Drinking Coffee and Eating Chocolate in Notting Hill – A Sunday Morning Chocolate Ecstasy
I felt some justification in planning to spend Sunday morning eating a lot of chocolate since we were going to be walking through Notting Hill. After all, I’d be burning up all the calories I was eating. And, it meant I had to get out of bed nice and early. The Coffee and Chocolate tour run by Jen from Chocolate Ecstasy Tours starts in trendy Golbourne Road, at Snaps and Rye.
Now, if I lived in West London still, this is somewhere I am sure I’d end up frequenting quite regularly. A Scandi cafe, the shelves are packed with delicious looking open sandwiches.
And a good selection of cakes and baked goods.
There’s a brunch menu and plenty of West London’s finest were ensconced, tucking into scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and more.
But, we were there to drink coffee. Starting with a filter coffee that actually came from the Golborne Deli across the road and a Pastéis de Nata from the Lisboa patisserie. Meanwhile Jen explained a little of the subtleties of coffee tasting, and of the different ways of preparing coffee. We went on to brave an expresso from Snaps and Rye, who only serve Nude coffee. I generally avoid expresso, but with a delicious chocolate brownie on hand I actually quite enjoyed it. And, when we were given a filter coffee to compare, it tasted like dishwater.
On to the first of our chocolate shops, Alexeeva & Jones. We were greeted by Gareth Jones, who is the owner with his wife Natalia.
He explained that he ran a boutique chocolate shop, bringing the finest examples of the works of a handful of European chocolatiers to London. I left holding a little bag of gianduja frome Guido Gobino which just looked too good to leave behind.
At Melt Chocolates one of the in-house chocolatiers was busy in the kitchen filling rose macaron with a lavender infused chocolate ganache. Oh if only my piping skills were up to Dan’s!
He explained that one of the things he loved was the chance to be creative and showcased his own ‘toast and marmalade’ chocolate bar which is currently on sale in the shop.
Melt has two outlets, in Notting Hill and Holland Park and their three chocolatiers are generally in the kitchen creating fantasies that are not far off something you might find in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
We finished the tour at Artisan du Chocolat, the largest operation. They have their own shops in the heart of Notting Hill, Chelsea and Borough Market in addition to a concession in Selfridges. And, they also supply to some of the best known high street retailers. I loved their packaging. There is no No. 5, for obvious reasons…
The walking tour isn’t limited to eating chocolate, you also learn a lot more about Notting Hill along the way. We stopped off at the famous blue door for those obligatory pictures. We learnt a little about John Christie, Notting Hill’s own serial killer. And, we took a look at the Electric Cinema, which I hadn’t realised was still showing films. Jen is a mine of information about chocolate, coffee and Notting Hill.
I thoroughly enjoyed sampling all the chocolates along the way and thought the morning, which includes the tastings and numerous cups of coffee and hot chocolate, was good value at £45. What an excellent way to see more of Notting Hill while enjoying some of my favourite food.
Chocolate Ecstasy Tours run a variety of tours in London and Brighton and are planning to run a York tour too. For more information, check their website.
Disclaimer: I was invited to review the Chocolate and Coffee Tour.