Beyond its environmentally conscious chocolate, head west to R Chocolate for classic patisserie and afternoon tea
What’s the background?
If I won the lottery, owning my own chocolate shop would surely be near the top of my to-do list. It was certainly a long-held dream of billionaire financier Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, who has indulged his passion with boutique brand R Chocolate, run alongside daughter Jessica de Rothschild and entrepreneur Ben Elliot. Its two outlets, in Richmond and Belgravia, sit on the sites of William Curley’s former patisseries, which following the pastry chef’s split from the business to follow his own ventures have been rebranded to their current name. Since then R Chocolate has established its own unique identity and offering, which goes beyond just chocolate to cakes, afternoon tea and even workshops.
The Belgravia shop is befitting of its luxury surrounds, with peaceful Ebury Street resplendent with gorgeous (and pricey) interior and design boutiques. While most newer patisseries tend to opt for a very crisp, bright and contemporary look, R Chocolate is instead filled with old-school charm, with a darker, atmospheric colour palette evoking a sense of discovery, eccentricity and curiosity. On entering the shop you are met with the counter, with plenty available for takeaway, but there’s abundant seating space for longer stops.
What’s on offer?
Its chocolates tend to err towards tried-and-tested favourites, and certainly its collection of Memory Lane bars lean on crowd-pleasing favourites, such as a high-end take on a Bounty and the Jaffa-esque orange tea cake bar. It also offers unadulterated bars, like all its offering made using ethically produced chocolate from Original Beans, in addition to truffles, hot chocolate and more.
Its well-stocked range of other sweet treats follow much along the same lines. While you may not find the most boundary-pushing combinations there will be something to please everyone, from classic loaf cakes to traditional French patisserie such as a Paris Brest or Opera.
What to choose?
One of its signatures is its sea salt caramels – pick up a box of these elephant-shaped chocolates and a percentage of the sale going towards the Elephant Family Charity. If you want try out the patisserie I’ve noticed that there seems to regularly be good deals around on the afternoon tea, while I also liked that they offer a cute selection of miniatures if you’re having a hard time choosing.
What’s the damage?
Located as it is in swanky Belgravia, it has the prices to match, and is comparable to other high-end shops in the vicinity. A box of 12 elephant truffles will set you back £18, a large chocolate bar £8, while individual petit gateaux are around £5, and slightly more to eat in.
R Chocolate, 198 Ebury St, Belgravia, London, SW1W 8UN; rchocolatelondon.co.uk