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9 WAYS TO EMBRACE CHOCOLATE WEEK

National Chocolate Week (13th-19th October) is the UK’s biggest celebration of chocolate. Special menus are made, chocolates are poured and cocoa-themed events pop-up all over the country culminating in the Chocolate Show at Kensington Olympia from 17th-19th October. Here are 9 ways to get involved and show your love for the sweet stuff 

Melrose and Morgan recipe book

1  The cookbook
North London’s fancy grocers Melrose and Morgan is launching its first cook book this month Good Food For Your Table. And what excellent timing, as the book has a whole chapter dedicated entirely to the delights of chocolate. There’s a short history of chocolate, plus a pro’s guide to the different types of chocolate and how to taste it, along with oodles of chocolate recipes like coconut and rum chocolate cake, spiced hot chocolate and very dark chocolate biscuits. melroseandmorgan.com

National Chocolate Week

N.GO’s gluten-free chocolate tart with morello cherries

2 The gluten-free treat
Gluten allergens and avoiders needn’t miss out on Chocolate Week’s goodies. NO.G’s Chocolate and Morello Cherry Tart is made by expert pastry chefs and is a Coeliac UK registered product. National Chocolate Week is the perfect excuse to try it, buy the tart at Sainsbury’s, Whole Foods and Ocado, for £2.69.  toogoodtobeglutenfree.com

National Chocolate Week

Parlour Kensal Rise will be serving retro desserts

3 The retro desserts
I’m tempted to merely write Toasted Marshmallow Wagon Wheels and Salted Caramel Chocolate Rolos and leave this entry at that, but I suppose I should tell you where these insanely delicious sounding desserts can be found…Jesse Dunford, the head chef at Parlour, Kensal Rise, is the genius behind them, and will be serving both throughout National Chocolate Week. parlourkensal.com

National Chocolate Week

Canvas’ beetroot and chocolate dessert

4 The vegetables
You’ve heard of the sweet potato brownie, well now Michael Riemenschneider and his team at CANVAS Chelsea have created a Beetroot and Chocolate Cake with chocolate brittle, chocolate gel, chocolate sorbet, raspberry and chocolate parfait, and beetroot and raspberry mousse. CANVAS will also be celebrating Chocolate Week by offering guests 2 for 1 on cocktails. canvaschelsea.com

Meanwhile Foxcroft & Ginger in Soho is serving chocolate and beetroot cake pops for £2.50. foxcroftandginger.co.uk

National Chocolate Week

VQ24’s any time any day pancakes

5 The 24-hour chocolate fest
Satisfy your chocolate craving whatever the time of day or night at VQ 24 hours. During Chocolate Week, Chelsea’s equivalent to a kebab shop will be serving a belt busting Nutella milkshake alongside buttermilk Nutella pancakes. vq24hours.com

National Chocolate Week

K-West’s chocolate spa treatment is only for the real chocoholics

6 The spa treatment
You’ve got to really love chocolate for this one, K West Hotel & Spa in Shepherd’s Bush has developed a Divine Day Package. Priced at £85 for the day, it includes a 55-minute Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Body Scrub and Dark Chocolate & Honey Balm Massage, a bar of Divine Chocolate and a Divine Chocolate & Chilli Martini Cocktail in K Lounge. The cocoa in the La Sultane de Saba Chocolate & Sea Salt Body Scrub is infused with natural orange peel that apparently produces endorphins and eliminates toxins from the body. Proof if ever there was some, that chocolate really is good for you! k-west.co.uk

National Chocolate Week

Join Bertil Akesson, founder of Akessons chocolate for a bean-to-bar talk at Alexeeva & Jones

7 The experience
On Thursday 16th October (6.30-8pm), Bertil Akesson, founder of Akessons a bean-to-bar chocolate producer, will be talking at Notting Hill’s chocolate shop Alexeeva & Jones about his experience developing luxury chocolates and on cocoa plantations in Madagascar and Brazil. Along with the talk, guests will of course taste some of his highly-rated chocolate bar range. Tickets are free but must be reserved by emailing natalia@alexeevajones.com or calling +44 (0) 207 229 1199. alexeevajones.com

National Chocolate Week

Try Pierre Herme’s new chocolate collection

8 The fetish…
Macaron lovers have French master pastry chef and chocolatier Pierre Herme to thank for the treat’s resurgence, that and thousands of other delicious chocolate-based treats. The man is a true chocolate innovator, and this month he is releasing his latest collection, Fetish Infinment Chocolat, which would give Willy Wonka a serious run for his money. The new chocolates are a celebration of high quality, pure origin chocolate in all its forms, from the macaron, to biscuits, granola and cakes. Head to his shop on Lowndes Street to sample them. pierreherme.com

Duke of York Square Chocolate Market for Chocolate Week

LibbyTees Chocolate Factory sells shoes made of chocolate – the dream!

9 The market

Duke of York Square on the King’s Road is hosting a Chocolate Market on Saturday 18th October where established and artisan chocolatiers will be showcasing their products to sample and buy. Among the market stalls will be LibbyTee’s Chocolate Factory, which sells intriguing flavours of chocolates like balsamic vinegar and pumpkin spice, as well as quirky gifts including chocolate tea sets, stilettos, clutch bags and edible chocolate paintings. dukeofyorksquare.com

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