The Chocolate Show, Kensington Olympia, London
It’s an exciting time for the chocolate industry in the UK with the rise of boutique chocolatiers and our own bean-to-bar producers. Enjoy the sweet life for a day by discovering more about one of our favourite treats.
Chocolate-lovers will enjoy London’s Chocolate Show which takes places every October
Chocoholics will love this niche show entirely dedicated to chocolate that’s held at London’s Olympia. It’s where Britain’s finest chocolatiers show off their delectable creations and it’s growing in size every year. With plenty of opportunities to taste and learn, there’s something for everyone including a Chocolate Fashion Show and chocolate show pieces. I really enjoyed meeting Britain’s bean-to-bar producers , hearing their stories and tasting their single origin bars. It’s great for gift buying too. The Chocolate Show programme changes every year so be sure to consult the show’s official website.Sally, Editor, The Foodie Travel Guide
- Meet Britain’s best chocolatiers
- Take part in chocolate masterclasses
- Watch the Chocolate Fashion Show
- See chocolate-making demonstrations
- Takes place every October
The Chocolate Show
In recent years, new characters and personalities have had a huge influence on the chocolate scene in the UK, previously the domain of large scale manufacturers. They’re instrumental to the success of the Chocolate Show where they all actively participate in workshops and discussions providing inspiration for budding chocolatiers and chocolate enthusiasts.
Meet The Chocolatiers
Meet people such as Chantal Cody, the founder of Rococco Chocolates, rumored to be the inspiration behind Joanne Harris’s best-selling book ‘Chocolat’. It later became a film starring Juliette Binoche (some of the scenes were filmed in the farm buildings at Hauser & Wirth in Somerset). Look out for the flamboyant Paul A. Young with his moustache and waistcoat who is renowned for experimenting with unusual flavours such as marmite and slow-roasted garlic.
Watch a Chocolate Fashion Show
Chocolate Tree in Edinburgh produce hot chocolate with interesting flavours
Take Part in a Chocolate Workshop
Ever wondered how chocolate is made and where it comes from? Discover the journey from bean-to-bar and the processes along the way such as conching and tempering required to make a bar of chocolate. Sign up to a truffle workshop with L’Atelier des Chefs and make delicious artisanal truffles. Children can take part in lollipop and chocolate bar making workshops run in partnership with the York Cocoa House.
Chocolatier Paul A. Young giving a demo at The Chocolate Show
Paul A. Young’s Salted Caramel Popcorn Pavé
Take Part in a Chocolate Tasting Session
Taste the difference between chocolate made using beans from Madagascar compared to beans from Grenada. Try different pairings with chocolate. Previous shows have included a whisky and chocolate tasting session where participants tasted among others, a smokey Talisker (matured in a Port cask at the only distillery on Skye), paired with Roccoco’s award-winning Madagascan (64%) house truffle.
Buy Chocolate Gifts
For gifts, take a look at the creative range produced by Hotel Chocolat (they even produce a cocoa-infused gin). Buy chocolate from a UK bean to bar producer such as Duffy, who made the unusual career change from Formula One racing engineer or try the honey drinking chocolate by Hans Sloane. It’s named after the man responsible for bringing the recipe for milk chocolate to the UK who was also a benefactor of the Chelsea Physic Garden.
- The Chocolate Show is preceded by Chocolate Week so watch out for an exciting programme of events taking place throughout the week
- Sign up for a chocolate tasting tour of London. Chocolate Ecstasy Tours offer specialist tours of chocolatiers in Chelsea, Mayfair and Notting Hill
- Treat yourself to a Hotel Chocolat Afternoon Tea with a glass of fizz at Rabot 1745 in Borough Market
Don’t be tempted to pair dark chocolate with a full-bodied red wine. Apparently with this combination, the strength of the tannins impairs the flavour.
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WHERE TO STAY IN LONDON
A 15-minute walk from Richmond Tube Station,the Bingham features luxurious rooms, some overlooking the River Thames.
Rooms from £92 a night.
The Hotel Zetter
The Zetter Hotel is a quirky, award-winning boutique hotel located in fashionable Clerkenwell, London.
Rooms from £135 a night.
This stylish property close to Victoria Station offering individually designed rooms and an all-day restaurant.
Rooms from £175 a night.
They tell me that it’s guide dogs only at The Chocolate Show.