Alexeeva & Jones Chocolatier, Notting Hill
Published 27 October 2012
Put down that Penguin and throw away the Twix. If you crave the real deal, Alexeeva & Jones provide the goods with chocolate that will take you on a mouthwatering, gastronomic journey.
The brand-new chocolaterie located in Notting Hill is unusual in that it houses sweet treats from a handful of the world’s best chocolatiers in one place.
Damian Allsop, Iain Burnett, Franck Daubos, Geert Decoster and Paul Wayne Gregory make up the current quintuplet of suppliers whose creations are showcased in store.
As part of its opening celebrations, I headed down to Alexeeva & Jones for an evening with Damian Allsop. Before becoming a chocolatier, Allsop had worked as a head Pastry Chef in Michelin-starred restaurants for 20 years. In his line of work, he was familiar with chocolate as an ingredient – but came to the conclusion that the ingredients he added to his chocolate altered and marked its true flavour. In a mousse for example, he found that the addition of cream took away from the quality of the chocolate. According to Alexeeva & Jones: ‘He concluded that using water, which has a neutral flavour, would create a lighter, purer, more intense flavour’. The result of his experimentation led to the creation of his unique water ganache collections. Allsop currently supplies a plethora of famous restaurants including Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, Angela Hartnett’s Murano and Marcus Eaves at Pied A Terre – a testament to the quality of his products.
On the night, guests were treated to samples of water ganaches from Allsop’s Pure collection and Chef’s collection, as well as Allsop’s Clouds. The water ganaches were divine, melting in the mouth with silky gorgeousness. As we sampled each chocolate, Allsop talked us through the tasting notes. The magic came in the clarity of the taste ‘journey’ that each chocolate took us on. Cherry tones, nuttiness, tannic tang and other delightful flavours washed over our palates in glorious waves with each bite.
Guests also had the opportunity to try his Eat London Bars – a collection with chocolates inspired by areas in London that reflect a foreign culture. The concept behind the collection is brilliant and combines ingredients not normally matched with chocolate to provide interesting and tasty results. My personal favourite was Chinatown: a mix of soy sauce, peanut and ginger.
Eat London Bars range
40% milk chocolate with mango and basmati rice.
50% milk chocolate with freeze-dried banana chips and freeze-dried coffee.
45% milk chocolate with caramelised peanuts, soy sauce and ginger crisp.
‘Celebrates Arabic culture’.
64% dark chocolate with Ras-al-Hanout spice mix and honeycomb pieces.
‘Former home of the American Embassy’.
White chocolate with lemon, cinnamon and popping candy (the base notes of Coca Cola)!
‘Italian cafe culture’.
64% milk chocolate with raspberry and basil crisp.
Well-known brands such as Charbonnel et Walker can also be purchased from the chocolaterie alongside the collections created by the individual chocolatiers mentioned.
The chocolates on show at Alexeeva and Jones are not only a pleasure to eat. They are also beautiful, miniature works of art. Some of the more eye-catching pieces include those by Iain Burnett, who transfers intricate, colourful patterns onto the tops of his creations.
To top it all off, if you can’t make up your mind about which of the scrumptious chocolates you’d like to take home with you, the lovely Helen and Conner can help, both being brilliant at suggesting which morsels might take your particular fancy.
If you’re looking for heaven in a mouthful as opposed to sickly, dull sweeties, pop down to A&J. Your senses will thank you.
Alexeeva & Jones
Address: 297 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill W11 2QA, London