If you like chocolate as much as I do, there’s nothing better than spending a Sunday afternoon indulging in a spot of chilled out chocolate tasting. It’s a great way to wind up the week and, with all the lovely endorphins that chocolate releases, it also helps generate positive vibes towards the week to come.

I’m part of a chocolate meetup group that offers lots of chocolate-based activities to get involved in. Sela, who runs The Chocolate Club meetup group, arranges all types of chocolate sessions. It could be a truffle making class, a casual meeting for a piece of chocolate cake, or, like last Sunday, a tasting meetup at a great chocolaterie. As a bit of a side note, if you haven’t discovered Meetup, I’d recommend going and having a look. There’s a group to cater for every possible interest you might have, and some you didn’t even realise you had.

 

Artisan du Chocolat chocolate tasting

Artisan du Chocolat chocolate tasting

Artisan du Chocolat chocolate tasting

And so, on Sunday, a group of us met at Artisan du Chocolat in Westbourne Grove. Artisan du Chocolat is a chocolate oasis not far from the hustle and bustle of Portobello Road. The interior is a surprising mix of natural wood, including a giant tree trunk table down the middle of shop, and futuristic glowing white and orange walls. You can even sit under a giant white dome with lush forest and cacao pods printed on the inside.

The boutique is lined with cabinets that are filled with every type of chocolate and flavour imaginable. There are truffles, single couture chocolates, bars and discs. There’s even a small selection of ice cream in a little freezer unit. Whether you prefer a simple truffle, or something a bit more experimental, like a liquorice and poppy seed filled chocolate, Artisan du Chocolat have a chocolate creation to suit most tastes. And if that’s not enough, they also serve a deliciously thick and naughty hot chocolate.

 

Artisan du Chocolat chocolate tasting

 

Rather than being a formal guided tasting, our afternoon was about trying lots of different flavours and having a chocolate chat. We started with a generous dish of creamy white apricot and tonka bean discs, alongside chunks of a mascarpone white chocolate bar. This was followed by a tray of pretty couture chocolates and truffles. My favourite was the yuzu with its refreshing citrus jelly filling.

Fortunately I’d left a little room for at least a few bites of a giant bowl of salted caramel ice cream. I’m a sucker for any dessert with a sweet, salty combination, and this one was even more enticing with its little chunks of chocolate hidden in the creamy curls. The most surprising taste of the afternoon was a refreshing cocoa pulp juice. It was slushy, slightly tart and chilled; perfect for a sunny Father’s Day Sunday.

Nick and his team were incredibly welcoming and helpful; there was a huge selection of chocolate to taste, and just in case we hadn’t had enough chocolate, there was a little goody bag to take away. Fortunately good quality chocolate is somewhat self-moderating; it’s quite difficult to eat too much rich chocolate. I was most definitely sufficiently full by the end of our meetup. If you’re in Notting Hill, I highly recommend a visit to Artisan du Chocolat. Pop in either to taste and buy some great chocolate, or just to rest your feet up with a refreshing glass of cocoa pulp juice under an Amazonian dome. It you want a complete chocolate immersion, you can also book yourself into a tutored Chocolate 101 tasting event.

 

Artisan du Chocolat chocolate tasting

 

3 other great chocolate haunts to check out in Notting Hill are:
Alexeeva & Jones, 297 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London, W11 2QA
Melt, 59 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2AA
Åkesson’s, 15b Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill, London W11 2EE

Where else would recommend to get a great chocolate fix?

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