Harrods Brings ‘the Theatre of Chocolate’ Back to Knightsbridge
The launch of Harrods new Chocolate Hall marks the end of a four-year restoration of the Food Halls and brings chocolate production back to the iconic Knightsbridge department store
Photography courtesy of Harrods
The Chocolate Hall, within spectacular Grade II* listed surroundings, opened on 7 May 2021 and is an impressive theatre of chocolate bursting with some of the most exclusive confectionery brands from around the world.
As well as live demos from Harrods’ own world-renowned chocolatiers (the department store has one of the largest chef brigades in Europe, including Head Pastry Chef Alistair Birt, a UK Chocolate Master winner), you’ll be able to see fresh chocolate being handcrafted at Harrods Chocolaterie.
Here you can witness the spectacle of live chocolate theatre, as Harrods chefs make everything from fresh bonbons and indulgent filled bars to chocolate-dipped confit fruit, all in full view.
Eleven concession boutiques can be found in the Chocolate Hall, including heritage favourites such as William Curley and Pierre Marcolini, as well as other coveted chocolate brands such as To’ak, made with one of the rarest varieties of Ecuadorian Nacional cacao beans.
Harrods has also partnered with Belgian artisan chocolatier Godiva to reimagine the iconic Godiva chocolate-coated strawberry at the theatrical Dipping Station, where you can dip fresh strawberries into rich Godiva chocolate.
Harrods’ history in chocolate
Why so much drama for the irresistible confection? Well, chocolate plays a pivotal role in the history of Harrods, which opened its first confectionery counter in 1870, before beginning in-house chocolate production in the early 19th century. By the 70s, over 100 tonnes of chocolate were produced on site in the Knightsbridge store.
The opening of the Chocolate Hall not only pays homage to that heritage – and brings it back to life, as the only UK department store to make and sell its own chocolate in-house – it also marks a milestone in Harrods’ redevelopment masterplan, which will see much of the 1,000,000 sq ft Knightsbridge site refurbished to the tune of about £300m.
Here, you’ll also find Harrods own-label signature confectionery, with enduring favourites including the signature Gold Bar, made from a recipe unchanged in 24 years and still handcrafted by an independent family-run business in Belgium.
The Chocolate Hall has been brought to life by award-winning designers David Collins Studio, the same design team behind the broader Harrods Food Halls transformation project.
The restoration reflects the Halls’ original Edwardian grandeur, and meticulous processes have been used to preserve the architecture, including restoring the extensive tilework by hand and bringing the impressive granite and marble floor back to life.
A mesmerizing lightwell has been crafted from a backlit alabaster, accentuating the Harrods Chocolaterie, which is undoubtedly the crowning glory of the space.
Responsible cocoa sourcing
The Chocolate Hall is also committed to sustainability and responsible cocoa sourcing, working with accredited suppliers who either buy cocoa from farms that participate in certification schemes, or who buy directly from the farms themselves, ensuring that farmers are paid a premium.
‘The opening of our redeveloped chocolate halls is […] a perfect demonstration of what Harrods does best; harnessing the greatest strengths from our heritage while re-imaging luxury for a modern customer,’ says Michael Ward, Managing Director at Harrods.
‘The launch of the Chocolate Hall not only brings the most evocative chocolate craftsmanship to life in an unparalleled setting, but also marks an important commitment towards responsible sourcing and welfare standards, something that we are proud to uphold as the cornerstone of chocolate production at Harrods.’
Harrods Chocolate Hall is situated on the Ground Floor within the Food Halls. Open Mon-Sat 11am-7pm and Sun 11.30am-6pm. See harrods.com