day. Great Mothers Day present idea too.

    • We had a fab time, and I recommend it for anyone. It would definitely be a much appreciated Mother’s Day present!

  2. Wow, that looks like such a fun tour! I’m really loving the white cappuccino truffles as the one from Thornton’s are THE best. This is a chocolate lover’s dream tour, yum yum!

    Ree xx

  3. This looks like such a fun tour! the perfect day for a chocoholic like myself 😀 in fact after reading this, I need to go grab some chocolate! really well written, yummy pictures, thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Ah, chocolate! My dream, my weakness, my addiction. Your post make me drool but the price of the tour would have kept me out of it. Too expensive.

    • Yes – it is certainly pricey, but we had a fantastic time. It would be a great present for a birthday or Christmas.

  5. That sounds like the best day out ever!! I was given some Prestat chocolates recently but I’ve never been to the shop, in fact I’ve only just realised quite how posh they are!

    • Prestat was delicious, and the knickerbocker glory bar we purchased disappeared very quickly indeed…

  6. My mouth is watering just reading this – what a great tour.

  7. Oh this looks divine, love chocolate. I’ve previously spent an evening chocolate tasting and learning the history, but I love the idea of combining London and chocolate. Two of my favourite things.

    • We had a fantastic time! There was a lot of history involved, and combining that with chocolate was a dream.

  8. WHERE do I start with this post? The pods? The emperor or Prince Charles hanging his sister out of the window? What a fascinating tour. I am a huge chocolate fan and Charbonel et Walker and Prestat are amongst my top five.
    I’m with mum all the way on the salted caramel, happens to be my favourite too but I am not sure I am brave enough to try the Marmite though.

  9. And NOW we want chocolate! (okay, we always want chocolate). But it really looks delicious 🙂

  10. OMG that looks amazing Lx

  11. This is the dream! A friend told me about the first place with the ‘eggs’ toilets and showed me pictures. Will definitely visit when I go to London again.

  12. Wow, I do not know how we missed this when we were in London, but I will not make that mistake again. This looks like a super way to spend the day!!

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