Chocolate Week Kicks Off with South Place Hotel

Chocolate Week

With Chocolate week kicking off this week, we thought it was only right to try out some of London’s favourite venues that will be chocolate inspired from 12th-18th October 2015. So roll on South Place Hotels.

On Thursday night my friend and I experienced an evening in South Place Hotel’s Le Chiffre lounge, which specialises in cocktails and rare spirits, as honouree members of The Spies Society. Previously a private lounge for hotel guests, this has now been opened to members of the public.  For chocolate week this year, they have re-invented three classic cocktails using Doisy & Dam chocolates.

Upon arriving at the South Place Hotel, my friend and I were escorted by the manager upstairs to the bar and introduced to Alexandria, the Maître d’hôtel and Mattia Picello, our private bartender.  Actually bartender is not the word to describe Mattia, cocktail connoisseur appears more appropriate. He has been making cocktails for 19 years and radiates passion as he takes you on a sensual journey explaining the many intricate elements of his creations and experiences in the world of cocktails, certainly made for an entertaining evening.

Chocolate Week

The lounge itself is very intimate (the maximum capacity is 33 to ensure a personal experience for all guests) and the bar has been quirkily designed to showcase chocolate and alcohol. Given the atmosphere of the place, we were excited to begin sampling the cocktails. Our starter cocktail of the evening was Mattia’s twist of the classic Clover Club cocktail (Sugar Syrup, Sinsmith Gin, Lychee Liquor, White Chocolate Liquor and fresh Lemon) served in a champagne glass coated with raspberry alcoholic sugar and chocolate. This cocktail is not part of the official chocolate week creations, however, is available if you want to try it. If the presentation of this drink hadn’t made us giddy with excitement, our first sip of this drink would have certainly done the trick. Flavours that I wouldn’t have even considered to mix, complimented each other and were absolutely delicious. I guess this is why I was on this side of the bar and letting the experts do the hard work on the other.

As we were sipping on our starter cocktails, Mattia began explaining the first Chocolate Week creation of the evening, the Chocolate Negroni (Campari, Punt Mes, Amber Picon served in a champagne glass and garnished with melted chocolate and lemon peel). This was a very bitter cocktail, however, the melted chocolate rim softened the bitterness, leaving a very pleasant aftertaste.

The second creation of the evening was the D and D Old Fashion (Bulleit Bourbon, Chocolate bitters, South Place Bitters, Coffee Beans, Demerara Sugar Syrup). This is a molecular cocktail so looks extremely cool being made. While Mattia was working his magic mixing this drink, the scents of this drink were very intoxicating and inviting. Despite, this it is a bourbon based cocktail and I must admit, our least favourite cocktail of the evening.  Nevertheless, it was very easy to drink and bourbon drinkers would enjoy immensely.

The final cocktail for the evening was the Dirty Duck (Vodka or Gin, Noilly Pratt and Mozart Dark and garnished with a rubber duck). The glass was placed in front of us, with clear spirits and a rubber duck floating on top. We were given the instruction to pick up the rubber duck and squeeze it in into our drinks, where the chocolate liquor had been hiding. This was my second favourite of the evening as not only did the drink taste delicious, this was a very fun cocktail!

All of South Place Hotel’s chocolate cocktails for chocolate week will cost £11.50, which is a pretty standard price for cocktails in Central London, however you will agree, these concoctions are far from standard.

Chocolate Week

Overall, this experience was so much fun and I would definitely recommend spending an evening here with a friend or on a date. Especially, if you are after something a little seductive, sensual and sexy and not a typical jam-packed bar surrounded by the usual pub or bar crowd. The Spies Society at the South Place Hotel also hosts a range of different events throughout the week, including live music and cocktail tastings so check them out.


Reporter: Tegan LeBon


South Place Hotel

3 South Place



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Fancy some more Chocolate inspired places to go? Try out these:

  • Doisy & Dam Superfood Chocolate have created extra special menus with the chefs and bartenders at Salvatore’s (Hyde Park)
  •  Fish Market (Shoreditch) to kick-start this year’s Chocolate Week in ever-innovative style!