Review: Children’s Chocolate Workshop at the Hotel Chocolat Cocoa Vaults

OK, so maybe eating chocolate is not strictly cultural, but on the first day of the summer holidays what could be nicer than spending an hour learning how to make and package your very own chocolate bar?  Hotel Chocolat, the upmarket chocolate people, has recently set up a chocolate school in the vaults of their Monmouth Street shop.  In the evenings, grown-ups get sticky but during the day it’s the children’s turn.

Since we booked, paid for and attended the Children's Chocolate Workshop Hotel Chocolat no longer offer the workshops on a regular basis, rather they have to be booked as a bespoke experience, with bespoke pricing that is not published details from the Hotel Chocolat website
Cocoa Beans, Chocolate with All About the Cocoa sign

We were greeted by Aaron who showed the children to a table laden with stuff to decorate chocolate bars later and then ensured that their Mother had a glass of Prosecco (a necessity to ensure the mulled wine and mojito sample chocolates could be washed down).  Then down to the important business of how to make chocolate.  Start with a cocoa pod, open it reveal the beans.  At every stage we got to taste, I can report that a cocoa bean tastes pleasantly chocolaty in a woody sort of way. Next the beans are crushed and put into a Conch that heats, crushes and stirs for 45 hours (not that we watched it for that long) until a glossy molten mass emerges.  Then it is tempered which looks like an endless waterfall worthy of Willie Wonka and finally poured out into slabs.

Chocolate Conch with children looking in

Having seen all these processes the children are then let loose to adorn their own bars.  Dried strawberries, marshmallows and melted chocolate all these and more were piled on in a vaguely artful manner.  Silence fell and concentration was total, although I did see a fair amount of decorations disappearing into mouths. Once no more can be fitted on the children design packaging to take their creations home in.

Looking into the conch chocolate machine

This is one Cultural experience that doesn’t need to be accompanied by a trip to a café!  If you feel the need for extra substance very fine iced chocolatey drinks can be acquired at the café upstairs.

Below Hotel Chocolat at 4 Monmouth Street, London WC2H 9HB
We paid £20 per child, but pricing is now bespoke and quoted on request



  1. July 20, 2016 / 3:25 pm

    This sounds so delicious – I actually did a tour of the plantation in St Lucia where they grow the beans, and got to make a bar (which is a bit more effort than the decoration) but would love to relive it here. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  2. July 22, 2016 / 6:46 pm

    What an awesome thing to do! What age do you think you can do it from? I’m particularly impressed with the prosecco touch too. #citytripping

  3. July 23, 2016 / 4:27 pm

    Hmmm…since my wife says I act like I’m 12 sometimes… I don’t suppose that counts. But then, I’d miss out on the wine! Definitely added our London To Do list – thanks for putting it on our radar!

  4. November 4, 2016 / 6:52 pm

    I know the kids would love this …as would I. Who can say no to chocolate !

  5. November 4, 2016 / 7:23 pm

    Eating chocolate is extremely cultured 🙂 And delicious.

  6. November 4, 2016 / 7:51 pm

    What a cool experience! It would be a hit with my family! #CulturedKids

  7. November 5, 2016 / 10:54 am

    Oh I didn’t know that they did children’s workshops – my boys would absolutely love this – tbh I would want to do it too! #CulturedKids

    • November 5, 2016 / 12:04 pm

      I think they may have grown up events too!

  8. November 23, 2016 / 4:42 pm

    I really like the sound of this – and not just because of the alcohol for the grown ups! #culturedkids

    • November 23, 2016 / 4:50 pm

      Chocolate for grown ups too!

  9. November 24, 2016 / 11:13 pm

    A revelation Catherine. I shall make a special trip to London for this. Perhaps arrange a gaggle of bloggers to come too? Jo x

    • November 24, 2016 / 11:16 pm

      Always up for chocolate consumption!

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