On Friday I was lucky enough to attend an exclusive VIP preview evening for Salon Du Chocolat at the National Hall, Olympia.
If you've never heard of Salon du Chocolat (loosely translated as Salon of Chocolate or Paris Chocolate Show), it's a yearly trade fair for the international chocolate industry that, since originating in Paris, has since taken place in cities such as Paris, Brussels, Japan, New York and even Cairo. This year was it's first ever visit to London and to kick things off with a bang, the exclusive VIP preview evening not only opened it's doors early for press, but also hosted a one of a kind chocolate fashion show!
The fashion show featured pieces inspired by chocolate and some were even made from chocolate! The stunning outfits were collaborations between the countries top chocolatiers and some of the UK's biggest fashion designers too. The designs were truly impressive - there was even a dress filled with cupcakes. The hair and make up was beautiful too and I think the fashion show was my favourite part of the whole event - I mean who else can say they've attended a chocolate fashion show before?!
I did take some photos but as usual, my phone produced really bad quality pictures which did not do the outfits justice so I'd suggest going down to the event yourself as the outfits will be on display throughout the week.
The trade fair also featured some of the top chocolate companies from around the world such as Hotel Chocolat (who I discovered are opening their own restaurant!), Artisan du Chocolat, Paul Wayne Gregory, Prestat and more. Each had their own stand and were handing out delicious testers (I'm so glad I never ate before I went!), as well as explaining more about their company and products and having some great special feature products on sale too.
I'd love to show you what I purchased but unfortunately some things are being kept back for Christmas gifts so I can't! I did buy some delicious hot chocolate from Jaz&Juls, who were not only very friendly (and one of them had awesome pink hair), but were also selling genuinely really yummy hot chocolate. Their funky packaging design caught my eye and they were handing out free chocolate shots. I think they were one of my favourite stands there!
So much of the chocolate just looked way too delicious to eat and some of the designs were really impressive. I can't imagine how anyone would have that much time to design things so intricately! I also loved a lot of the designs that had been made for Halloween, I even spotted a little Jack Skeleton skull ;) I was also very, very tempted to purchase a giant chocolate skull.
There was also a lady there taking a bath full of chocolate which was a bit random but admittedly I was a bit envious of here - who wouldn't want to take a bath full of chocolate?!
It was such a great and interesting event - whether you're a fan of chocolate or not I'd say it's well worth a visit. The outfit designs and a lot of the chocolate designs were absolutely fascinating, and it was also really interesting to see how much work goes into making chocolate. There's so many different companies and brands all offering innovative products that it must be hard to compete and constantly try and come up with something new. I even saw one brand using edible chocolate spray paint! You'd be happy to know that I asked them some extremely complex and intriguing journalist questions such as 'So are you going to just walk up and lick that wall that you've spray painted then' and 'After this are you just going to break it and eat it all to yourself?'. Yep. Ever the professional as always.
I'm very grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend and would definitely recommend a visit if you're in London at all this weekend. Even if you're not a chocolate lover, it's well worth popping along just to see the outfits from the fashion show or some of the stunning and intricate chocolate sculptures.
Salon Du Chocolat is running until Sunday 20th of October and takes place at the National Hall, Olympia, London. Tickets cost £15.