Prestat is what I imagine a chocolate shop to be from Roald Dahl's decriptions of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory and also from his autobiographies of candy shops from his childhood. I suppose then it's no surprise that this holder of a royal warrant was his favourite chocolate shop when Dahl was among the living.
Just walking into this shop brings out your inner child and lets him run rampant. Colorful doesn't even begin to describe the cacophany of bright colours, glittering labels, shiny stickers, and decadent chocolates. This was stop 3/5 on our Chocolate tour of Mayfar and what a stop it was. The nice little added benefit was that we could taste as many of the chocolates as we wanted (and taste we did!).
I started with a chilli and lime chocolate and was surprised at how much the sweetness and hint of acidity in the lime brought out the creaminess of the chocolate. The kick of chilli a few seconds later in the back of my throat was also a welcome surprise. From there, it was on to a saffron and stem ginger chocolate that was an intriguing but enjoyable experience. I didn't get much saffron flavour as it was a bit overpowered by the sweet bite of the crystallised stem ginger but a good idea nonetheless.
Prestat is known for it's Napolean truffles which were first made (according to legend) after Napolean was exiled from France (the 1st time) and came to live in London. His chef became close friends with Prestat's chocolatier and taught him how to make Napolean's favourite truffles and they've been making them ever since. The Napolean and coffee truffle caught my eye and I enjoyed the rich coffee aroma and flavour in a fairly delicate truffle.
Overall, I must have eated about 20 pieces including salted caramel (love how salt brings out sweetness in things), orange and rose, and more than I can even remember.
Basically, I love this place and would go in for a few minutes even if chocolate was the furthest thing from my mind just for the joy of being in such a vibrant little shop!
Let's start with the big one: This was Roald Dahl's favourite chocolate shop as a child. He mentioned it in his autobiographies and used it as inspiration when writing "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
So that alone means you pretty much have to check it out.
Now, the shop itself is tiny but vibrant. Bright colours paint the walls and there are sweets literally from floor to ceiling. They have home made chocolates in the case and bags of sweets on the walls. The staff is friendly and quick but my god can it get crowded in there. Any more than 6 people feels really full and 10 people creates gridlock.
Still, worth going into and buying yourself a sweet. Willy Wonka would approve.
This is the Willy Wonka's of posh chocolate shops! The decor of the shop is bright and colourful, all pinks and swirls: perhaps a little camp but deliciously fun. The history of this Prestat goes back well over a hundred years when Antoine Dufour brought the chocolate truffle (his family's creation) to the London masses.
Since then, Prestat has been serving all kinds of unusual truffles and chocolates to an adoring crowd, and caught the attention of the Queen too - they are By Appointment To Her Majesty The Queen as Purveyors of Chocolates.
I could go on and on about all the truffle varieties and chocolate bars in this store, but for me there is only one truffle that trumps them all: White chocolate Banoffee Bliss. I bought a box for £10, for a friend, but had to go back the next day as I ate them all myself.
And sometimes as good as it gets.
I love Prestat chocolates and have been spreading the word and boxes of these great British chocolates to friends, family and just about anyone who mentions chocolate in passing for about the last 8 years. The peppermint cremes are simply the best. The violet cremes divine and the old fashioned selection box conjures up fantasies of old fashioned Christmas's ........ I'm drifting here. I think I have made my point that I'm rather keen on Prestat.
The store however leaves me a little less than impressed. Just too cramped for browsing and far too blue. I always end up buying my Prestat from Fortnums round the corner.
I'll even buy the paint if you supply the labour Prestat. How about some nice Farrow and Ball colours.
Oh and don't forget the chocolate thins.
I like and I don't like. It's a bit hard to miss, having a very busy window the last time I was there and yet the small size means you could miss it. That's not what makes me feel mixed about it.
The chocolate is OK. Seriously, the packaging is excellent and it's better than Hotel Chocolat in the quality stakes but suffers the same shortcomings as Rococco - the additives to give it a longer shelf life taint the experience of the chocolate itself and make the ganache not as pleasurable as the shorter shelf-life chocolate.
The chocolate flavourings are pretty standard these days and they do offer higher quality than is available but Chocococo for example offers a better experience flavour-wise.
I would not wish to put you off though - this is very good chocolate and much better than other stuff available on the market and for that reason, I've given it a 4 out of 5 though I simply cannot give it more based on the additives detracting from the flavour.
Beautiful little chocolate shop between piccadilly circus & Fortnum & Mason, within the very elegant & upmarket Princes Arcade. All their chocolates are hand crafted & beautifully packaged / gift wrapped..& oddly enough not so digustingly priced as to put most people off from purchasing. In particular I love visiting this store to purchase their choxi dark chocolate anti-oxidant bars which are billed as being the 'healthy' choc to consume & only made by prestat.
I don't mind paying a bit more for top quality - and trust me - you CAN taste the difference. I think they may even offer tastings of certain chocolates at this store - I know I have been offered on previous visits - bonus! From memory they're not open on sundays.
"Nothing short of wondrous" Mail Online
The founding family of Prestat created the chocolate truffle and Prestat remains at the cutting edge of superb quality artisan chocolates. The truffles and chocolates are made on a daily basis in its London kitchens. Only the best ingredients are used: choose from the fabulous range of Finest Bean Bars or have your own Jewel Box packed with gorgeous tasting chocolates.
"Glittering chandeliers hang over glass display cabinets, at perfect nose-pressing height for children and featuring lines and lines of different confections" The Financial Times
Established in 1902.
"Melt with desire" Vogue
Prestat was founded by the Dufour family who created the chocolate truffle. Voted one of the world's top three chocolate shops (Economist Life), Prestat truffles were adored by Roald Dahl, author of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. Prestat is by royal appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and is famed for its utterly gorgeous chocolates and amazingly beautiful packaging.
Prestat chocolates have been enjoyed by royalty & nobility and by stars of the stage & screen for over 100 years - indeed, by anyone who delights in the pleasure that only the finest chocolate brings.
"Life is a box of Prestat Truffles" FT Weekend
"All the best bits of Britishness embodied in every chocolate" Mail Online
"Real life Willie Wonkas" Daily Telegraph
"Prestat is the chocolate lover's chosen label" Vogue
"The whole tasting panel swooned dangerously" The Guardian
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