Chocolate. I cannot count the number of times it has kept me going, especially during stressful exam periods, or long days at work. We have a special relationship, chocolate and I. I always have a stash of various chocolate bars in the kitchen – you never know when you will have the craving for it! (Or so I say).
Which is why I knew I jumped for joy when I heard Salon du Chocolat was coming to London, in conjunction with Chocolate Week. It is said to be the world’s largest chocolate show, with exhibits from various top UK and international brands – including Artisan du Chocolat, Paul a Young, Rococo, Valrhona, Bonnat and Lindt. Various demonstrations and workshops from chocolatiers and chefs were also on offer, as well as a display of chocolate inspired couture outfits (which were modelled live on the first evening of the show). There were many French stalls (complete with French speaking exhibitors), unsurprising as this show has been going strong for many years in Paris.
I always discover new brands during food shows, and this time was no exception. I chanced upon the Leeds-based Lauden chocolate stall, lingered, and eventually tried one of their rather attractive chocolates – and really liked it! I felt that their strength was the intensity of flavours, and especially liked the tanginess of the passionfruit chocolate. I bought a box, naturally.
I’ve never been one for words, so I’ll let the photos do the talking. They are mostly close up (ish) shots of the chocolates/sweets on offer, I got a little over excited and forgot to take wider framed shots!
A selection of 12 chocolates from Lauden Chocolate.
Stephen, one of the owners of Lauden Chocolate.
I wouldn’t be able to wear this without eating my way through the cupcakes…
I first tried these Venchi chocolates when I went to Italy in my first year of uni – Loved them then, love them now.
Chocolate ruffles, anyone?
I think this was a chocolate/pistachio combo…
A selection of sweets and candies, in extremely pretty boxes.
Chocolate heels. Every girls dream…
A very fancy Advent calendar!
Henri Le Roux caramels. Best caramels EVER – especially the CBS (caramel beurre sel), salted butter caramel.
A range of spreads – mostly chocolate based, of course.
Rococo mini chocolate bars
Giant slabs of nougat, made from mostly-French ingredients.
More nougat. Because it was pretty.
Not chocolate… but I loved the stand!
Extremely attractive chocolate slabs from chocoMe. Loved these.
Paris, je t’aime.
Salted caramels from Melt.
Not chocolate – but very good. Caramel spread from Henri Le Roux, usually near impossible to get outside France! So good on warm toast. Mmmmm.
Salon du Chocolat in a nutshell:
– Definitely worth a visit if you are a chocolate fan.
– Be prepared for the prices, as good chocolate always comes at a price.
– Sample, discover new brands, and have fun!
Salon du Chocolat is running from 18-20 October at Olympia National Hall, Kensington, London.
Disclaimer: I attended Salon du Chocolat as a guest, but all the opinions above are my own.