While visiting London, my boyfriend and I happened to see a sign saying “Hotel Chocolat: School of Chocolate.” I got really excited, decided we should walk in after lunch, and thankfully had the chance to purchase some bars. I had looked up prior to flying out what chocolate makers could be around the cities we would be visiting and that was how I first heard of them. On their website, Hotel Chocolat first looked like it would be just a restaurant serving dishes incorporating chocolate, but I was glad to see that they actually had a huge selection of prepared chocolate bars, bonbons and more items available. (My boyfriend picked up cocoa bitters at one of their locations.) The website wasn’t that clear of what types of products were sold in store, and we confirmed with an employee that Hotel Chocolat does not handle international orders, which I find very sad because I would be willing to order more of their products if it were possible.
Even though the website made Hotel Chocolat appear to be solely a restaurant, we found out that not all of their physical locations were the same. When we stopped by the one in London, it was a shop location that also sold coffee drinks but no food and was also a chocolate school location. While in Leeds, we found two of their locations not far from each other. One of the shops just sold their chocolate products while the other was both a shop and a restaurant. We didn’t have the chance to try their food, but if I ever get to in the future, I would absolutely love to!
Sadly all of these bars got crushed up while being transported back, so I was only able to take photos of the packaging. I’m not sure why all of these bars say “Rare & Vintage” on them.
The front of the bar said “punchy red fruits, invigorating.” Indeed, the scent of this bar punched me in the face with a strong fruity scent. Maybe I need to sniff this bag when I wake up to get rid of my morning grogginess. Flavor-wise the chocolate was a little tart and it had a strong fruity flavor. The fruity flavor reminded me of citrus, though, rather than red fruits. There were some earthy flavors as well. The aftertaste lingered for a while and consisted mostly of fruitiness. I usually tend to stick to around 70% chocolates, and my taste buds have yet to fully appreciate 80-100% bars, but I hope to get there someday.
This bar also smelled fruity but like berries. The scent was very familiar and it reminded me of fruit smoothies. The flavor was even like having a fruit and berry smoothie mixed with cocoa. Since the bar is already crumbled up, maybe I’ll have to eat some of this on top of gelato or make a smoothie of my own.
Hotel Chocolat was on point saying that the flavor (and even the scent) of this bar was like cherries in cream. Maybe because I have smoothies on my mind now, this bar made me think of those strawberries and cream frappuchinos you can find at Starbucks. When I was in high school and went to Starbucks for the first time, I was not sure what to try. Since I didn’t have much of an appreciation for coffee back then, I recall sticking to that strawberries and cream drink. The flavor was a little sour like goat milk and creamy. Any berry flavors were very light for me.
There’s a bar by Hotel Chocolat that had a butterscotch flavor to it that I recall really liking, but I can’t remember which one that was. Since they have multiple locations around the U.K., I’m surprised that they apparently don’t have international shipping. If they eventually ship to the United States, though, I’m definitely getting more of their chocolate!
Hotel Chocolat: Made in the United Kingdom
These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.