Posts Tagged ‘Chocolate Unwrapped’

Chocolate Unwrapped 2011

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Another Year. Another Chocolate Week.

We finished the week with a visit to Chocolate Unwrapped at Vinopolis.  This is its third year and it’s been getting bigger by the year. Vinopolis is an excellent venue for this type of event, nice high ceilings to keep the temperature down and lots of room for growth.

The first person we spotted as we walked in was Paul Wayne Gregory. He was keen to tell us that he now has a boxed selection of his chocolates that is entirely made up of award winners.  We also had some more of Duffys Chocolate (their chocolate was used in both the chocolate dinners I went to during Chocolate Week at The Providores and Almeida).

I tried to find Lauden Chocolates (one of my favorites), but if they were there I missed them. I did spot a tweet from them saying they had such a good day on the Saturday that they had sold out, so perhaps they didn’t managed to restock for the Sunday session.  Matcha Chocolat another favorite from last year was also no where to be seen.   However Chocolate Unwrapped for me is all about discovering something new.  This year my discovery was Pacari Ecuadorian Organic Chocolate bars, specifically the Raw Chocolate with Salt & Nibs (70% Cacao) and Lemongrass (60% Cacao) – this is seriously grown up chocolate.

We had a quick chat with Paul A Young and on the recommendation of a friend I also bought some of his very distinctive Pumpkin flavoured chocolates.

We were brave enough (or was that foolish enough) to  try some chocolate wine too – it was an interesting novelty, but didn’t really work for me.

The event seemed to have more of an International vibe this year, lots of French accents around.  We also visited stands from Hungry, Switzerland and Italy.

Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – London, UK

Easter Chocolate Festival @ Southbank Centre – Hot Chocolate!

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

It’s Easter (well almost), so chocolate indulgence is a compulsory activity. Who needs boring shop bought Easter Eggs when you have the Chocolate Festival at the Southbank Centre.

The sun was out in force today but not enough to melt the chocolate fortunately.   As you would expect there was lots of Easter Eggs on display.  I photographed some of the prettiest ones and the largest one too, which apparently gets broken up and recycled after the event! – Chocolate is just so versatile ;)

This festival is growing but it’s not as large or as well attended yet as Chocolate Unwrapped.  The live chocolate themed demonstrations were free today. However they were very busy and it was definitely too hot to sit in a marquee, so I focused on the stalls outside.  Interesting ones included Miki’s a very artistic chocolate company who produce handcrafted Japanese inspired fair-trade organic chocolates. They make a lot of their own moulds, including Kamen (mask) shaped ones (photographed above).  Another stand I was drawn to was the Alice in Wonderland inspired Lucky’s -  I could not resist the Humpty Dumpty eggs, with creamy filing in the shell. I bought a couple of the chestnut puree ones,  hopefully I can keep Humpty safe until Easter.

Artisan du chocolat were there too, they had English Breakfast Eggs on display – white, dark and milk chocolate eggs flavoured with bacon, mushrooms and tomato. I was a bit dubious and would have liked to have tried them, but alas there were no samples. I did however try their fresh Moroccan Mint chocolates instead which were excellent.

Chocolate inspired drinks were also available at Chocy Woccy’s.  Snickers, Mars and Bounty milkshakes and some delicious sounding cocktails too, made with a lovely selection of ingredients, like Chilli, Mint, Vodka, Bailey’s, Rum, Butterscotch, Schnapps, Coffee liquor and Chocolate.

Another interesting find was the Cafe On stall which had a wonderful range of Loretta Liu’s macarons. They really had their act together using a small portable fridge to keep the macarons cool.  So okay, macarons are not chocolate but I was glad they were part of the festival.  I bought a few and will update this post later with my thoughts on them.  Timeout included them in its list of Londons best Macarons and put them in the illustrious company of Ladurée and Pierre Hermé, so I am really looking forward to trying them out.

:) HAPPY EASTER from No Expert :)



Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – London, UK

UPDATE : Macaron Tasting – I finished off the Loretta Liu macarons today. They were all light, sweet and chewy. The Mango flavoured one I enjoyed the most. I found the Green Tea one was too strong and the Cointreau Vanilla one too subtle. I had trouble recognising the flavours for the remaining ones.  One of the Pink ones, which I believe was the Lychee Martini, was overly sweet. I guess you find the flavours you like and stick to them. Cafe On certainly have enough flavours to choose from. For my palette based on a selection of 5 macarons, I would give them 6 out 10. I still prefer Ladurée though, but they are double the price.

Chocolate Unwrapped at Vinopolis

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

It’s a change of venue for the Chocolate Unwrapped show this year.  Last year it was at the Mayfair Hotel, this year it moved to the rather more interesting Vinopolis.  The new venue though did not work as well for the lectures. Paul A Young‘s talks  for example were averaging about 90 attendees instead of the expected 30.  Fortunately he warned us about the over attendance and we got in early enough to get front row seats. His talk was suitably entertaining,  I was especially amused by the story that his mother still buys him Quality Street for Christmas.

The Chocolate Art work was fun, especially the gorilla. Thorntons Eiffel Tower was hideous though.

There were lots of new stands this year.  Matcha Chocolat with their tea and chocolate combinations were especially interesting.  All the chocolates and the brownie we had from Paul A Young were really good, I even found his new Marmite chocolate unoffensive. I loved William Curley’s Cinnamon Milk Chocolate.

There were some novelties too.  Like Chocri, who let you play chocolatier, choosing toppings and having your name on the bar and the Lebanese company Patchi, who seemed to focus on very ornate packaging for special occasions like weddings, baby showers and embassy do’s – kinda OTT Ferrier Roche!.  Thorntons were there too this year, showing yet again just how big a gap there is between the mass market chocolatiers and the artisan chocolatiers.

This event is definately in the diary again for next year.

Browse Google Map© :- NoExpert Food Blog – London, UK