For the true chocolate connoisseur, look no further than Rococo Covent Garden, a five-minute walk from the doors of Strand Palace Hotel. The shop is reminiscent of Willy Wonka’s wonderland, presented in a luxury boutique chocolate shop wrapping. This is, of course, its intention.
The brainchild of Chantal Coady back in the early 1980’s, ‘Rococo’ arose from a desire to make waves in the world of conservative boutique chocolatiers, whilst retaining the creative elegance and quality of its namesake. As the punk movement was sweeping its way across the UK, Coady adorned the ceiling of her first King’s Road store with painted cherubs and clouds after Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus,’ an appropriate work of art for a pioneer chocolatier, mounting a renaissance of her own in the world of chocolate. The walls were painted the same bubblegum pink as Coady’s hair. The resulting hybrid of punk and 18th-century elegance created a unique ambience, which drew in crowds from London and beyond who had grown tired of the predictability of department store confectionary departments.
More than three decades, five shops and five books later, the creativity of the Rococo is still the driving force behind its success. The shop’s recent introduction of the Roald Dahl chocolate bars epitomises this typically British creative spirit. As ever, an unflinching refusal to be constrained by gastronomical norms affords customers the opportunity to sample chocolate, inspired by the much-loved literary genius himself. This creative excellence was recognised in the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours where Coady was awarded an OBE for her ‘services to chocolate’ whilst the Wall Street Journal recognised her as the founder of the ‘New British School of Chocolate.’
Strand Palace is fortunate enough to have a local branch of the chocolate haven on its doorstep in the creative hub of London that is Covent Garden. Strand Palace guests can enjoy a 10% discount in-store when they spend £10 or more.
An excursion not to be missed! Frobscottle and Snozzcumber flavoured chocolate, anyone?