Posh chocs

Sir Eve­lyn de Roth­schild has been a choco­holic al­most since birth. And now, in his 80s, he has re­alised his life­time’s am­bi­tion of a cho­co­late shop all of his own – with a lit­tle help from the fam­ily, of course. By Amy Bryant. Pho­to­graphs by Si­mon Brown

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - THE CUT | FOOD - rchoco­latelon­don.co.uk

‘I haven’t drunk cof­fee for 50 years, but I am very par­tial to hot cho­co­late when­ever I have the chance,’ says Sir eve­lyn de roth­schild. the 85-year-old fi­nancier and mem­ber of the roth­schild bank­ing fam­ily is par­tial to cho­co­late full stop, and none more so than the range that launched in his name in May last year. at r Cho­co­late’s two London bou­tique sand on­line shop, you’ ll find fresh boxes of ganaches yield­ing flavours such as del­i­cate thy me and honey, or amaretto and black­berry; ornate bars made with­feu ill anti ne wafer and pra­line; and rich truf­fles coated in a bright-green rub­ble of chopped pis­ta­chio. In the Belg ra via flag­ship, glass coun­ters are lined with lac­quer-red domed desserts and ‘in­gots’ imag­ined in co­coa-dusted dark cho­co­late and cherry mousse. It’ s a su­gar-scented haven where Sir eve­lyn, liv­ing not far away in Chelsea, can ‘trot down the road to, eat too much cho­co­late, and wan­der home slowly to have a sleep’.

Can the co-founder of r Cho­co­late ever eat too much? aged four, he fell for the cho­co­late ice cream served at Gunter’s tea Shop in May­fair. dur­ing the war, his father gave Sir eve­lyn and his sis­ter renée his sweet coupons, and t he chil­dren sought out cho­co­late as a rare break from bar­ley sug­ars. af­ter be­ing evac­u­ated to amer­ica, Sir eve­lyn’ s first job was in a drug store op­er­at­ing the soda foun­tain and dish­ing out ice-cream sun­daes .‘ I could eat as much cho­co­late as I liked,’ he re­calls with a laugh. hav­ing grown up with a pen­chant for ‘Mr Cad­bury’s dark cho­co­late’, he has en­joyed bars and blends around the world. In Florence, venice and vi­enna, he ad­mits, ‘I can tell you where my favourite cho­co­late shops a re, but not t he mu­se­ums.’ nowa­days, his taste is for the dark­est stuff, and for hot cho­co­late thick enough for a spoon to stand up in. ‘I much pre­fer that to a dessert.’

his daugh­ter, Jes­sica, gamely re­veals that she has ‘far more com­mer­cial taste buds. I’m a ge­netic anom­aly. Where my father adores dark cho­co­late, I like milk and white.’ the theatre pro­ducer, who

lives in LA, of­fered her ser­vices when her fat her de­cided to open his own shop af­ter part­ing ways with the choco­latier Wil­liam Cur­ley, with whom he was pre­vi­ously in busi­ness, ‘not for a se­cond think­ing they would be called upon ’. Her sis a cre­ative role, en com­pass­ing the de­sign of the shops, window dis­plays, prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and pack­ag­ing. Re­mem­ber­ing her own child­hood treats of ice-cream sun­daes and cakes, she ‘wanted the Belg ravia bou­tique to sum up those spe­cial, won­der­ful feel­ings to­wards cho­co­late; to be nos­tal­gic, al­most’ .Wall­pa­pers bear her­itage pat­terns with a mod­ern, metal­lic glint, while at the door a vin- ta ge dress er dis­plays rows of bars wrapped in pil­lar-box-red pa­per. ‘The colour has a cel­e­bra­tor y feel, which is ex­actly how I felt about cho­co­late as a child,’ Jes­sica says. Glass jars of flo­ren­tines and pin­wheel palmiers add sweet­shop ap­peal.

This year, barely 12 months since it was founded, R Cho­co­late’s 42 per cent milk-cho­co­late bar and sea-salt caramel cho­co­late have both won bronze at the Academy of Cho­co­late awards. The lat­ter will star on the brand’s dessert­bar menu, along wit h peanut-but­ter

cho­co­late mousse and tarte Tatin, when it launches later in the year. Al­ready, cus­tomers can try their hand at mak­ing sea-salt caramels, the Black For­est in­got and clas­sic truf­fles at work­shops that take place down­stairs in Bel­gravia.

The cho­co­late it­self is sourced from Orig inal Beans, an et hi­cally minded pro­ducer t hat pla nt s t rees in co­coapro­duc­ing re­gions. Mean­while, a per­cent­age of t he sales of R Cho­co­late’s Her­itage Ele­phant range (shaped caramels in white, milk and dark) is do­nated to Ele­pha nt Fa mily, a conser vat ion char­ity sup­ported by Sir Eve­lyn. There a re pla ns for sup­per club s, br unch menus and sea­sonal up­dates to the bou­tique’s high-tea menus – all in cel­e­bra­tion of cho­co­late’s role, as Jes­sica puts it, as ‘a won­der­ful life en­hancer’.

Right Sir Eve­lyn de Roth­schild with his daugh­ter, Jes­sica. Op­po­site Sea-salt caramels from their brand R Cho­co­late’s Her­itage Ele­phant range

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