Top 10 Chocolate Shops

London is home to some of the finest chocolatiers in the world, from historic chocolate shops Prestat and Charbonnel et Walker, to smaller boutiques from William Curley to Rococo. Here are 10 of the best:

1. Charbonnel et Walker

Charbonnel et Walker has been a favourite in the capital since opening in the Royal Arcade on Bond Street in the 19th century. Charbonnel et Walker are one of the few chocolatiers to hold a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty The Queen, and their truffles are worth that honour alone. Make sure you try: Sea Salted Caramel Truffles

2. Paul A Young

This is the closest you will get to Willy Wonka in London. Paul’s four London stores stock chocolate bars and truffles that push the boundaries of flavour combinations, from The Love Potion (with jasmine flower, ylang ylang, geranium, vanilla and lavender) to The London Gent (a black pepper and treacle caramel ganache). Make sure you try: Sea Salted Caramel Truffles again

3. Fortnum and Mason

The chocolate counter on the far right hand side of Fortnum and Mason is difficult to miss. There is a huge selection of truffles, bars, drinking chocolate, biscuits and Florentines to be either hand chosen from the counter or plucked off the shelf. Make sure you try: Milk Chocolate Mezzani Florentines

4. Mast Brothers

The Brooklyn-born Mast Brothers are the new kids on the block, opening up in trendy Shoreditch early in 2015. The shop is modern and simple, where customers can watch the chocolate-making process, buy beautifully packaged chocolate bars and sit at the chocolate brew bar, where hot chocolate is made with a siphon or served on tap as a cold brew. Naturally, their Instagram account is magnificent. Make sure you try: Siphoned drinking chocolate

5. Choccywoccydoodah

Making a (very long) name for itself in Brighton for their elaborately decorated cakes and decadent hot chocolates, Choccywoccydoodah opened its London flagship and cafe just off Carnaby Street in 2012. Some accuse the brand of promoting style over substance, but when it’s this stylish you just have to give in and admire it. Make sure you try: A bespoke cake, they are works of art

6. Melt

One of London's newer chocolatiers, Melt was established in 2006 and has boutiques in two of London’s smartest neighbourhoods: Notting Hill and Holland Park. Chocolates are made fresh on the premises daily so the shops are an all-out assault on the senses. Make sure you try: The "Drip Tease" Egg

7. Rococo

Chantal Coady was one of the original punk chocolatiers when she opened Rococo on the King's Road in 1983. This shop is still there and has been joined by Belgravia and Marylebone branches. Rococo chocolates sometimes resemble the crazy creations of celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, with salted caramel Seagull Eggs sold by the "crate" and praline cigars. Make sure you try: Jersey New Potatoes with Mint (trust us on this one)

8. William Curley

Master chocolatier William Curley has been making treats at London’s finest restaurants for more than 25 years, including a stint as Head Chef Pâtissière at The Savoy when he was still in his 20s. He and his pâtissière wife Suzue now own a small boutique in Richmond, a concession at Harrods and a flagship store in Belgravia, where there is a dessert bar that will round off any evening perfectly. Make sure you try: A Nostalgia Jaffa Cake

9. Pierre Herme

The master of macarons, Pierre Herme’s magical touch with anything sweet extends to chocolates. Inside his boutiques in Covent Garden and Burlington Arcade (as well as a concession within Harrods), you'll find chocolate versions of his famous macarons, chocolate bonbons, classic truffles and his latest creation: PH Cubes, a ganache of Madagascan bitter chocolate encased in more dark chocolate. Make sure you try: A PH Cube

10. Prestat

Another of the select few chocolate shops with a Royal Warrant, Prestat was established in 1902 and has been rivalling Charbonnel et Walker, particularly in the truffle stakes, ever since. The Prestat shop moved around London over the years but now is settled at 14 Princes Arcade, Piccadilly, under the ownership of British half-brothers Bill Keeling and Nick Crean since 1998. Make sure you try: Red Velvet Truffles