“Hotel Chocolat turns bean into bar from a paradise HQ in St Lucia.”

10 Apr 2017

Boucan St Lucia Cocoa Planet From the Conch

Did you spot us in The Telegraph Weekend Magazine on Saturday? Here’s a flavour of what they said – and how you can get a taste of it for yourself!

In March 2017, journalist Carolyn Hart and photographer Ben Quinton touched down at Hewanorra, near Vieux Fort Quarter, Saint Lucia. Their mission: to see for themselves everything we’d been telling them about our Engaged Ethics programme, our cocoa-growing and our Boucan hotel, set among the swaying cocoa trees of our Caribbean Rabot Estate.

On April 8th their impressions appeared in The Telegraph Weekend Magazine article ‘Hotel Chocolat turns bean into bar from a paradise HQ in St Lucia’ . If your interest is piqued by what they had to say, here’s how you can follow in their footsteps – in Saint Lucia and closer to home…

Rabot Estate and Boucan hotel

“It is a mini paradise, 1,000ft above sea level, covered in cocoa, coconut and banana palms, with its own 18th-century estate house.”

Intrigued? Treat yourself and someone you love to an idyllic escape of your own among the primordial beauty of the Piton Mountains, making chocolate from the tree to bar, unwinding at the cacao beauty spa, taking a trip to the world’s only drive-in volcano and sulphur springs or marvelling at the mountain seascape on a sunset cruise. Book your stay at Boucan now and luxuriate for 10 days for the price of seven. Book your flights direct from Gatwick to Hewanorra with British Airways using their Low Price Finder tool and start your holiday before you arrive in Saint Lucia: our chocolate is served in Club Class.

Bean-to-bar chocolate making

“The hotel runs tree-to-bean and bean-to-bar sessions, during which visitors make their own chocolate bars…”

Can’t make it to the Caribbean as soon as you’d like? Try your hand at bean-to-bar chocolate making at our School of Chocolate in Covent Garden, London.

Engaged Ethics

“The company instigated an Engaged Ethics programme in 2008, providing training and dependable funding for growers on St Lucia.”

You work too hard for bad chocolate. They work too hard for cheap cocoa. We’re reconnecting our love of chocolate with its roots – with the people who grow it and the natural world it comes from – not just in Saint Lucia but in Ghana as well. Our Engaged Ethics programme offers respect and a fair deal to cocoa farmers by guaranteeing to buy their whole crop at above world bulk-cocoa price and offering support, equipment and training.

Easter eggs

“Extra-Thick Easter egg – packed with chocolates; this year’s version has a cake-and-patisserie theme.”

The Patisserie Extra-Thick Egg is the newest addition to our Extra-Thick Egg collection, bringing the total number of our lavishly chunky yet snappable Easter eggs to eight. Half pecan pie, half salted caramel cheesecake, it’s accompanied by nine classic desserts reimagined in chocolate, including Caramel Cheesecake, The Brownie, Carrot Cake and Rhubarb & Custard. Other favourite Extra-Thicks include Rocky Road to Caramel, Serious Dark Fix and our Rare & Vintage egg brimming with single-origin chocolate.

Shareable chocolate Slabs

“Giant Slabs were the first product to be made in the company’s own moulds.”

Recently rechristened Grand Slabs, these epic bars are a real event: satisfyingly snappable and shareable, they’re something to get family or friends round the table for. Sketched by a trained artist before they’re translated into chocolate, we also like to think of them as edible works of art – and an alternative way to celebrate this Easter.

Cocoa cuisine

“Cocoa cuisine – pasta and pesto made with unsweetened cocoa and nibs, followed later by teas and cocoa gin.”

Tear and dunk fresh bread into Cocoa Balsamic, dollop Spiced Cocoa Nib Ketchup on barbecued burgers, dress chicken and fish with Cocoa & Chilli Finishing Oil and then settle in with a cup of aromatic teaolat. Cocoa has a rich history as a savoury spice from before the days of chocolate, and you can explore the nutty, deep taste at home with our Cocoa Cuisine and the guidance of our cookbook, A New Way of Cooking with Chocolate, or at our restaurants, Rabot 1745 in London or Roast+Conch in Leeds.

Chocolate innovation

“Supermilk – groundbreaking recipe made with 65 per cent cocoa (usually the level of dark), and a low sugar content of 20 per cent.”

Our revolutionary chocolate genre, Supermilk is a powerhouse of robust cocoa depth, creamy milk and less sugar than a typical dark. Enjoy it as an unadulterated Slab, the iconic Supermilk Caesar Selector, half of our single-origin Rare & Vintage Extra-Thick Egg or our tangy, deep Easter recipe, Raspberry Supermilk.

“But perhaps of most interest to serious chocolate fanatics is the Rabot single-côte bar, made with beans not just from its single estate but from a particular côte, or terroir.”

Flourishing on the banks of Rabot Estate’s own lake, the cocoa that goes into our single-côte 70% Dark Saint Lucia Bord du Lac has a nutty, woody character, in contrast to the nearby Marcial with its deeply brooding power or Pepinière, whose terroir on the slopes of the volcanic basin lends it a treacly profile.

New to single-origin chocolate? We recommend starting your exploration with our Rare & Vintage collection, made with some of the best cocoa on the planet, bean-to-bar in our small-batch roastery to tease out the multi-layered flavours.