It’s soon to be National Chocolate Week (12-18 October), and there are a number of things to do to keep yourself busy and choc-happy!
We’re not talking about simply stuffing yourself with a box of Quality Street (although, why not, eh?). No, we here at Vada are full of class, and we’re suggesting that, in the spirit in which National Chocolate Week was intended, you try something indulgent too.
Hot on the heels of London Cocktail Week, we have a round-up of some extra special Chocolate Week cocktails to tantalise your tastebuds. These come from some of London’s top bars, and are guaranteed to make you swoon!
Cocktail Trading Company Smithfield: Chocolate Flip
Head over to this brand new venue to try one of these tasty babies (£9).
3/4 parts Bacardi 8 Year Rum
3/4 Cacao-infused Chartreuse
3/4 Tawny Port
1 scoop Pistachio Ice Cream
POND in Dalston: Charteuse Chocolate
The Manhattan’s Project currently has a popular residency at Hawaiian restaurant POND. This is their mouthwatering Chartreuse Chocolate (£8.50).
15ml Cherry Heering
250ml Hot Chocolate
The Jam Tree: Damson in a Dress
The Jam Tree has perfected the art of indulgent cocktails, and their Damson in a Dress is not to be missed (£8.50).
Accompanied by a chocolate net
More than chocolate, these are delicious dreams of decadent cacao. Grab your spoon – we’re going in!
The Savoy: Temptation Wheel
The Savoy’s new Temptation Wheel is served in the elegant Thames Foyer, offering up gourmet chocolate, desserts and hand-crafted cocktails.
This confection was concocted by by The Savoy’s Executive Pastry Chef Ludwig Hely, for which he sourced some of the finest and rarest chocolate from around the globe, and then created a suite of desserts inspired by what he discovered.
The lavish result is a menu of 12 chocolates and 12 incredible desserts that incorporate and complement the taste, smell and feel of the chocolates themselves. To add to the luxury here, the Beaufort Bar team had crafted an expertly matched cocktail to each dessert too.
The chocolate itself arrives as an embossed square in an individual box for guests to eat there and then or take home.
38% Maracaibo £6 – Cream, honey, caramel
50% Mangaro £7 – Creamy, fruity, gingerbread
67% Mokaya £7 – Dried fruits, perfumed, organic
Chocolatl – £16- unique textures of 63% Gran Blanco dark chocolate served in an edible pod.
Salted Caramel Verrine – £14 – Milk chocolate mousse, caramelized popcorn, salted caramel cremeux.
Chocolate Decadence – £15 – Ludwig Hely’s very own chocolate fondue with seasonal fruit skewers.
The desserts are brought to the table on an impressive domed bell cart, guaranteeing a touch of the theatrical.
Chalk Bar & Grill: Posh Snickers
We recently reviewed Chalk Bar & Grill, and it was faultless. It was one of the best places we’ve eaten for a while, and their Posh Snickers was one of the major highlights. Think velvety caramel ice cream and decadent chocolate, served up with plenty of flavour and flourish.
If you have time, you should definitely head away from home for a few days. National Chocolate Week may not be a national holiday, but you can always bribe your boss with a Thornton’s gift box or just head off for the weekend.
York’s Chocolate Story
The famous York’s Chocolate Story is a guided tour through the history of York’s most famous chocolatiers. Learn how to make chocolate, smell it, taste it and celebrate it. You’ll discover the sustainable future of chocolate, and come away feeling like one of Willy Wonka’s most clued-up Oompa Lumpas.
If you’re staying the night, you can crash at the nearby Hampton by Hilton York from just £99 a night, and make a romantic night of it.
If you’re up for a visit to Birmingham, you could do worse than popping into Cadbury World! At Cadbury World you can embark on a self-guided tour, discovering 14 amazing chocolate filled zones.
If you wanted to go all out, why not make it an overnight trip and stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham Brindley Place for just £89 a night?
Take your Mr/Ms/Mx Right (delete as appropriate), or head to the bars to snag Mr/Ms/Mx Right Now, and treat yourselves with a bottle of bubbly (£6.29 Aldi prosecco, anyone?), a box of chocs and a romantic DVD.
Bake your own treats
If you’re up for doing something creative and trying your skills before entering the next series of The Great British Bake-off, you could also whip up some of your own chocolate delights.
Who cares if they’re packed full of calories? It’s nearly Christmas – best get the practice in now for all that festive indulgence!
Chocolate and Cherry Muffins
Try the Vada-approved recipes for chocolate and cherry muffins. These are light and fruity, and make a great breakfast on the go.
Chocolate Chip Cake
It’s so good it’s almost unlawful, but what’s a bit of rule-breaking and calorie-slaking during National Chocolate Week? This decadent chocolate chip cake is gorgeous.
GBBO’s Iain Watters’ Chocolate Orange Christmas Cake
You can even try Iain Watters’ authentic chocolate chestnut orange Christmas cake, if you were really in the mood.
Whatever you end up doing, just make sure you feel good doing it.
Now, anyone for toffee apples and trick or treat, or is it too early?