In 1983, Chantal Coady OBE, opened the doors of Rococo Chocolates in Chelsea and since then has gone on to open further shops in Belgravia, Marylebone, Covent Garden and Chester.
We entered the Chester shop, open minded but not really knowing much about Rococo Chocolates or the story behind them. Luckily for us the store manager Peter, was on hand to deliver a fun and informative lesson in both the history of Rococo and chocolate in general, including an educational tasting session.
To start, while drinking a cup of delicious hot chocolate, Peter told us all about the chocolate process, from the farms to the shop and everything in between. He went on to say how passionate Chantal was about ensuring each stage of the process is ethical, and that everybody who works for Rococo is treated fairly. Amazingly, when discussing the Grenada Chocolate company, Peter told us that solar power is used for most of the machines, and where possible, the sail freighter Tres Hombres is used for motor-free shipping creating zero carbon emissions.
Peter’s passion for all things chocolate really shone through when he began to teach us novices all about chocolate tasting. Starting with looking at the shine, listening to the snap, smelling it and finally tasting it, but by letting it melt in the mouth rather than biting it… which is hard to do when it tastes so heavenly! We tried three similar chocolates but all from different areas (Jamaica, Peru and Dominican Republic) and were surprised to discover how differently they all tasted.
The shop itself is bright, colourful and very fun, full of enticing handmade chocolates, novelty items, gifts and even has a miniature train track suspended from the ceiling! Some of the more unique products are chocolate quail eggs and praline asparagus tips, while the main cabinet is full of handmade artisan chocolates and truffles, including our favourite, the ‘Salted Toffee Crunchy Praline’ topped with Anglesey sea salt.
Since moving from the front of the Grosvenor Hotel, the new location, in the heart of historic Chester, boasts a small cafe area and garden terrace, where people can meet and enjoy a hot drink and vast array of chocolate treats with friends. The shop also features a ‘Chocolate Classroom’ where the team are set to host a range of workshops and tasting sessions this coming year for groups of friends, work places and even a have a hen party booked in!
All in all, Rococo Chocolates is definitely worth a visit. With the range and quality of chocolate, friendly staff and delightful shop, you won’t be disappointed.