Ten of the best chocolates for Valentine’s Day – and beyond

From jasmine-infused cocoa to fleur de sel almonds, leading tastemakers reveal which chocolate they can’t live without

Chocolate at Jacques Genin in Paris, as recommended by Kilian Hennessy
Chocolate at Jacques Genin in Paris, as recommended by Kilian Hennessy | Image: Jacques Genin

Francesca Amfitheatrof, jewellery designer “My favourite indulgence is rose and violet creams from Charbonnel et Walker. When I’m in London I go to the store on Old Bond Street and stock up. I used to keep them in the fridge until they told me not to as it spoils the chocolate. Now I can’t buy as many as I would like.” From £30 for 275g; charbonnel.co.uk.

Katharine Pooley loves Godiva’s Truffle Speculoos chocolates, available at Harrods
Katharine Pooley loves Godiva’s Truffle Speculoos chocolates, available at Harrods

Kilian Hennessy, perfumer “If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose Le Marais in Paris, where I love to visit the chocolatier Jacques Genin. He has used unusual ingredients such as jasmine – his work inspired my Noir Aphrodisiaque fragrance.” jacquesgenin.fr.

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Katharine Pooley, interior designer “An indulgence I’d never forgo is Godiva’s Truffle Speculoos chocolates. They’re inspired by the traditional Belgian biscuit, speculoos, and are utterly irresistible, with a light mousse centre. I buy them loose in bags from Godiva’s in-store shop at Harrods.” harrods.com.

Organic chocolate from The Grenada Chocolate Company, as chosen by Gordon Campbell-Gray
Organic chocolate from The Grenada Chocolate Company, as chosen by Gordon Campbell-Gray | Image: rococochocolates.com

Alessandra Rich, fashion designer “In my fridge you’ll always find C-Amaro chocolate from Marco Colzani, which is a super-niche brand based near Lake Como. It produces chocolate with its own cacao.” €28 for eight tablets; marcocolzani.it.  

Jean-Paul Hévin’s thin dark chocolate with nuts and ginger, selected by Stella Tennant
Jean-Paul Hévin’s thin dark chocolate with nuts and ginger, selected by Stella Tennant

Gordon Campbell-Gray, hotelier “If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a chocolatier. I find it utterly sensual. I secretly dream of eventually spending time studying the art of chocolate-making and selling it in a little shop. The last thing I bought and loved was the best imaginable organic chocolate from a company called The Grenada Chocolate Company. I visited the island and was able to go to the factory. It’s all-natural, made with Trinitario cocoa beans – mine was 71 per cent cacao – and has that unique, sharp taste of true, bold chocolate.” grenadachocolate.com.

Maureen Paley likes Rococo’s Coffee & Cardamom Wafers
Maureen Paley likes Rococo’s Coffee & Cardamom Wafers

Stella Tennant, model and creative director of Holland & Holland “If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose the first arrondissement in Paris, particularly the Rue Saint-Honoré, which is unbeatable. There are good chocolate shops there; I am a huge fan of Jean-Paul Hévin’s thin dark chocolate with nuts and ginger.” Exotic Mendiants, €16.70 for 115g; jeanpaulhevin.com.

Artisan du Chocolat’s 100 per cent Chocolate Bar, recommended by Bodo Sperlein
Artisan du Chocolat’s 100 per cent Chocolate Bar, recommended by Bodo Sperlein

Maureen Paley, gallerist “I’m a chocoholic, so I always go to Rococo. I am particularly drawn to its Coffee & Cardamom Wafers. And I love the packaging, with vintage drawings of marine life and nature. The interior of the store is beautiful, too: it has an extraordinary sea-themed chandelier.” £14.50 for 150g; rocostage.com.

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Daniel Boulud, chef-restaurateur “I recommend a visit to Bernachon in Lyon for a coffee and the best chocolates and sweets anywhere. It was founded in the 1950s, and the family has been making ‘bean to bar’ chocolate on site since the 1970s.” bernachon.com.

Bodo Sperlein, product designer “An indulgence I would never forgo is Artisan du Chocolat’s 100 per cent Chocolate Bar. It is so full of antioxidants, I can feel good while I’m sinning.” £3.99; artisanduchocolat.com.

Paula Gerbase, designer and artistic director of John Lobb “The best souvenir I’ve brought home is the Amandes fleur de sel et caramel from David Pasquiet, an artisan chocolatier who has a little shop in Switzerland’s Crans-Montana, where we have a chalet. It’s always our last stop before leaving and I can’t recommend it enough.” SFr15 for 140g; instant-chocolat.ch.

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