Sugar Spice and All things Nice

Chocolate is foremost in our minds at this time of year. What with Easter coming up we are beginning to think about the best place to get our choccy egg fix, and thankfully we are not short of options.

HOD-Bunnies-EggI can already hear some of you say “but we do not grow cacao in this country so how is it British?”. Well, as far as we know that maybe true (although we did not expect to find tea grown in the UK either) but what concerns us is the manufacture.  This also might also clear up a common misconception about our project. We feel that the important element which makes a product British is a significant element of processing or manufacture. So for instance: we could buy a T-shirt produced by a factory in this country knowing full well that the cotton used to make it was imported. The same goes for chocolate. We know that the beans are going to be imported but processing such as refining, blending, conching, tempering and finishing are all possible by British Chocolatiers. Surely that is enough to say that the product is truly British?
So, where are we with buying eggs?

Well we have already sorted some options courtesy of House of Dorchester. They produce beautiful looking egg shaped tins of small moulded eggs. We are visiting relatives when on our travels later this week and we want to hide these in the garden for the kids. They also make great tasting grown up chocolates and small individual Easter bars with stunning pictures of traditional Easter scenes on the front.Traditional_Spring_Seven_Pack

We also have a great looking hamper arriving for our family we are staying with in Exeter over Easter. This has come courtesy of Chococo and I am very excited to see what arrives as I found them through a recommendation on the Telegraph website.large

Because we are going to be away I am not sure that we will have time to buy larger eggs for each other this year but I have had some contact with Cadbury’s who have confirmed that their famous Cream Eggs are made in the UK. While both Emily and I would attest to being chocolate snobs I do like a cream egg. They remind me so much of being a kid… but I am sure they get smaller every year!!! Emily is more of a Malteaster bunny girl but sadly they are off limits for the year 🙁

If you know of any great Easter eggs please leave a comment to help others find some great British choccy this year!

– James


  1. Chocolate Alchemey are a Loughborough based shop who make all their chocolates on site

  2. Terence Clark says

    Pretty sure Thorntons which is lovely chocolate is still manufactured in Derby

  3. Toots Sweet Shrewsbury…highly recommended!

  4. Pauline Midwinter says

    The Canterbury Fudge Shop?

  5. mannie khan says


  6. Steveo says

    ‘ Chocolate Island’ on the Isle of Wight is’immense’. The selection of chocolate products is extensive and if you go to the back of the shop, it’s possible to watch the chocolateers at work!!
    Whilst on a short break about a month or so ago, my family and I revisited the shop.It was absolute agony for me, as I’ve given up chocolate for Lent!!

  7. Agree entirely about your differentiation between raw materials and manufacture. The UK has always been a trading nation and these days people who do manufacture here are ethical about the source of those raw materials. I would highly recommend

  8. I now avoid Cadbury and Green & Blacks products since the former were taken over by Kraft Foods. The new owners very promptly closed the local cadbury factory at Keynsham and moved their HQ to Switzerland thus avoiding paying British Corporation Tax.

  9. Nathan Pittam says

    Hadleigh Maid Chocolates from Hadleigh, Suffolk is based 12miles west of Ipswich. Really lovely good quality and not prohibitively costly

  10. Julie Knox says

    Hotel Chocolat claim to be make in UK if that is any help?

    • That’s what I thought, but when I double-checked in one of their shops, I was told that the cocoa beans are sent to Germany, where they are made into chocolate (some chocolate might be made in Britain, but the employee wasnt sure) !!!! If I remember correctly the chocolate is then “finished” in Britain. That’s what a Hotel Chocolat employee told me and I never got around to phoning the HQ to ask.

  11. As before, Thorntons are made in the UK. This is one UK Manufacturer I am delighted to support on a regular basis 🙂

  12. “The same goes for chocolate. We know that the beans are going to be imported but processing such as refining, blending, conching, tempering and finishing are all possible by British Chocolatiers. Surely that is enough to say that the product is truly British?”

    Would anyone say that about bacon made from pigs raised in Denmark or Poland, but the meat having been processed here?

    I totally agree that if a product is needed but cannot be obtained as British, then non-British is acceptable. There are still positive economic benefits to Britain possible, as you’re proving.

    But please don’t pretend that if it can’t be grown here, then processing it here magically makes the product *itself* British. Else that justifies supermarkets continuing with their insistence on using non-British-reared meat in their foods which they insist on labelling up with a Union Flag and the word “British” – legal, but horribly misleading.

  13. Surprised no one has mentioned Willie’s

  14. Nothing like a bit of choccy to get a discussion going! Some great suggestions there.

  15. Kirstie says

    I absolutely love your blog and have been following it since January.

    Whilst I agree with the idea of British manufacture in general, especially from raw materials we can generate/ produce in our own country, Chocolate I do disagree with.
    Why should the British make all the profit, from something that originates in a developing country? Cadbury has moved one of its manufacturing plants to Accra in Ghana, where I lived for 3 years, giving jobs to the locals and generating taxes for the country etc. (their motivation may have been the UK tax breaks, but the outcome is still positive for Ghana!) I personally believe this is the right thing to do- for far too long developing countries have been paid for raw materials and then developed countries taken them away to keep the majority of income and profits for themselves. Is fair trade really enough? when the purchase of raw materials is just the beginning of a long cycle? As a friend of mine says ‘Africa needs trade not aid’.

    Obviously for the purpose of your exercise an ‘all or nothing’ approach is the most effective way. But overall, i think a balance needs to be struck between keeping manufacture in Britain when it can and should be here, and being fair to developing countries where raw produce has been purchased from.

    • Hi Kirsty, I must admit that it us hard to disagree with the principles of this argument.

      I might be wrong but I have not heard of any African chocolate from Cadbury’s hitting uk shores. I imagine this being produced for a more localised market. Our imports of chocolate are 90% European and all but a fraction of the rest from the States.

      This detail aside, I understand the point you are making and it is an important one. Developed nations should open up more trade with those of less developed nations. It is only right from a moral perspective.

      Thank you for your kind feedback to our project and opening up this debate.

      • Kirstie says

        thanks for getting back to me so quick 🙂

        As far as I am aware it is only some of the processing of the beans that takes place in Accra, and then the processed beans are shipped out to the UK to be made into the chocolate bars we buy in the shops. (I could be wrong!)

        I reckon this framework strikes a good balance between having quality control, supply chain etc in the UK which you talk about in a later post (5 reasons…) and ethical trading by sharing some of the manufacturing process. not sure where it would fall in ‘British manufactured’ if the process is shared though??

        The Ghanaian made chocolate is horrible (sorry Ghana!) and would never make it in the UK market!!

  16. Claire says

    I think CocoLoco would fit Easter and other chocolatey needs. Since I am no longer resident in the UK this place is where I order from the send chocolate stuff to relatives in the UK. They seem to be a family run business and my Dad says the chocolate is really good! Claire x

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