So here I am in downtown Doha, Qatar. I’ve spent the last week and a half here and it was only a day or so ago that I had time to walk down the street a little to see where I could change some money. Lo and behold, I fell victim to yet more chocolate based synchronicity.
Two hundred metres from my hotel is the first branch of Chopin Chocolates to open in Qatar!
Chopin is a Lebanese chocolatier who appear to be slowly spreading across the Middle East. I had a peep in the window (it was Friday and all shops were shut) and immediately resolved to visit as soon as possible.
What follows is a pictorial essay (with captions) on what must be some of the most beautifully constructed and elaborate displays of chocolates I have ever seen.
Chopin don’t just make chocolates, they also sell pre-made displays for weddings, births, and other occasions. I was greeted by a couple of very friendly ladies who (thankfully) spoke excellent English. Once I’d established my identity as International Man of Chocolate, we had a chat and I took the following photos. Then I was introduced to their in house designer, who told me that the shop employs two full time display builders and finishers, who have produced these amazing pieces under his guidance.
Feast your eyes on this little lot – click a photo to view it full size.
Firstly, a couple of party displays…
Next, their Christmas displays..
These have been made for the Haj. The black box represents the Kaaba.
These displays are for the birth of a child. First a baby girl…
…now a baby boy…
Of course it’s also possible to buy ‘ordinary chocolates, but even then there are hand-finished options which make most other chocs seem rather dull and uninteresting by comparison. These are chocs with a serious ‘bling’ factor.
I mean, have you ever been given a chocolate that was hand finished with a velvet ribbon and a big blue jewel?
They also stock a wide selection of more ‘everyday’ chocolates – the sort of things we’re more used to seeing.
When I began to ask questions about the content of some of their chocolates, I was informed that (not surprisingly) nuts were quite common (pistachios, almonds and hazels are all grown in this region) and cornflakes were also very popular.
I was given a few samples to try (sadly not the bejewelled masterpieces, but there again, I’d never want to open those!) and they’ll be reviewed properly soon. Meanwhile, I hope you have enjoyed feasting your eyes on what must be the most extraordinary collection of confectionery I have ever laid eyes on.
Come back after Christmas for Part 2 – the all important tastings!
Merry Christmas, everyone!