Hotel Chocolat is a Euro star
HUNTINGDON-BASED Hotel Chocolat is selling its luxury chocolates in Europe for the first time this month.
The luxury chocolatier and cocoa grower will be tempting palates abroad when it open a store in Amsterdam followed by one in Copenhagen in the summer.
In the Dutch city, the British brand has taken over a traditional five-storey townhouse in a popular area, Heiligeweg Street. It features a Hotel Chocolat store and a “secret” Coffee Vs Cocoa Bar in an atmospheric, oakpanelled room on the first floor – reached via a partially hidden staircase.
In Copenhagen, the company is opening its second Roast + Conch store in July, following the success of the first one in Covent Garden, London.
The 2,000sq ft property in Ostergade Street will also be Hotel Chocolat’s largest store. Copenhagen has a rich gastronomic heritage, so it is the perfect choice for the full Roast + Conch offering – with daily roasting of cocoa beans from the company’s estate in Saint
Lucia, small batch chocolate making in a theatre kitchen, a Coffee Vs Cocoa Bar and dishes from the company’s Cacao Cuisine menu. That is as well as Hotel Chocolat’s usual premium chocolate gifts and treats.
CEO Angus Thirlwell said: “I am incredibly excited about our European plans. The Dutch and Danish markets are very similar to the British and so I feel we’ll fit in perfectly.
“Copenhagen is home to the world’s best restaurant and has a gastronomically-aware population that we think will whole-heartedly embrace our Roast + Conch concept.”
In London, meanwhile, Hotel Chocolat plans to open its first Boucan Restaurant over the course of 2012, led by a Michelin star chef. It will follow closely the exclusive “cacao cuisine” menu pioneered at the highly rated Boucan Saint Lucia.
And across the UK, the company will con- tinue the roll-out of its successful Roast + Conch concept, by upgrading existing stores when the timing is appropriate.
Angus estimates that approximately half of all stores will be Roast + Conch in the fullness of time. He said: “When appropriate, we’ll be updating existing sites to Roast + Conch stores – some will be casual cafés, some will have the full Roast + Conch offer.”
perfect FIT: Hotel Chocolat CEO Angus Thirlwell comments on how he feels the company will suit the Dutch and Danish markets.
SUITS YOU: ACR staff Rosie Hooton, left, and Danielle Molyneux examine one of the suits collected for Dress For Success.