What Makes Posh London Sweet Shops All Alike

I went from not having been to the posh St. James’s area of London in almost a year to visiting 2 weekends in a row. I was in the neighbourhood for the Picadilly and Petits-Fours Tour as well as Open House London where some of the city’s architectural gems are opened up for free tours to the public.

Sure, the culture and the architecture was fabulous but what caught my eye was the confectionary!  The stores and the confectionary both were so pretty that I thought they could speak for themselves.  As you can tell from the rest of my blog, however, I find it hard to remain wordless.

What did I learn from my tour of upscale London sweet shops? Presentation, Presentation, Presentation.

Presentation is Key in Posh London Sweet Shops

Sure, the sweets were delicious but the presentation is what made them stellar.

I absolutely loved this chocolate shoe in a handbag shaped box, artfully called handbag and heels. Somewhat inaccurately because there is only ONE heel.  Yes, it’s only one beautiful chocolate high heel – small but delightful.  Because let’s face it, you can’t be a bobble-headed society girl and indulge overly on chocolate. Giving a lady two chocolate heels would be de trop.

Posh London Candy stores

The Presentation Extends to the Store Displays

How about fudge on crystal plates?  Something so standard as fudge suddenly becomes extra special when presented on a platter.  With their fast kiddie metabolisms (grrrr), my children gobbled down the fudge.  I thought the fudge was pretty good.  Frankly, it tasted like lots of other fudge to me and not necessarily worth the price tag.

London Sweet Shops

For Halloween, check out these beautifully ribboned sachets of candy corn.  No, your eyes do not deceive you – candy corn goes for £6.50 a bag (that’s about $10).  And, they are not even organic!!

For the same price but minus the ribbon, you can get a 5 pound bulk bag of candy corn at Walmart. But hey, Walmart doesn’t have to pay St. James’s real estate rent.

posh candy stores in London

Speaking of packaging, I love these chocolate coffins with white chocolate skull and bones inside. So cool.

posh candy stores in London
For trick or treaters in Belgravia or Mayfair.

These truffles are reputedly the Queen’s favourites chocolates.  Just in case you were invited over for dinner and wanted to bring a hostess gift.

London Sweet Shops

The famous French macaron shop, Laduree, has an outpost in Picadilly.  The interior is decorated like a gold cave filled with treasures (macarons, naturally).  The all-gold interior is fairly dazzling but I did feel like I was in Aladdin’s Cave (or at least a Trump Tower broom cupboard).

London Sweet Shops

London Sweet Shops

If you want the dazzle to go, how about these intricately-wrapped boxes of candy?  Sure beats the packaging on a Quality Street tin box or a Fanny Farmer plastic-wrapped box of chocolates.

If my husband brought me one of these luxury boxes home, I’d be highly suspicious that he’d committed a major transgression, like accidentally erase all the episodes of Dance Moms that I’d recorded.

London Sweet Shops

London Sweet Shops

London Sweet Shops

Here’s a gorgeous Strawberry Baumkuchen torte, a layered cake with delicate rings that resemble the growth rings on a tree trunk.  I bet the cake is delicious even if some poor trainee pastry-chef  has lost her eyesight creating these perfectly symmetrical rings.

London Sweet Shops

Buying Sweets Should Be an Entertaining Experience

I found my mini-shopping spree to be quite entertaining which was presumably to distract me from the low quantity to high cost dynamics at work in the stores.

Prestat, one of the oldest chocolate stores in London, is also big on theatrical effects.  Their distinctive hot pink packaging takes the drama to the customer’s home.

London Sweet Shops

London Sweet Shops

I hope you have enjoyed your virtual tour of some of London’s posh chocolate shops.  What do you think – does chocolate that is expensively wrapped just taste better?  Or do you take the attitude that wrapping merely makes it harder to get to the chocolate inside?

Alternatively, what if you want to enjoy your beautifully-presented sweets in less of a candy form? London has you covered. Check out these London dessert places that cover donuts, eclairs, ice-cream etc. I can personally attest to the delights of the desserts from Chin-Chin labs which we tried at Hawker House Street Feasts. That’s independent verification of my good taste for you!

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14 thoughts on “What Makes Posh London Sweet Shops All Alike”

  1. What I found amazing about Fortnum and Mason is that the staff are in tailcoats!!! Like a butler in a grand house. As someone who will never have a butler I thought it was really cool.

  2. ehm I don’t think that better packaged chocolate tastes better to be honest. I spend $8 per bar on an artisanal shop in Brooklyn (Mast Brothers) and wasn’t impressed at all!! Have you checked Choccywoccydoodah off Carnaby street? I discovered it years ago in Cardiff. They make delicious chocolates and yes they are pricey but the portions are big!

    1. I love Choccywoccydoodah! I think they started outside of London hence you get a bit more value. Their chocolate wedding cakes are amazing.

  3. I’m going to London for Christmas so I love reading about things to do there! I LOVE sweets (who doesn’t?) so I’ll have to go check out some of these fancy schmancy sweet shops!

    1. They will be even more decked out for Christmas. I love Christmas here. So many people leave that the streets and shops etc are quiet.

  4. I guess I’m spoiled because good quality Belgian chocolate is so readily available here in NL. I’m sure these places wouldn’t dare to sell anything but high quality chocolates, but they dress them up to be able to grossly overcharge. I tend to visit the fancy places like these in London but not actually buy anything.

    1. Belgian chic is amazing! Do you know my kids are obsessed with Hershey’s?!? They have access to European chocolate but they still like Hershey’s.

  5. This looks awesome, Presentation is must for any business, if you have a sweet shop or any other food related shop then you have to be very clear about you shop presentation and cleaniness. Thanks for this brilliant article ad have a great day 🙂

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