From the country's best dessert bars to a giant Easter egg hunt on a beautiful island off the coast of Cornwall, we round-up the best locations to indulge in chocolate this Spring.
(Words: Sejal Kapadia)
Meet renowned chocolate expert Martin Christy, see the year’s best Easter eggs and indulge in raw chocolate, all within the Victorian surroundings of Oxford Town Hall.
18-19 April, Oxford Town Hall, from £5.75, festivalchocolate.co.uk
Spend the evening with master chocolatier Paul A Young, where he'll give you a crash course on bean varieties and rare unique chocolates and teach you how to make your very own chocolate bar. If you miss out on tickets head to his shop anyway to try some of the best chocolates in London.
24 April; 143 Wardour Street, London, W1F 8WA; £177; paulayoung.co.uk
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park's Bar Boulud is offering a three-course menu to celebrate Easter Sunday. The dessert course incorporates the all important Easter egg, which is filled with with tonka bean ice cream, crispy kataifi and pistachio powder.
£45 per person for three courses; Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA; barboulud.com
Kew Gardens are partnering up with the Roald Dahl Museum to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this Easter. The festival includes Willy Wonka-inspired treats in their bakery, a tour of the plants behind different types of confectionery in the Secluded Garden Glasshouse which replicates the Great Glass Lift and a Georgian chocolate cookery class.
Until 21 April; Kew Gardens, Royal Richmond, TW9 3AB; various prices; kew.org
In spirit of their first ever Easter egg, Baileys are hosting a one-off, immersive-theatre egg hunt across all five of the floors in Harvey Nichols' London store. The experience includes a six-course feast and you receive your very won Baileys Chocolat Luxe Easter Egg, which has a Belgian chocolate and Baileys ganache core, reminiscent of a soft-boiled egg yoke.
£25 per ticket; Saturday 19 April, 12pm to 9pm; Harvey Nichols, 109 - 125 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RJ; call 08454 639 558 or firstname.lastname@example.org
National Trust properties have teamed up with Cadbury's at over 300 locations across the UK to create Easter-egg trails for young explorers. But St Michael's Mount in Cornwall may be one of the most epic. The hunt takes place on two separate days – 18 and 20 April – with clues leading "eggsplorers" around the village and harbourside.
£2.00 per child; St Michael's Mount, Cornwall, TR17 0EF; stmichaelsmount.co.uk
Inside Pollen Street Social - a complex of restaurant dining rooms from British chef Jason Atherton - is a small but lovely dessert bar (it only seats six people). All their cakes, creams and crumbles are priced at or around a tenner, including a 70% chocolate ganache with banana ice-cream and sesame crumble.
From £9; Pollen Street Social, 8/10 Pollen Street, London W1S 1NQ; pollenstreetsocial.com
The smell of chocolate hits you as soon as you walk through the door to this eclectic and welcoming cafe opened by the SAID factory founded in Rome’s San Lorenzo district in 1923. It's the spot to catch up with a friend over a cup of genuinely rich and thick hot chocolate.
Said, 41 Broadwick Street, W1F 9QL
Roast + Conch is an Anglo-West Indian restaurant all about returning the cocoa bean to its "rightful place" as a subtle savoury spice and garnish. But if you really do want chocolate, you can experience it freshly made from beans roasted and conched by chocolatiers in the restaurant.
55 Boar Lane, Leeds, LS1 5EL; hotelchocolat.com
Learn the secrets of chocolate making in the breathtaking valley of Borrowdale with chef David Jackson. He will be showing you how to create truffles and chocolates as well as helping to create the dessert for Easter Sunday's meal at Leathes Head Hotel.
A two-night stay from £185 per room per night for two including breakfast, dinner and chocolate making masterclass; Leathes Head Hotel, Cumbria, CA12 5UY; Call 01768 777247 to book; leatheshead.co.uk
Chocolate isn't just found in various pastries and cakes at Bettys. It also makes it's way into hot drinks such as the Latte Latino which contains milky coffee with Bettys Swiss chocolate sauce and cinnamon. The tea rooms also host recurring chocolate themed luncheons to get a sneak peek into how they make chocolate.
Visit bettys.co.uk for more information
For a mid-afternoon indulgence, head to patissier and chocolatier William Curley's dessert bar where you can dig your way through 5 desserts expertly crafted and created in front of you by one of our the chefs. We hear they're as good as what you can get in France.
Saturday and Sunday on a first come first served basis; 198 Ebury Street, Belgravia, SW1W 8UN; williamcurley.com
Embark on a historical tour of chocolate at Cadbury World, from the launch of the Bournville chocolate in 1908 to going behind the scenes and witnessing how Cadbury's produces its chocolate today. There is plenty of complementary chocolate on offer along the way.
Cadbury World, Linden Road, Bournville, B30 1JR; cadburyworld.co.uk
Situated in Bournemouth's fashionable Soho Quarter is this chocolate-inspired hotel. Its 15 rooms are chocolate themed and there are plenty of opportunities to eat the real thing, from masterclasses to hampers.
The Chocolate Boutique Hotel, 5 Durley Road, Bournemouth, BH2 5JQ; thechocolateboutiquehotel.co.uk