Note: I attended the Xocolatl party as a guest, but all opinions are my own.
The title says it all; there ain’t no party like a Chocolate party. The beautiful Partsioglou family from Xocolatl, with stores in Kew and Canterbury, confirmed that for me and a friend last week when we were lucky enough to attend a small, intimate gathering of bloggers and friends to get a feel for what their chocolate dream is all about.
We were able to meet the family- Christos, Jenny, Maddy and Tina, all passionate chocolate makers and (self proclaimed) addicts. And lets face it, who better to make beautiful, couverture chocolate products than a family of chocoholics?
What I witnessed at Xocolatl is a business driven by passion, and a unique combination of tradition and innovation. Chatting to Christos during the night was such a highlight, with his expert knowledge on chocolate, and you could see his pride in having his daughters involved in the business and helping him make his products modern and innovative.
Not only did they share their products with us, but they also shared their knowledge. I walked away knowing a lot more about chocolate than I did before- I have now realized that cacao nibs are really called cocoa nibs, and that the cacao name is just trendier! Tina took us on a tour of the huge kitchen out the back where the chocolate is made and they run chocolate making classes. I was captivated by the 60 kg drum of liquid chocolate… tell me some days you wouldn’t feel like diving into that!
Throughout the night we were able to try many, many of their beautiful chocolate products… in fact, I had to be rolled to my car as I left in a chocolate coma. I was impressed by Tina’s gorgeous freshly baked cacao nib muffins, and parmesan and cocoa nib cookies (strange combination, but it worked!).
Perhaps the most thrilling part of the night was tasting their boutique individual bonbon chocolates with Christos. I was so surprised at the range of flavours available. The combinations reminded me more of a restaurant menu than a chocolate counter. The savoury chocolates were a very interesting and enjoyable take on chocolate, with flavours like gorgonzola and mango or goats cheese and peach. I mean really, cheese and chocolate, my two favourite ‘C’s… How could I not be impressed? My favourite was definitely the Peanut Butter Sizzle. This bonbon was like a party in your mouth- peanut butter with chocolate and the added excitement of toffee, salt and pepper. As well as tasting incredible, these chocolates look absolutely stunning and would make gorgeous gifts for your chocolate loving friends.
Jenny came around with trays full of their beautiful hot chocolate options, and we drank until we had to say stop, please, stop! My favourite was definitely the hazelnut hot chocolate. It was like liquid Nutella!
We were sent home with full bellies, happy hearts and a massive ‘party bag’ or box full of amazing treats which I have been sharing around my household this week. I highly recommend the freeze dried raspberries and strawberries. They remind me of healthy malteasers, and are highly addictive.
This gorgeous little family-run cafe will definitely be my go-to now for chocolates, particularly for gifts. One of my favourite things about food blogging is getting to meet people in the industry who are just so passionate about what they do and sharing the art of food with others. This establishment affirms that for me, as I felt I was being invited into the home of a family who truly love what they do and love sharing it with people… and lets face it, when you get to work with chocolate every day, how could you not love it!
I hope you had a (chocolately) delicious day,