I headed over to Leicester Square on Saturday with a friend to indulge in a chocolate-themed afternoon tea experience. The experience and a number of workshops feature David Leslie, a well-known chocolate expert. The venue was located in Leicester Square, and the view here was perfect. We had pefect weather and could see many of London's famous buildings from where we sat. I pointed out the tip of the Shard, Monument, the City's buildings, St. Paul's, Nelson's Column, Big Ben, and the Eye. The Penthouse is a bar, and David Leslie's chocolate and macaroon-making classes are held here during the day.
A view of the City of London
Our experience started off with a glass of champagne or berry cocktail. We both had a glass of champagne.
The desserts were brought over to us. We had one macaroon each, two chocolate-dipped strawberries, and two slices of cake. One slice of cake was praline chocolate, and the other one was raspberry with orange and white chocolate. The praline chocolate cake was not too rich; it was a subtle chocolate taste with perfect texture. I would have preferred it to taste a little richer. The other slice of cake (raspberry and white chocolate) was my preference. The chocolate-dipped strawberries were delicious, and I liked the mango (I believe this was the flavour) macaroon as well. My friend had a salted caramel macaroon.
Slices of cake, strawberries, and macaroon
Cake and chocolate strawberries in Leicester Square
While one group went to make their chocolate truffles, we were eventually given cups of hot chocolate. I was disappointed as I believed this would be pure melted chocolate, but it actually was not. It was a very watery hot chocolate. I have had much better hot chocolate, and I can cite Zaza in Notting Hill (Notting Hill Portobello Road Saturday Market) or even chain Cafe Nero as producing much nicer cups of hot chocolate.
Disappointing cup of hot chocolate
When it was eventually our time to make the truffles (we were the last table), I felt that it was a bit rushed as we were the last to do this. We were told to put the flavoured cream inside the hollow chocolate. There were two flavours of chocolate to choose from: white or dark. The flavours of cream to insert into them were raspberry, vanilla, and salted caramel.
Filling the chocolates
We were told to knock the chocolates in their plastic holder lightly onto the table to remove any air-holes inside and to top up with more filling if it was needed.
Filling chocolate truffles
After the chocolates were filled with cream, we were told to seal them with more chocolate, which we drizzled on top.
The final aspect of the chocolate decorating was to decorate our chocolates. This was all a little bit rushed for us as we were the last to go, and the tables who went earliest had more time. (This experience really did not seem to be organised too well, and the other tables had more time to make their chocolates and probably had the process explained to them because by the time we went up, we were rushed through in a fraction of the time as the others without really being what to do.)
We were told to put edible shimmer onto the truffles with a brush and we were told that we could use the chocolate to drizzle some chocolate on top. We were not given a demonstration of this, though, and it would have been good to see examples of how to drizzle the chocolate to create nice designs.
When we finished, we had to let the chocolate dry as much as we possible before packing it away to take away with us. I had mine that evening, and they were delicious. The vanilla and raspberry ones were so good.
Overall, the experience was alright, but it was a little chaotic. The staff were friendly, but there seemed to be some problems initially and we were told to go away and come back in thirty minutes. Also, the paperwork did mention filling and decorating macaroons as well, but we never did that and had only one macaroon each. (We did receive chocolate-dipped strawberries, though.) Our table was also rushed through the chocolate-decorating experience while the other tables had more time, so it was a little disappointing as was the hot chocolate. For the price of this experience, I would have expected a little more when comparing this with other afternoon tea and experiences. Judging by comments made by others online, it looks like others had the same complaints.