The most chocolate-filled week of my life has come to a spectacular close. All in all, I attended 11 Chocolate Week events, from simple tastings to a lavish Valrhona book launch at Claridges. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a more enjoyable (or more exhausting) week!
The icing on the chocolate cake was Chocolate Unwrapped at a packed Vinopolis in London. The event was so popular in fact that at one point on Saturday we saw people being turned away or asked to wait because there were simply too many hungry chocolate lovers inside. Many of the exhibitors we spoke reported brisk sales with some so popular that they were running out of stock halfway through the first day!
The thing that I love most about this event is the mix of old friends and new faces. We had the chance to catch up with many of our chocolate industry friends as well as get updates on some of the smaller bean-to-bar chocolate makers, and try some extraordinarily good chocolate.
One of the more interesting exhibitors for me was actually Lindt. Many fine chocolate lovers might be surprised or even shocked at that, but the very fact that the most mainstream of European chocolate producers was in attendance was an acknowledgement of just how exciting the London chocolate scene is.
When we started Chocablog, we knew nothing about fine chocolate and Lindt was a stepping stone towards the higher end chocolate we prefer today. Although we don’t write about Lindt as much as we used to, there’s no denying they will have been a draw for many of the thousands of average chocolate consumers in attendance, which in turn helps to increase exposure for the smaller, chocolatiers and chocolate makers at the show.
All in all, I think there as a perfect mix of exhibitors large and small, and everyone seemed to have a fantastic time. I can’t wait for next year’s event!
Here’s part one of a series of video reports we made for our sister site World Chocolate Guide. To see the rest, and our coverage of this week’s Salon du Chocolat in Paris, head on over to the World Chocolate Guide blog and subscribe!