Harrods, the 1,000,000 sq ft London department store that once used a cobra to guard a pair of diamond-encrusted shoes, supplied Ronald Reagan with an elephant, and features a Vegas-style Egyptian themed escalator – has always had a penchant for grandeur. It should come as no surprise then that the store’s newly opened Chocolate Hall is an exuberant confectionary wonderland, with live demonstrations by world-renowned chocolatiers and dozens of chocolates on offer from some of the world’s most exclusive sweets brands.

These include To’ak, which is made with one of the rarest varieties of Ecuadorian Nacional cacao beans and fermented through a unique handcrafted process, as well as heritage favourites like William Curley and Pierre Marcolini.

Chocolate-making has long been a part of Harrods’ history. It opened its first chocolate counter in 1870, before beginning its own in-house chocolate production in the early 19th-century and producing over 100 tonnes of chocolate by the 1970s. 

multi-coloured chocolates inside harrods chocolate hall, preserved in climate controlled glass case
harrods chocolate hall in London with extensive interiors redesign by David Collins Studio

While the chocolate factory might be steeped in history, the new Hall is designed with the modern shop-goer in mind. The interiors have been designed by the illustrious David Collins Studios, who undertook an exhausting restoration process of the original chocolate hall which included reworking the space’s extensive tilework by hand and recreating the impressive granite and marble floor.

These Edwardian features are enlivened by contemporary touches, including climate-controlled counters that ensure each piece of confectionary is kept at optimal temperature. 

harrods chocolate hall in London with extensive interiors redesign by David Collins Studio

A concern for ethicality and sustainability is also on display at the Chocolate Hall, with only responsibly sourced cocoa on offer. In a new bid to make sure all of their products are ethically sourced, Harrods has acquired chocolates only from accredited suppliers who either buy cocoa from farms that participate in certification schemes or who buy directly from the farms themselves to ensure that farmers are paid a premium.

The end result is a Willy Wonka factory for the sophisticated set, a much-welcomed bit of indulgence after a long period of prudence. §