My choice of chocolate is about as sophisticated as my taste in wine. Give me a bottle of 1974 Chateau L’Espensive Blanc and a Tesco no frills home brand in a brown paper bag and I doubt I’d be able to tell the difference. In fact, if I’m paying I’d probably choose the cheaper option, because when it comes to my wallet and wine, ignorance is definitely bliss.
Likewise I’ll happily stuff my face with a slab of cut-price, trans-fat-saturated processed chocolate as I will an extravagant cream truffle ganache made from French Valrhona and pure Italian truffle oil. That is until I tasted the summer collection from La Maison du Chocolat. Now instead of mingling with the Malteser mob I’m elegantly rubbing shoulders with the exclusive Swiss-loving lot.
La Maison du Chocolat is about as A-list as you get in the confectionary world. The upmarket London branch of the world-renowned Parisian chocolatiers is located on Piccadilly, and you can gawp for hours at its delicate cocoa creations laid out counter upon counter.
Their summer collection is inspired by the colours and tastes of Seville in Spain, and includes five fruit chocolate cubes presented in contemporary fan shaped boxes. There’s the ganache lait melon whose soft and butterey centre tingles with a subtle zest of melon. The ganache noire ananas boasts a rich pineapple filling delightfully complimented by a dark chocolate coating, and the ganache noire à l’infusion de thé four fruits rouges (infused with tea and four red fruits – my personal favourite) is a sweet, gooey, almost jam-like sensation with strong essence of strawberry. As well as these there’s the praline noir anis with a crunchy aniseed core, and pâte d’amande aux two citrons (almond paste with lemon and lime) for hardcore citrus fruit lovers.
Every box from this collection comes with its own cool bag (not that there’s much chance of them melting this summer) where you can also stuff some summer tarts, macaroons, luxury ice creams and sorbets. At £39.00 for 40 chocolates they’re not Tesco prices, but thankfully they don’t taste like it either. Even I can tell the difference.
Le Maison Du Chocolat
Piccadilly W1J 0DS
Tel: 020 7287 8500