If you’re a Chelsea chocoholic, you’re definitely in luck this week. It’s World Chocolate Day on Sunday 7 July and Chelsea’s chocolatiers, restaurants and even the Physic Garden are all playing their part in this important event in the culinary calendar.
Chocolate is always something to get excited about, but did you know that Chelsea has an especially strong relationship with it? Sir Hans Sloane – a doctor, physician and Caribbean explorer who came to reside in the borough of Kensington & Chelsea – introduced drinking chocolate to England in the 1700s, after encountering cacao in Jamaica and bringing it back to the Brits as a medicinal drink.
So, it’s only fitting that Chelsea takes this day especially seriously. Here’s where to find your chocolate fix.
Something to drink: Hans’ Bar & Grill
Sir Hans Sloane’s legacy is firmly stamped in Chelsea, and Hans’ Bar & Grill is just one of the places named after him. Homages to Hans can also be found all over town in places such as Hans Place, Hans Crescent, and Sloane Square. Chocolate is central to the Hans’ Bar & Grill dessert menu all year round, but they have a great drinking chocolate menu especially for World Chocolate Day that’s well worth checking out.
Something to do: Chelsea Physic Garden Chocolate Tuesday
Yet another link to Sir Hans Sloane, the Chelsea Physic Garden is hosting Chocolate Tuesday on 6 August. Sloane became the benefactor, after his purchase of the Manor of Chelsea in 1712 provided the grounds for the Chelsea Physic Garden. Perfect for adults and children aged 6-11, expect a day of craft activities, a garden tour, chocolate tasting and the chance to create your own mixtures to take away.
Children’s places are now sold out, but adults can book a place on the Chelsea Physic Garden website.
Somewhere to shop: Rococo Chocolates & Artisan du Chocolat
Chocolate aficionados can regularly be found frequenting these two Chelsea chocolateries.
Rococo Chocolates, a King’s Road constant since the ’80s, offers indulgent luxury chocolate hampers, bars and divine sea-salt chocolate drops, while Artisan du Chocolat brings a little bit of indulgence to Sloane Square with its tempting Chocolateria menu and plenty of treats to take away.
Somewhere beyond chocolate…
Chocolate in all its fabulous forms can be found up and down King’s Road on a regular basis, if you know where to look. Bread Ahead on Pavilion Road offers fabulous chocolate brownies, while the chocolate ice cream at Venchi gives locals a taste of authentic Italian gelato, without leaving London. Meanwhile, on Duke of York Square, you can find various chocolate treats to satisfy every whim or craving at the Fine Food Market, running every Saturday from 10am-4pm.
Somewhere to learn: Chelsea Chocolate Tour
Even if you think you know everything possible to know about Chelsea, there’s always more to unearth about this fascinating borough (even if I am a little biased!)
You can book on to a tour to satisfy your sweet tooth and your mind with Chocolate Ecstasy tours. Their 3.5 hour walking trip of Chelsea and Belgravia will no doubt teach you something you didn’t already know, and includes lots of the spots on this list.
It runs most Sundays at 12pm and also some weekdays. Book tickets on the Chocolate Ecstasy site.