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Chocolate stores UK, Germany & Austria
October 10, 2003
11:01 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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Does any one know in which London shops I can get Cluizel, Valrhona, Domori, Amedei, Slitti? Is there one shop (Harrods, Fortnum & Mason) who are safe for all of these brands? Are there any high quality shops in Manchester to recommend as well?

I am also interested in knowing where to buy chocolate in Germany, preferrably München, Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg.

As for Austria, I only have limited knowledge of Vienna myself even though that’s where I got to know the difference between chocolate and Chocolate (or Lindt’s versus Valrhona as an example). Julius Meinl is OK for Valrhona and Slitti, but does not have the complete sortiment in stock. Xocolat does also sell Valrhona and Slitti, but in addition they have Cluizel and Max Brenner and some other brands I am not familiar with (got disappointed by the Dolfin and Hachez’ bars I bought). Any other recommendations?

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
October 10, 2003
11:55 pm
bobvilax2000
Seville, USA
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Speaking of which, I know a lot of people here are from London, so… How would you guys rate London for a trip from the states? I love England housing design and arcitecture, and I’d imagine, London being as famous as it is, it would be the pinnacle of England design. Even some of the streets are amazing to me. Are the catacombs cool? I’m very interested in that. How expensive is it around town? How is the dining? How is the *cough* chocolate selection? I’m reading a lot about different European countries to visit and I haven’t gotten to London yet, but I saw this thread and thought I’d ask people from the land.

October 11, 2003
12:05 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Disappointed by Dolfin? Which bar was it? I love their 70%; not too overwhelming and not too weak. Hachez disappointed me too, but there’s one thing you have to give them credit for and that’s ultra smoothness. That’s why they label their chocolate as “mild bitter.”

October 11, 2003
2:44 am
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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There is a lot of interesting architecture in London, just don’t get too romantic about it – there’s a lot of ugly stuff as well and there’s no denying London is quite dirty!

The chocolate selection is from bad to good and getting better, if you know where to look – we should be able to help with that!

Martin Christy
Editor
http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
October 11, 2003
2:47 am
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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LoneLy, you’ll be very lucky to get Slitti here, but most of the others you can get in Selfridges, or Harvey Nicholls have one of the best selections around. Fortnum’s are ok but the bar selection is a bit limited.

As for Domori, at the moment you can only buy it in our shop!

Martin Christy
Editor
http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
October 11, 2003
2:48 am
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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I can understand the reaction to Dolfin, I think it is good but not outstanding. I suspect the Hachez bars use a lot of extra cocoa butter and a lot of processing to get the best out not so good beans.

Martin Christy
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http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
October 16, 2003
4:02 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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They only had flavored Dolfin bars in the shop (Xocolat), so I chose the Earl Grey/bergamot one as I had good experiences from Meinl’s own Earl Grey flavored chocolate. I don’t know if words can express the taste, but even a tiny little piece of it was uneatable.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
October 16, 2003
4:05 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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As for the Hachez’: I can’t remember the name of the bar (the approx 70%, black wrapping), but I agree with you on their ultra smoothness. At first I really loved it for the smoothness, but the taste was so short. It almost stopped before it had melted!

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
October 16, 2003
6:39 pm
stevec
London, United Kingdom
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I would suggest that Martin’s description of London as a city and a chocolate destination was perhaps a little modest. I think it is easy to take one’s own city for granted and get lost in the day to day mundane aspects of living in the city. Having lived in London for the past 11 years i still believe that it is one of the greatest cities in the world. We do have some world class architecture and the city itself has a fantastic diversity of culture and don’t forget the theatre, music and arts.

I think the availability of real chocolate has improved dramatically. I thoroughly enjoyed the 70% chocolate tour last Tuesday which took us to Fortnum and Mason, Prestat, L’Artisan Du Chocolat, Rococco and Charbonnel&Walker. Ofcourse, Harvey Nichols has a good selection of bars, there’s Harrods if you like your ‘gifty’ chocolates and now we have the newly opened La Maison Du Chocolate.

There is no doubt in my mind that London has to be on your shortlist as a city to visit with enough chocolate to buy and try to keep you interested. I would agree that it can seem dirty in parts but i would say that the real negative about London is the cost. It is an expensive city, i find that a lot of Americans are surprised at how expensive it is to eat out here compared to back home.

Hope that helps.

firepants

firepants
October 17, 2003
10:35 pm
bobvilax2000
Seville, USA
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Yes, I will visit London someday. If it’s too expensive, I may have to wait until I’m a little bit more established finacially. I have money for a trip, but don’t want to spend my life away. Although I did read that London is expensive, but affordable if you look.

Chocolate would be a bonus for a trip. It won’t be the deciding factor where I go, but the availability of good chocolate may sway the vote/

October 20, 2003
12:25 pm
morton peto
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Fortnum & Mason has Slitti and Valrhona. At the moment I think you can get Amedei only in Harvey Nichols; Selfridges used to stock it but has stopped, and it has stopped stocking Cluizel too.

All Maison Blanc patisseries stock Cluizel but the widest Cluizel selection is probably from Le Flaneur in Farringdon Road, which also has a wide selection of Bonnat, and some Scharffen Berger. However I don’t know where to find the highest reviewed Cluizel bars in the Chocopaedia in London.

Villandry (Great Portland Street) was the first place I saw Scharffen Berger in London, a few years ago. It then went on to stock Lake Champlain chocolate bars, but it stocks neither now. Selfridges has a very big Scharffen Berger selection.

So there is no one shop that stocks them all as far as I know…perhaps Rococo should!

PS I don’t like Max Brenner at all…

April 29, 2004
4:29 pm
alex_h
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LoneLy,

you asked about shops in munich:

for amedei, cluizel, zotter (austrian) and café tasse got to

amelie in the reichenbachstrasse.

for valrhona, dolfin, lindt and whatnot check out the chocolate sections of department stores in the pedestrian zone: kaufhof and karstadt.

in berlin check out in’t veld for:

amedei, domori, dolfin, slitti and lots of other interesting stuff.

a

April 29, 2004
4:32 pm
alex_h
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does anyone know where i can get my domori fix in munich?

thanx
a

May 3, 2004
12:00 am
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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Thanks for the tip, Alex.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
May 3, 2004
12:59 pm
alex_h
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any time :-)

May 7, 2004
1:31 pm
alex_h
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i have finally found a place in munich for domori!

it’s a small chocolaterie and cafe called götterspeise (which translates to theobroma which translates to food of the gods) in the jahnstraße 30. unfortunately they won’t have much in stock during the summer :-(

May 11, 2004
2:14 am
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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Good news from Munich and another good reason to visit soon. Another question; apart from Munich and Berlin, is it possible to get good chocolate elsewhere in Germany? And are there any German chocolatiers worth a try? Hachez was one of my first experiences. I remember I liked it alot, especially the one with Strawberry and pepper, but after the next tries, Valrhona, Slitti and Cluizel, I couldn’t stand it.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
May 11, 2004
10:34 am
alex_h
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when you’re in town call me up. i’ll show you around a bit.
there should be a couple of places in germany to find good chocolate, but i really don’t know where. if you’re up north the city to try is certainly hamburg. i bet you’d find something here. other german cities you might try are frankfurt, maybe stuttgart and maybe around cologne. in the east good bets should be dresden and leipzig. but check the internet before heading there!

aside from hachez, we’ve got lindt, leysieffer, heinemann, rausch. these are the “best” i know. unfortunately i only regard rausch with any esteem. there must be others, but i think germany – like switzerland – is more (in)famous for its milk chocolate. i have yet to stumble upon any serious quality here.

hachez – tastes artificial and neither strong nor complex

lindt – so far i have only tried their 70% madagascar => :-( and their 85% which is ok

leysieffer – goes up to 99% and has chocolates from different regions and years (like valrhona) but neither do they list ingredients, nor do they taste spectacular. and they ask much money for this! a colleague of mine and i both find a really awful off taste in their 70% sao thome chocolate. it’s off my list! their 61% is ok, but too sweet for me.
i really like their salt milk chocolate though! yum! i think they are better in truffles and milk. (my ex loved their truffles).

heinemann – a soso bar. the price is fair.

rausch – now here is a chocolate that you can eat! not up there with the greats, but straightforward and enjoyable. their website (www.rausch.de) claims pure ingredients and you can taste it. very chocolatey and inexpensive (not a must). i like their 70 and 75%. both compare to venchi. i don’t know what they call the bars. they come in three sizes though! a plus in my eyes. great in a pinch.

May 11, 2004
8:15 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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alex h,

Thanks for useful info and kind offer. I always find it interesting to check out local chocolates no matter how. May be it is a general fascination for lists or tests or so, similar to coin collectors. I don’t have any good explanation for it. Sometimes it results in a rather short relationship – as with Hachez. Today I can’t understand why I liked it at all! I recall I was fascinated about its extreme smooothness – a significant part of the experience but obviously subordinated to taste and aroma. It might also be the case that I appreciate the really good ones because of all the miserable bars I’ve tried.

You live in Munich, right? I’m not sure if I got the Berlin/Munich straight.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
May 12, 2004
10:19 am
alex_h
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LoneLy,

anytime. just send a message.

as far as collecting goes i think i have tried almost all chocolates i’ve wanted to try. i found my faves and that’s good enough for me. all else is secondary. which is not to say i have no further interest in good tips.

i live in munich.