Chocolate and Valentine's

There are different theories about the origins of Valentine’s day. One of them says that Valentine's Day was invented by Geoffrey Chaucer, the Canterbury Tales writer. The medieval English poet took quite a few liberties with history. He would drop his characters into real-life historical events leaving readers wondering if that's what really happened.

There is no actual record of Valentine's Day before Chaucer's poem in 1375, The Parlement of Foules. In the poem Chaucer links the tradition of courtly love to the St Valentine's feast day - a tradition that didn't exist before his poem. The poem refers to February 14th as the day of birds coming together to find a mate. “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate,” he wrote, maybe inventing Valentine's Day as we now know it today.

The Chocolate Temptation sharing dessert by Sarah Barber from the Ten room restaurant at Cafe Royal

Some people love this day, some people hate it because it has become too commercial, but it is always great having a good excuse to enjoy some extra chocolate.

So, where are you going to pamper yourself and your loved one?

What about heading to the Langham? At the Palm Court Cherish Finden has created an ode to Valentine’s with afternoon tea pastries such as airy pistachio cream cone, fresh strawberry cheese cake, heart-shaped chocolate with raspberry cream, red velvet cake, sesame mousse cake and love chocolate cake.

David Girard at The Dorchester Mayfair is inviting the loving people to enjoy his signature “see through my heart” which is a raspberry and sweet lemon mousse with a chocolate heart filled with a hazelnut crunch. But this is not the only dessert they are offering - go there and be surprised!

The Valentine's dessert by David Girard at The Dorchester

The always very creative Sarah Barber at The Cafe Royal has prepared a special patisserie collection which includes: Pecan praline bombe, Strawberry & champagne doughnut, vanilla custard, Salted Caramel Tart, chocolate lips and Passion fruit & yoghurt cake, vanilla shortbread.

The Valentine's by Sarah Barber at Cafe Royal

Joakim Prat, the executive pastry chef of Maitre Choux, the specialists in eclairs and other choux pastries, is offering four different eclair flavours under the label “I love you” and their best seller “Red love”. All of them are utterly delicious, so we suggest you opt for all of them!

Valentine's eclairs at Maitre Choux. Photo: HdG photography

Ryan Thompson, the head pastry chef of the Dominique Ansel Bakery, and his team have prepared a great collection of very diverse Valentines dedicated desserts - from romantic to the cheeky ones. I am sure everybody can easily find their favourite. Which is yours?

We hope these suggestions helped. Now go and pamper yourself and your loved ones!  Valentine’s is really only once a year, but love is forever.