If you didn't get to the Southbank today for The Chocolate Festival, never fear – it's still on tomorrow and Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm. The stalls are set up just outside the Royal Festival Hall and browsing is, of course, free!
If you can leave without spending anything, you're a stronger woman than me!
The range is fabulous from many of the UK's top chocolatiers (Marc Demarquette, Damian Allsop, Chantal Coady's Rococo, Paul Wayne Gregory…) to Petra's wonderful ChocStar van (selling brownies and rich, warming hot chocolate, amongst other goodies) to Chocolate & Love (selling chocolate bars that are both ethical and the best in the world) to Chocolution's lots-of-fun chocolate-making kits (new and improved from when I last reviewed them) to chocolate-covered pretzels to stacks of cookies to fudge (and proper tablet) to top chocolate producers, Valrhona to Caffe Vergnano's Italian hot chocolate to London Meantime chocolate stout, winter time ale, IPA and more… and many other stall holders besides.
Look out for:-
- Marc Demarquette's Nutkeeper Caramels – his brand new chocolates which he describes as "hybrid praline caramels"
- Damian Allsop's Clouds – infusions and fruit purees first made into foams and then dehydrated to create a light and crunchy filling
- Rococo's organic white chocolate and cardamom chocolate bar and the darling chicchi di caffe which I mentioned in a recent post
- Paul Wayne's Pure Indulgence range (the passion fruit is utterly delightful) and his salted caramel chocolate lollies (with a hint of popping candy)
- Pick your own favourite from Chocolate & Love's fabulous selection featuring their own branded bars as well as Pacari, Amedei, Beschle, Friis-Holm…
- Chocolution Mayan Magic kits are just ten pounds and include more content than before; a really great Christmas present for young and old chocolate lovers alike – see how I found them last year
- Caffe Vergnano's hot chocolate has long been one of my favourites in London – it's very very rich and smooth; go into the nearby caffe to order it with thick cream on top or buy from their stall in the festival to enjoy it whilst walking around
- Meantime Brewing Company selling a great range of their beers, brewed right here in London
Many thanks to Yael Rose, festival organiser, for inviting me to the festival's launch presentation where I enjoyed talks and tastings by Damian Allsop, Marc Demarquette and Paul Wayne Gregory.