The Rabot Estate is a gem of a chocolate shop, nestled discretely between its Borough Market neighbours. When you walk in off the street, it’s easy to forget about the drizzle and the crowds outside. The shop is peaceful and the smell of cacao and wood and Hessian is soothing. The highlight is the adjoining café which serves chocolate with everything in creative combinations. I did a double take at the menu when I noticed chilli chocolate chicken, goats cheese with bitter chocolate and honey, and the confit duck salad with chocolate dressing! And if you’re looking for something to take home, the simple flavours (including ‘Dash of Milk’, Earl Grey, caramel, coffee beans and cacao nibs) and rustic packaging are interesting; a little 30g bar would provide a cute departure from a big brand chocolate present.
A bit of background for those of you that want to earn extra credit:
The shop was opened in April 2010 by founders Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris, who also co-founded Hotel Chocolat. The pair has managed to create a palpable connection between the shop and the St Lucian plantation of the same name; images of the island landscape and people are projected onto wall. I was especially happy to read about the company’s Engaged Ethics program which offers fair trade and support to the plantation’s 80 growers and seemingly single-handedly reinvigorated cacao growing on the island.