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parrot_knight [userpic]

Designer chocolate in Oxford

August 21st, 2009 (02:12 pm)
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While Chocology in the Covered Market has long catered to a wide range of chocolate tastes and price ranges, Hotel Chocolat have now opened on High Street, in the shop that used to be Britannia Building Society. They are definitely on the expensive side, but as this is opening day tasters are ongoing. The white chocolate with vanilla was very well-judged, I thought. Were I to spend £2.95 on a 100g bar (£7.50 for three!) I might try one of the blueberry swirls.

Comments

Posted by: nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 01:42 pm (UTC)

Damn, and I didn't get out at lunchtime!

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 02:04 pm (UTC)

It's worth having a look tomorrow, I suppose...

Posted by: nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 03:12 pm (UTC)

Oh I shall!

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 02:06 pm (UTC)
Bush Tucker Man

There's a branch in the big shopping arcade in Plymouth (Drake Circus). To be honest, I've never been that impressed. I'd put them on a par with Thorntons - several leagues above Cadbury (and a couple of divisions above Cadbury's 'posh' 'Green & Black's' range) but still nothing special. In fact, our supermarket (Waitrose in Saltash) has a far better collection of quality chocolate like Rococco, Valrhona, Bovetti, Michel Cluizel, Willies etc.

Posted by: nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 03:12 pm (UTC)

But it was free!

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC)
Bush Tucker Man

Yes, that's a very good point.

Posted by: wellinghall (wellinghall)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC)

We used to get some of their chocolates by post (a box a quarter, for a couple of years, I think). Generally very good, although their customer service left something to be desired.

Edited at 2009-08-21 02:40 pm (UTC)

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)

They certainly look good on the shelf, but philmophlegm's comparison is one I'll take seriously. Interesting that while they seem to have a busy online operation, they are still expanding their branch network.

Posted by: segh (segh)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 02:49 pm (UTC)

I like them better than Thornton's, but that may be partly because I prefer dark chocolate and Thornton's seem to be mostly milk. I adore the chili ones. (Anyone that wants to give me presents take note!)

Posted by: wellinghall (wellinghall)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)

sally_maria had some incredible chilli chocolate at Sarehole. From Stroud, I think.

Posted by: wrong but wromantic (sally_maria)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 09:28 pm (UTC)
Rodney - Evil Genius

Butting in with links - the chocolate I had at Sarehole was from the South Devon chilli farm.

The shop I go to in Stroud does do mail order, but if you're doing that, it probably makes sense to go straight to the source. :-)

In any case the shop is Confection Affection - with an excellent selection of different chocolate bars.

Edited at 2009-08-21 09:29 pm (UTC)

Posted by: wellinghall (wellinghall)
Posted at: August 22nd, 2009 06:33 am (UTC)

Thank you for the correction and the info

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 04:12 pm (UTC)
Bush Tucker Man

Some recommended chocolates in no particular order:

Milk

1. Not at all expensive and available pretty much anywhere (petrol stations, garden centres, down-market supermarkets), but you'll have to go a long way to beat Lindt Excellence Extra Creamy:
http://www.lindt.co.uk/4442/4657/4666/4674.asp

2. Rococo's Artisan bar with cinnamon is delicious. http://rococochocolates.com/product/206.html Available at Waitrose and direct from Rococo, which is a British chocolatier.

3. Bovetti's milkc chocolate tablette with cranberries. http://www.bovetti.com/FR/nos-chocolats/la-gamme-des-chocolats-bovetti/bovetti-artisan-chocolatier-les-tablettes-de-chocolat_49.html



Plain

1. Any of Rococo's plain Artisan bars. The cardamom one is especially nice and again available from Waitrose.

2. You won't go wrong with any Valrhona, but if (like me) you find some plain chocolates a little harsh, go for the Guanaja.
http://www.chocolate-connoisseur.co.uk/valrhona-creations-gourmandes-guanaja-grue/p--298/

3. Michel Cluizel single plantation bars.
http://uk.cluizel.com/fr/single-plantation-chocolates/5/16.html


Chocolate selections

1. Godiva all the way.
http://www.godiva.com/welcome.aspx

Posted by: Freya (freya_9)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
Ninth Doctor

Totally awesome :)
My brother's girlfriend almost got a job with one of their branches in Cambridgeshire - I wish she had - think of the Christmas hamper!

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: August 21st, 2009 11:47 pm (UTC)

I think I will have to spend some money at Hotel Chocolat sooner or later...