This year’s clutch of Easter eggs takes edible artistry to new heights, from oeufs befitting the French Riviera to a Venezuelan Carupano chocolate teacup worthy of The Ritz. Here’s our Easter parade for your delectation…
Le Bristol Paris
Cutting-edge pastry chef Julien Alvarez has created a work of art inspired by the delicate ceramics of Italy’s Puglia. His limited edition egg (€110) is coated in pure white cocoa butter resembling enamel, which is punctured by a series of indentations that form the hotel’s signature letter “B”. Café Antonia, 112 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris (+331-5343 4300; oetkercollection.com).
Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc
Chef Lilian Bonnefoi’s egg (€95) celebrates the spirit of the French Riviera and, in particular, the nautical air of Antibes, with a design that recalls a sailboat at full mast. The creation – in a choice of Swiss Alpine milk chocolate (36 per cent) or Madagascan Grand Cru dark chocolate (64 per cent) – is filled with miniature chocolate fish, which should appeal to boating and chocolate enthusiasts alike. Boulevard JF Kennedy, 06601 Antibes (+334-9361 3901; oetkercollection.com).
Catalan tradition dictates that godparents offer La Mona de Pascua (Spanish Easter cakes) as gifts to their godchildren during Easter or Holy Week. Over the years, the cake has transformed into a more traditional Easter egg, decorated with colourful characters, and at Almanac Barcelona’s Línia restaurant, pastry chef Lucila Canero has conjured four designs (from €30) – including an adorable dinosaur – using a chocolate-tempering machine that allows her to play with shapes and colours. 619-621 Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 08007 Barcelona (+34930-187 451; almanachotels.com).
Hôtel de Crillon
To celebrate Easter, pastry chef Pablo Gicquel has created a contemporary artwork worthy of the newly renovated Palace hotel. His egg (€125) is formed from sleek slabs of chocolate, which are stacked from rich dark varieties to white chocolate and the creamiest milk flavours, and has a gold Crillon insignia at its heart. 10 Place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris (+331-4471 1500; rosewoodhotels.com).
The Ritz Paris
Think of a Venezuelan Carupano chocolate (70 per cent) egg (€85), opening to reveal an edible teacup containing a gilded key (the signature emblem of the historic hotel) complemented by a Florentine cookie, chocolate-dipped shortbread and a madeleine – all delights that can be enjoyed in the hotel’s iconic Salon Proust. 15 Place Vendôme, 75001 Paris (ritzparis.com); available to order from April 6 to 21 by calling +331-4316 3274.
Hôtel Plaza Athénée
Angelo Musa, winner of the World Pastry Cup in 2003 and Best Craftsman of France in 2007, has teamed up with Alexandre Dufeu, the hotel’s chef pâtissier, to create a culinary feat. Its elegant Fabergé-inspired egg (€90) comes nestled in a gold-trimmed chocolate case – complete with working hinge – opening to reveal sweet chocolate gems, including a charming chocolate bunny. 25 Avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris (dorchestercollection.com); available to order by calling +331-5367 6536 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
This year, the Mandarin has created a wonderfully whimsical “Happy Easter Egg House” (HK$358, about £35) inhabited by a marzipan bunny that peeks out from its abode. There is a ladder at the entrance to the house, which is surrounded by a garden of flowers trimmed by picket fences – all made from decadent Valrhona Jivara chocolate. 5 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong (mandarinoriental.com); available to order at hongkong.mandarinorientalshop.com or by calling +852-2825 4008 or emailing email@example.com.
Le Meurice Paris
Famed pastry chef Cédric Grolet has created a trompe-l’œil egg (€15-€65) that is so realistic it appears almost farm-fresh. Upon cracking the delicate dark chocolate and praline shell, guests are encouraged to share the rich treat, which is available in peanut, cocoa and pistachio flavours. 228 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris (dorchestercollection.com); available to order from April 13 by calling +331-4458 1010.