Ione Bingley enjoys afternoon tea at R Chocolate the newest brainchild of the Rothschild family in Chelsea on Orange Square.
A glittering ruby in the heart of Chelsea, the windows of R Chocolate, adorned with red and gold, emit a warm and inviting light. Huge chocolate elephants gaze across Orange Square with giant nutcrackers standing sentinel beside them. Through the dazzling display you can just catch a glimpse of the myriad delectations waiting inside.
Chelsea’s newest addition for the chocolate obsessed comes heavy with the prestige of the family Rothschild and the fruits of their labours do not disappoint. Despite the big name, the proof is indeed in the pudding, and the proof is absolutely delightful.
The waitress, sweet as the heady scent of chocolate that hangs in the air, ushers us into a cosy leather booth and we are presented with a hot drinks menu boasting an unparalleled range of innovative hot chocolates, coffees and artisan teas, I decide to save my sweet tooth for the main event and choose a fresh mint tea.
While we wait, I gaze at beautifully decorated the chocolates piled up like collectors’ items in their glass vitrine. Behind the counter, sweetshop jars filled to the brim with chocolate powder reach right to the ceiling, you could be forgiven for thinking that R Chocolate had been a Chelsea chocolate staple for hundreds of years.
The tea arrives, beautifully presented, but humbled by the glorious, shimmering three tier platter of sticky cakes and nibbles. Not the place to be if you’re trying to avoid temptation, but definitely the moment to succumb.
We work our way through each melting mouthful with delight, but, exercising some amount of self control, have to take a doggy bag home with us. We are informed that this is normal, it would take a real chocoholic to lick the plate clean. At a push, though, we probably could probably have managed it!
Every cake was beautifully presented in glossy boules of chocolate offset by powdery pastels and steeped in gold a veritable feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. With such a sumptuous selection it is near impossible to pluck favourites from the mix. The perfect chocolate loaf, the dainty cherry Battenberg, the raspberry trifle…the list goes on.
I thought my taste buds would never again reach the dizzying delights of The Grand Cru chocolate mouse with salt caramel centre, until I dived in for a melt-in-the-mouth strawberry and champagne mousse and with that was taken to stratospheric levels of sweet ecstasy. I could go home happy that I had lived.
The perfect place for the young, the old and everyone in between, a total delight in every way, but make sure you go in hungry because you will want to eat it all!