Unit 30 St Davids Way, St Davids Centre, Cardiff. CF10 2EQ
Luxury British chocolatier and cocoa grower Hotel Chocolat is delighted to announce the launch of the brand-new Cardiff store. This latest addition, which opens on the 2nd of August, is on a mission to make people happy, bringing you chocolate that is more exciting, wittier, more beautiful and – more importantly – made according to our mantra: ‘More Cocoa, Less Sugar’.
Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris built Hotel Chocolat on three unwavering pillars: authenticity, originality and ethics. One of the few chocolate makers to grow their own cocoa, on our eco-conscious plantation in the grounds of our Saint Lucia hotel (yes, you can stay there too), we connect the world of sustainable cocoa agriculture with the hedonism of top-quality chocolate. This makes us unique in the UK, and gives us an unrivalled understanding of what impacts the taste of our chocolate, right from the growing tree through to packaging that we’re working to make 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2021. More than just bean-to-bar, we call it ‘roots-to-wrapper’.
We’re obsessed with cocoa. We make all our chocolate in accordance with our mantra, ‘More Cocoa, Less Sugar’, for a deeper taste and chocolate that satisfies with less. Our house white chocolate contains 36% cocoa – more than you’ll find in many milk chocolates – while our house milks are 40% and 50% and our house dark is 70%. That’s not to mention our single-origin chocolate: made with some of the finest cocoa from around the world, it even scales the heights of 100%.
The Wall of Chocolate
“The old fashioned ‘glass cabinet’ method of offering chocolate always struck me as a power imbalance between the chocolatier and the customer. So, in the first Hotel Chocolat store, I designed a customer-powered alternative. You could take as long as you want, choosing from a massive chocolate library that was easy to navigate and clearly labelled. We called it our Selector Wall of Chocolate and it was an immediate hit.”
Angus Thirlwell, Co-founder
What is a Selector? It’s a set of six individual chocolates or a single, fluid chocolate slab wrapped in a utilitarian, simple way – so all the investment can go into the quality of the ingredients.
We chose the Wall of Chocolate as a contemporary response to the traditional glass counter. Here you can linger for as long as you like, unhurried and in complete control, inspecting each option up close, learning about the recipe, cocoa content and provenance of ingredients, before making a decision that you feel not just content with, but genuinely excited about. A decision that’s bespoke to you – or to someone you love.
Selectors that you choose as a gift can then be slipped into a chicly understated presentation box. Complete with a ribboned handle and beautifully embossed finish – look closely, that’s the island of Saint Lucia, home to Hotel Chocolat’s organic cocoa estate – the boxes come in four sizes, designed to hold one, three, six or 12 Selectors. A seal specific to your special occasion – from ‘Thank You’ to ‘Congratulations’ – provides a personalised final flourish.
The Wall of Chocolate is far from the only way to gift at your new store, however. You’ll find our uncompromising chocolate in elegant, contemporary gift boxes, epic Slabs to snap and share, sculpted batons designed to be the ideal shape for savouring favourite flavours or discovering new ones, hot chocolate made with no powders or syrups, just grated flakes of the real thing, and more. And with sleeves tailored to your special occasion and ribbon-tied bags to take away, going straight from store to special event is utterly effortless.
Let the door fall shut on the hustle and bustle of the outside world. Breathe in the heady scent of hot chocolate. You’ve stepped into your sanctuary: the cocoa-fuelled pitstop that is the café at your new store. Set down your shopping bags and sink into your seat, hands wrapped around a restorative drink, your choice of brownie, biscuit, granola or savoury snack on the tabletop in front of you.
Your Gateshead café will also serve our cocoa-nib Ice Cream of the Gods, which is exclusive to select stores. Made with Jersey milk and cream infused with Theobroma cacao nibs – direct translation ‘cacao, food of the gods’ – it’s no wonder it tastes so heavenly!
Part of our fascination with cocoa is with its untapped potential. Not only do we use the bean in our bold and inventive chocolate recipes, we use the delicate shells that wrap each bean, the lychee-like pulp from cocoa pods and the nibs themselves in drinks, ice cream and more.
Instead of letting those precious shells go to waste like so many other chocolatiers, we looked closer and found that they’re brimming with malty notes. They’re what infuses our award-winning Cocoa Gin and Cocoa Beer. We’ve also married alcohol with the finished article, melting our chocolate straight into cocoa vodka to make our beloved Salted Caramel Vodka Liqueur, or into vodka and cream so it could sing through our Chocolat Cream Liqueur.
Inspired by not only cocoa but all the glorious flora that flourish on our Saint Lucia estate, we’ve also created the eponymous Rabot 1745 beauty range: lip balms, body butters, body mists and beyond that capture the essence of our organic, eco-conscious paradise.
Cardiff opens on the 2nd of August and we’ll have a customer shopping day on the date, when visitors to the store will be treated to free chocolate samples, and a lovely ice cream offer which entitles our guests to £1 off ice cream.
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