What we’ve been up to lately...
We’re awarded Mid-Market Business of the Year at the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards, open to any PLC with an annual turnover of £25 to £500 million.
We listed on the London Stock Exchange for the first time, and raised new funds so that we can innovate even more.
We took home 18 Academy of Chocolate Awards, including three Golds.
Boucan Award – Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2016
For six years consecutive years we’ve received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award. This accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 per cent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award. To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher out of a possible five, as reviewed by travellers on TripAdvisor.
What we’ve been up to from the start…
British entrepreneurs Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris co-founded Hotel Chocolat in 1993 to make exciting chocolate with three guiding principles –originality, authenticity and ethics – which remain central to our success today.
The very first Hotel Chocolat boutique opened its doors to guests in North London in 2004. It was the start of a revolution in British chocolate and more than 80 stores have opened in the UK in the last 10 years, as well as restaurants and cafes.
The School of Chocolate
Discover the secrets of the cocoa bean at our exclusive events in London, Leeds and Cambridge. Our beautiful locations make the perfect setting for our School of Chocolate, with chocolate-making sessions, tasting events and all kinds of bespoke parties and events for everyone from kids to corporate teams.
Learn the noble art of chocolate-making with our Bean-to-Bar Experience. Our own chocolatier will show you how to roast and conch cocoa and guide you as you make your own bar of chocolate. Or, learn how and when to taste chocolate with one of our Tasting Experiences – you’ll sip Prosecco as you do and take a goody bag home with you!
Our Hotel Chocolat stores are now at three locations in Copenhagen, run by dedicated teams and stocking chocolate as well as cocoa cuisine favourites, beauty products and more.
A Roast + Conch store in Copenagen
The 2,000 sq ft property on Ostergade Street Hotel Chocolat’s largest store. Copenhagen has a rich gastronomic heritage, so it is the perfect choice for our full Roast + Conch offering – with daily roasting of cocoa beans from the company’s estate in Saint Lucia, small batch chocolate making in a theatre kitchen, a Cocoa Bar and dishes from our Cacao Cuisine menu. As well as Hotel Chocolat’s usual premium chocolate gifts and treats.
The Tasting Club
Our easy-to-use website makes managing your Tasting Club membership refreshingly simple. Members can log in to their personalised account, which works for both the Tasting Club and Hotel Chocolat.
You can update your details or change your chocolate selections whenever you want, view new chocolates and seasonal specials before anyone else, and browse our menus in more detail, with a tempting individual picture and description of each chocolate. You can also score your chocolates online and see how other Tasting Club members have rated them, too.
Experience restaurant Roast+Conch’s exciting Anglo-West Indian cuisine, enriched with the freshness of a West Indian herb garden and the savoury spice of roasted cocoa.
Inspired by the creations of the chefs in the open-air cocoa-estate kitchen of our Boucan restaurant in Saint Lucia, Roast+Conch’s innovative cacao cuisine menu restores the cocoa bean to its rightful place as subtle savoury spice and garnish, as well as deeply satisfying chocolate for desserts.
Rabot 1745, Borough Market, London
Restaurant Rabot 1745 brings Londoners the cocoa-centric cuisine of its hugely successful sibling, the Boucan restaurant, which we launched in Saint Lucia in 2011 to the adoration of New Yorkers just a short-haul flight away.
A chic and inventive restaurant and bar with a terrace overlooking the bustling Borough Market, Rabot 1745 has the polished elegance of a Saint Lucian plantation house stylishly transported to the heart of London, featuring authentic touches like hurricane-felled ironwood, brought home from our own 250-year-old cocoa estate.
Hotel Chocolat has been named as the British brand most likely to be recommended to friends and family in the UK. The research, carried out by Bain & Company, surveyed 6,000 British shoppers in 2011 and covered 350 brands across the shopping spectrum. Overall, Hotel Chocolat placed fourth in the Top 10 Most Advocated Brands and was the only British brand to make the list.
Our first Scottish store – in Edinburgh
The opening of our first Scottish store in Edinburgh in December 2011 included our unique Cocoa Bar – featuring a range of exclusive new drinks made possible by cocoa-roasting techniques developed by Hotel Chocolat. Customers choose from a menu of innovative Coffee Chocolat Lattes, teaolat with cacao shells, classic tea and, of course, hot chocolates, as well as snacks such as seed bars and brownies – depending on whether they want to be saintly or sinful.
In what was one of the most innovative corporate bond issues of recent years, the company raised £4m from its Chocolate Tasting Club members with which to finance future growth and exciting projects. Bondholders were offered the opportunity to invest in Chocolate Bonds, with their returns paid in boxes of chocolates.
Opened in February 2011, Boucan restaurant is the world’s first cacao fusion restaurant, with a pioneering cacao cuisine menu. Situated on Hotel Chocolat’s Rabot Estate on Saint Lucia, all of the restaurant’s dishes make innovative use of cacao, used predominantly as a savoury spice and seasoning, but also as chocolate in luxurious desserts.
Boucan by Hotel Chocolat in Saint Lucia
Our 14-room boutique hotel is situated in the stunning surroundings of our Rabot Estate and is a luxurious blend of plantation chic, natural beauty and well-being. It also offers guests a unique opportunity to explore cocoa-growing like never before, on a working estate.
Engaged Ethics programme
Over 170 cocoa farmers have now joined Hotel Chocolat’s Engaged Ethics programme in Saint Lucia. Aimed at rejuvenating the cocoa sector across the island, the programme offers local farmers a guarantee to buy their entire cocoa crop at prices substantially above the market rate – as well as access to high quality seedlings, technical help and advice.