There is something about an entire chocolate shop that always feels sumptuous and decadent. The aroma as you walk in, the display cases full of mouthwatering chocolates of varying shapes and flavors, and the Try-me platters you can’t resist make a chocolate factory an experience rather than just a place to buy something. Discovering a Chocolate Factory for the first time is a real Aladdin Cave moment, and there is something new and interesting about every Chocolate Factory you find. Some are large and bright and full of cosmopolitan luxury, while some are small and independent and quirky, but all are deliciously tempting.
Here is our selection of must-see UK chocolate shops, in no particular order.
1. Domea Favor Chocolate, Plymouth
Independent chocolate maker Domea Favor opened at the Royal William Yard in October 2020. Echoing the Yard’s proud food production past, it now has its own chocolate factory, with handmade chocolates, freshly baked pastries, hot drinks and unique edible gifts. The business is owned and operated by Nicholas Kittle, who worked in gastronomy for 20 years before starting this business. He has already been named Chocolatier of the Year at the South West England Prestige Awards! His confectionery creations – including a chocolate Smeaton’s Tower and cream tea truffles – are often inspired by the region.
2. Mr. Thom’s, Tenbury Wells
Mr. Thom’s is located in Tenbury Wells, in the picturesque Teme Valley. A glance at the window inside the boutique reveals towers of amazing handmade chocolates in so many varieties that it’s impossible to choose from. Mr. Thom’s is famous for his hot chocolate bombs, so this is a good place to start. These delicious instant hot chocolates are an experience in themselves and not to be missed. Pour hot milk over the bombs and creamy marshmallow hot chocolate comes out. Mr. Thom’s factory is at the back of the shop in their yard, where they offer chocolate-making workshops for anyone who wants to try their hand at creating their own chocolate treats.
3. Chocolate Chocolate, Cambridge
Nestled on the outskirts of historic downtown is Chocolate chocolate, voted Cambridge’s Favorite Chocolate Factory. It is located opposite Emmanuel College and just around the corner from Downing College in a 19th century building. Most days you can look through the window and see one of the chocolatiers making their famous chocolate foil. If you take a few steps inside, the smell of chocolate will immediately take you back to the traditional chocolate factories of yesteryear. Chocolat Chocolat’s handmade sheet chocolate is made with the finest Belgian chocolate in a unique style brought from France by chocolate maker Isabelle Chappell. The wavy chocolate sheets are dusted with premium ingredients from the UK and Europe, including French sea salt, Turkish hazelnuts, Italian gianduja, freeze-dried fruit and Chinese ginger. These create delicious combinations of familiar and unusual flavors.
4. Läderach, London
Swiss luxury brand Läderach recently opened a store on Regent Street in London, where it showcases its own exclusive products as well as a wide range of truffles, pralines, patties and chocolate figurines. These are available as appetizing and snackable pieces broken off from the slab counter in front of you and placed in a sackli (a small bag); in boats; in luxury boxes; or in heart-shaped boxes with Piedmont hazelnuts. Customers can indulge in a wide range of flavors, from crunchy Florentine milk and Swiss milk chocolate fudge chunks to a fruity Swiss white chocolate mix. Läderach, a family-owned premium Swiss chocolate company that now operates in 15 countries, has been in existence since 1962. As the largest chocolate retailer in Switzerland – with around 1,000 employees and 90 stores – Läderach is known for creating the most fresh and of the highest quality. artisanal chocolates from responsible sources in Switzerland, if not in the world.
5. Chocolates and Truffles, Skipton
Located in the town of Skipton in Yorkshire, this unique chocolate factory offers its customers a personal touch. AT Chocolates and truffles, all chocolates are handcrafted on site, bringing you, the customer, to the heart of production. You can request your own personalized chocolates, and the shop is especially popular at Easter, when personalized Easter eggs are handmade on site. You can buy a chocolate basket, a traditional wicker basket filled with tasty treats and chocolate without chocolate is also available.
6. Melt Chocolates, London
Melt chocolates handcraft all of their luxury chocolates in boutique kitchens in the heart of Notting Hill. They sell a fantastic range of single origin, vegan, milk and dark chocolates. They also offer chocolate tastings and masterclasses, and those who come to their Clarendon Road location can enjoy afternoon chocolate tea in a lovely garden. Melt has just launched a luxury chocolate box inspired by Alice in Wonderland. The original Eat Me box contains 18 fresh chocolates, including delicacies such as smoked caramel, crisp praline, rhubarb and ginger. Walking down the rabbit hole has never been so delicious!
7. Samadi House, London
Knightsbridge’s iconic chocolatier has built on family tradition since 1872, with incredible craftsmanship passed down from generation to generation. This tradition made the Samadi name synonymous with exceptional quality and exquisite taste. This luxury chocolatier offers decadent chocolates – delicately crafted, individually wrapped and prepared by skilled artisans – that make incredible treats or gifts. Try the praline truffles, chocolate covered dates or chocolate nougat. The brand’s baskets are also essential!
Pro tip: If you live in London but don’t have time to visit Maison Samadi’s boutique in West London, why not have a delicious chocolate treat delivered to your door? Maison Samadi has partnered with Cosaporto, a digital marketplace offering concierge-style delivery of artisan food, wine and gifts across London. The Cosaporto team can collect all Maison Samadi products and deliver them to you within a few hours. You can add a handwritten card to any gift delivered by Cosaporto for that special touch.
8. Chocolate, Kirkby Lonsdale
In the historic market town of Kirkby Lonsdale, Chocolate is a hidden gem. The store looks small from the outside, but a quick trip down reveals a world of chocolate and other goodies that just seems to go on and on. I love a hidden room that makes it seem like only you have discovered it, and Chocolat gives you even more. The basement is home to a chocolate mine! Don your helmet and face the depths of the shop, and you’ll find a display featuring elves working hard to extract chocolate. You can purchase a range of fine chocolates while you’re here, including vegan chocolate. Especially good are the chocolate-coated coffee beans.
9. Kokoa, London
Known as the best independent chocolate factory in London, Kokoa is located in Highgate Village. They pride themselves on selling the best bar bean chocolate in the country. That’s quite a claim, but anyone who’s been to Kokoa doesn’t dispute it! For a store that was established in 2020, they are doing incredibly well. Owners Luci and Rodi have carved out a place for themselves in the chocolate world that no one else seems to be able to come close to. The box of chocolate candies is a must buy. Love that you are never completely sure what will be in the box, as chocolates vary based on availability. It’s an always delicious surprise box of chocolates. Forrest Gump would be proud!