If you live in London, there's no need for Easter Sunday to be a massive junk food binge. The capital's master chocolatiers will provide you with stunning, unusual eggs and bunnies that are made by genuine craftsmen and sourced from the finest ingredients. It's not actually any healthier than gorging yourself on Woolworths' milk chocolate, but it is a whole lot more fun.
A wildly chic chocolate shop with its own onsite kitchen, this elegantly minimalist boutique makes it clear that these chocolates are a fashion accessory rather than just a food. Sleek packaging, cool surrounds and top-quality service complete the picture. There's a chocolate-making masterclass at the Cookbook Cafe on 12th March, and the Melt Chocolate Children's Hour offers youngsters the chance to get sticky making their own unique range of chocolate treats.
Eggs that belong in an art gallery, with swirling marble effects and brash Pop Art stylings are Demarquette's speciality. With flavours including Lavender, Ginger, Coffee, Orange, Cinnamon and Wild Peppermint, Demarquette offers a very grown-up take on the world of chocolate.
Originally a specialist importer supplying chocolate to top restaurants, and then a mail order business and club for chocolate enthusiasts, The Chocolate Society keep things simple and traditional. Cute, handmade bunnies and hens are a speciality at this flagship for chocolate craftsmanship.
This branch of the celebrated Parisian chocolatiers opened in the 1970s, when fine food was a pretty rare thing in the capital. Continuous innovation allowed it to maintain an air of quiet superiority in the face of its upstart British rivals. The eggs here are distinctive, delicious and exquisitely tasteful.
Cocoa dust hangs heavy in the air in this tiny paradise of heaped, handmade chocolate goodness, rough edges and sensational flavours. If you do want to wean your kids off Cadbury's, then this is a better place to start than the fine art chocolatiers of Mayfair. Theobroma Cacao offers honest, simple, chocolate goodies with a focus on taste rather than presentation.
This French chocolatier was originally given its berth in the Royal Arcade by Edward VII, back in 1875. They still have a Royal Warrant, so if you want to eat the same eggs as Lizzie, Phillip, Charles and the corgis, this is the place to shop. If you really want to have a flashy Easter this year, you can pick up their 5ft tall 'Big Bertha' egg - a snip at only £650. They also have concessions in Canary Wharf and the Harrods' Food Hall.
L'Artisan du Chocolat take their sweeties very seriously indeed, obsessing over textures, subtly balanced flavours and freshness. The chocolate tastings here are as formal and as detailed as wine tastings, and woe betide anyone who wanders in off the street munching a Yorkie bar. We have a sneaking sense that they regard Easter as rather beneath their dignity, but it doesn't stop them producing some gorgeous eggs, made from connosieurs' chocolate.
If Faberge had used chocolate as his medium, instead of gold, silver and precious stones, he might have created eggs a little like these. Every egg is hand-painted with care and flair, and there are also any number of cute animals to enjoy. The sheer quality of the art will be a problem for some people, who may find it impossible to damage these exquisite objects. Details for the Chelsea branch are given below; there are also branches in Marylebone and Mayfair.
The more elaborate treats in this fashionable Islington chocolatier have the finishing touches performed on them at the counter, to prove their freshness. Fruits, spices and herbs form part of the amazing original flavours produced by this World Chocolate Awards Gold Medal-winner.
Winning the Academy of Chocolate Best British Chocolatier Award 2007 is pretty good going in your first year in business - though William and Suzue Curley had a few years perfecting their trade in Michelin-starred restaurants at their other branch in Richmond before opening this Shepherd Market flagship.
Easter in London 2008
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