Shake Your Bon Bon
With Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year approaching, ‘tis the season to gift something sweet.
For the seventh year in a row, Harbour City has unveiled its annual Chocolate Trail, bringing together nearly 30 internationally-renowned chocolate brands in a month-long pop-up of chocolate tastings, chocolate and whisky pairings, art exhibitions and live demonstrations. Stop by the café to savor chocolate and whisky tasting menus under the Alice-in-Wonderland-esque giant teapot display, or help yourself to samples along the chocolate trail from zChocolat, The Peninsula, Domori, Chapon, Bvlgari Il Cioccolato and more. Other photo ops include sculptures from finalists of the 2015 World Chocolate Masters Competition, Ferrero Rocher’s grand wall of 2,400 pralines—and the chance to pick up the five-inch-tall Grand Ferrero Rocher ($160, 60 pieces sold daily). Don’t miss the “Chocolate Experience Zone” where you can personalize your own bites to nibble all the way home. From now until Feb 21. Atrium II, G/F, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, 3-17 Canton Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui.
With a pop-up shop in Harbour City until Feb 21, Belgian chocolatier Frederic Blondeel is satisfying sweet cravings this season with 15 melt-in-your-mouth chocolates presented in bright red festive packaging for Valentine’s Day and CNY. Known for its bean-to-bar philosophy and chocolates that are handcrafted fresh daily, the brand is all about preserving the purity of cocoa, from ultra-smooth ganaches to truffles and caramel-filled chocolate shells. This Valentine’s Day, they’ve also partnered with Hahaha Florist to create a “Flower and Chocolate Bottle,” featuring preserved Japanese flowers and tea-infused chocolates ($1,680). Available at Harbour City until Feb 21. 3-17 Canton Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui.
Somehow this year Godiva has managed to make monkey-shaped chocolates that still look good. Packaged in a beautiful gold and red box, the adorable monkey collection is inspired by Chinese tea, with the subtle aromas and fragrance of tea leaves. The Carré chocolate gift box ($218 for 15 pieces) holds smooth milk chocolates with puffed rice and dark chocolate hazelnut crisps, while the Liquor box ($328 for 9 pieces) includes liquor-filled Cherié and Cherry Cordial dark chocolates. Really trying to impress your boss or lover? The CNY Chocolate Luxury box ($1,238) contains 36 of Godiva’s signature chocolates in a 3-tiered jewelry box. Shop B236, B2, Times Square, 1 Matheson St., Causeway Bay, 2576-0312.
Afternoon tea at The Ritz-Carlton is always a treat with seasonally changing menus: This month, chocolate takes center stage in a collaboration with Valrhona chocolate. Infusing the earthy richness of real Valrhona chocolate into pastry chef Richard Long’s award-winning sweets, the Valrhona Afternoon Tea is a dining experience with a CNY red theme (Feb 1-12) that shifts to a Valentine’s-friendly pink halfway through the month (Feb 13-29). Perched high above the skyline on the 103rd floor of the ICC, guests will get stunning views while sampling Manjari chocolate mousse, scones, lollipops and bonbons. Available Feb 1-29, 3:30-5:30pm. $608 for two on weekdays, $628 weekends, $698 on Feb 13-14. Café 103, 103/F, The Ritz-Carlton, ICC, 1 Austin Rd. West, West Kowloon, 2263-2263.
Jean Paul Hévin
I’m in Hévin French chocolatier Jean Paul Hévin’s Valentine’s Day collection is inspired by the street art of Paris, with bright colors splashed around the chocolates to mimic graffiti. The Bonbon Coeur Pink is a pink, bite-sized burst of milk chocolate, with hazelnut and praline adding a nutty quality and shiso leaves lending a bright zing. Other signature bonbons include the Bonbon Lune de Miel, a dark ganache seasoned with buckwheat honey, and the Bonbon Street Art, harboring a soft caramel center. The treats (available individually, $24 each) come in a ruby red box with the engraving “Love is in the Air”: what better to melt a lady’s heart? Box set holds nine bonbons for $228. Shop 212, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2735-3268.
Can’t pull off romance without booze? Pierre Hermé Paris is selling a festive gift box this Chinese New Year including a bottle of Glenlivet 12-Year-Old single malt whisky. The Monts & Merveilles x The Glenlivet hamper ($3,688) is overflowing with assorted chocolate bonbons, Venezuelan chocolate bars, chocolate ganache, creamy caramels, and 24 of Pierre Hermé’s signature macarons. The hamper also includes a tin of violet and blackcurrant tea—but we’d rather wash it all down with a few drams of Glenlivet any day. For a less expensive indulgence, the chocolatier also offers assorted bonbons by the box ($350 per 210g). Shop 1019C, IFC Mall, 8 Finance St., Central, 2833-5700.