What to do for Valentine’s Day? Each year it’s a question that forms on the lips of couples throughout the world around this time. Well, if for this February 14th, you’re planning a romantic break away to the UK capital with your loved one, then you might well want to make for the elegantly stylish environs of Chelsea – not least because it’s packed full of fabulous, highly recommended chocolatiers…
Jeff de Bruges
(30 Thurloe Street SW7 2LT)
Specialists in not just chocolate, but ice cream and frozen yoghurts, this place is where to head for some utterly delicious treats. With more than 400 outlets across France, Jeff de Bruges’s Chelsea shop is making waves to say the least. Its success lies in it’s combining the culinary cultures of gourmet Belgian chocolate with the chic flamboyancy of French chocolate.
And our recommendation is to plump for a cup of mixed Madagascan vanilla and chocolate ice cream; with that, add some fruit toppings and small salted caramel cubes with their terrific textures. Your serving will come in either a bowl or a cone, so be clear about your preference here. Also, don’t pass up a chance to try the pralines, if you can; plus, the Earl Grey-flavoured truffles and dark chocolate with fruit pearls have to be tasted to be believed.
Artisan du Chocolat
(89 Lower Sloane Street SW1W 8DA)
No mistake about it; this place is all about the sophistication. To judge it from its exterior, you’d think this outlet traded in perfumes or jewellery, so beautifully boxed and packaged are the wares in its windows, yet for sure, this place is a chocolatier, all right. Indeed, to step through its doors is to discover, unmistakeably, that Artisan du Chocolat is a true treasure of discovery when it comes to the delights of everything chocolate can be. Magnificent and, yes, equally as extravagant – but then who doesn’t go in for a little extravagance every now and then? (Ideal then for those who might already be making the most of a stay at luxury suites London)
And, don’t doubt it, always a big favourite here are the salted caramel balls of pink and black pepper, originally created for Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant at Claridge’s. Happily enough, a box of them (which looks just like a luxurious face cream) is a marvellously affordable souvenir gift for a chocolate lover back home.
(71 King’s Road SW3 4NX)
A welcoming, as well as undeniably sophisticated, boutique outlet specialising in chocolate and gelato treats, Venchi unquestionably then celebrates (and helps keep alive) the Italian Piedmont artisanal tradition via its marvellously wide array of high-quality, taste-tastic edible delights that languorously linger on the tongue, whether savoured in-store or taken away to be enjoyed any other time (perhaps while walking around the sublimely serene streets of the Chelsea district as you make the most of the area’s many and various, excellent romantic hotel deals).
Noted for its friendly, knowledgeable staff, Venchi’s the Chelsea chocolatier to turn to for a fully developed, whole-hearted, exquisite tasting experience when it comes to any treats you request of their dedicated personnel; one, indeed, that you’ll surely never forget. And that’s whether you become a regular visit, are (unfortunately) a one-off guest or step inside this stylish store with your family. It’s all about the sweetness when it comes to Chelsea’s chocolatier offerings – and this one lives up to that reputation in spades!