I first discovered Cocoa Bijoux by accident, a few weeks before Christmas when taking a shortcut via Broadhurst Gardens. I bought some of their cocoa dusted walnuts (which were delicious and a nice change from the usual cocoa dusted almonds), but then was away from London and forgot to visit on my return. I suddenly remembered, over brunch with friends on Saturday, that it was really time for another visit! The second visit was even better than the first…
Cocoa Bijoux is a tiny shop filled with beautiful artisan chocolates (many imported for them from France, Italy and Spain) and run by a very friendly couple who offer all their visitors samples of their latest delights. Of course many chocolate shops invite customers to sample their products (including chains like Hotel Chocolat) but at Cocoa Bijoux they select the samples with the individual customer in mind and explain where the chocolate is from and what is unique about it. The owners are so knowledgeable and clearly know the chocolate world inside out, and are keen to share their passion with their customers. You don’t just go there to make a purchase – you go for the experience also.
I decided to purchase a few new items. First the salted caramel truffles which had an intense flavour and melt-in-the-mouth effect with just a little hint of salt, and I can say without doubt that these were the best I’ve had. Prestat and Willie’s Cacao used to be my favourites, but no longer! The chocolate coated raspberries were enjoyable but the chocolate was not dark or rich enough for me (I’m an 85% cocoa kind of girl) so I don’t think I would purchase these again. The round disc standing behind them in the photo below is dark chocolate with almonds in, which had then been dusted with cocoa. This was excellent and the quality of the almonds stood out in particular (I have become obsessed with almonds recently – almond milk, cocoa dusted almonds, salted almonds … you name it). As for the brown box that’s a gift for someone so I can’t comment on the contents!
Cocoa Bijoux is absolutely worth the journey even if you don’t live locally (conveniently located a couple of minutes walk from West Hampstead tube station). I cannot wait to visit again for more of their superb chocolates!