Easter. A time of chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate. It means two days off of work and a weekend of celebration. It’s also the first bank holiday of the year in the UK and the first big school holiday too, the capital is teeming with things to do.
As always, the Melita Hotel is at the heart of it. Where better a base than a beautiful, quiet, family run hotel that also just so happens to be practically on top of Victoria railway and underground station? The possibilities are endless!
If you’re finding it difficult to think past the fifth word of this article then I guess we’d better tell you some of the places to visit to get the best chocolate in London!
Paul A Young Fine Chocolates
This can be found in Wardour St just a short walk away from Oxford Circus or Tottenham Court Road tube stations. The former is literally three minutes away from your Victoria base at the Melita Hotel.
The man in the name used to work as a head pastry chef and has a handful of other outlets in London. All of the chocolate creations in the shop are handmade on site, in small batches using fresh ingredients.
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as the International Chocolate Awards, and Paul was named Outstanding British Chocolatier in 2014.
Also within a few minutes walk of Oxford Circus Tube, Choccywoccydoodah (home of the Choccywoccyrocky Road) is a chocolate shop, stroke, chocolate themed cafe.
There’s a huge range of quality chocolate products on offer and the theme is art and design and one off sculptured fantasies (plus some rather naughty stuff).
Take your friends back a chocolate popcorn bar, or if you really want to impress them, take them a 3 kg full size, white chocolate skull. No, really…
Pop in to this tiny little café for tea and a pastry and leave with a box of gorgeous truffles or a bespoke hamper.
If you’re visiting over the Easter holidays there is also a wide range of chocolate eggs and Easter themed baskets to take your pick from. We’re especially intrigued by Tilly the Bunny’s Best Kept Secret Hamper!
Best thing is, Sloane Square station is just a two minute journey from Victoria. Perfect place for a quick visit if you’re staying at the Melita.
Beanz Meanz Heinz Pop Up Bar
If the above statement means literally nothing to you, the chances are you’re not from round these parts, so let me explain. This is something that is particularly British.
The British love baked beans. Correction – The British specifically love Heinz Baked Beans. Beanz Meanz Heinz is an infamous advertising slogan that is used to advertise said beans. That slogan is now 50 years old which is a reason to celebrate. Still confused? Don’t worry, you will not be alone!
Even if you don’t fully understand the celebration, the pop up shop itself is located within the iconic Selfridges store, which is well worth a visit, beans or not.
At this pop up shop you can try all sorts of modern dishes, all themed around the staple dish of Heinz Baked Beans. They’re only £3 each, so well worth a go, even if Heinz Baked Beans are completely new to you! They are also selling collectable cans which have been signed by the guy who first came up with the famous slogan, all those years ago. His name is Maurice Drake by the way…
David Hockney Exhibition at Tate Britain
If your brow is set slightly higher than baked beans and their associated celebrities then this might be the exhibition for you.
A world famous artist displaying his art at a world renowned venue, David Hockney is one of only a handful of people who you could genuinely call an ‘art celebrity’. This show isn’t a look back at his work, it’s a journey through his life’s work which doesn’t quite come to an end, at eighty years old he’s still current and still painting.
Hockney is a master of many crafts which you’ll appreciate as you wander from room to room. Landscapes as diverse as Yorkshire and California feature heavily, as do a fair few lovers.
This exhibition runs through Easter until the end of May, Pimlico and Vauxhall tube stations are just a few minutes from the Melita Hotel.
The Velveteen Rabbit
If you’ve got children with you on your trip to London and you dare to take them to the David Hockney exhibition, the chances are they’re giving you a hard time right now… You may need something to bring them back on side, especially if you’ve already exhausted the chocolate shops.
Luckily, the Unicorn Theatre near London Bridge is putting on an absolute classic this Easter, The Velveteen Rabbit. Based on a timeless novel written in 1922 by Margery Williams, this is a genius production suitable for anyone aged four and over.
A story about a boy and his toy rabbit that he can’t bear to be without, a special toy that is hoping itself it will one day become real.
This is a must see this Easter, it’s about a rabbit, so why wouldn’t it be?
Hampton Court Palace Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt
If you’re feeling adventurous and prepared to venture outside of central London for a real treat then consider this. One of two surviving palaces owned by Henry VIII, a palace with both Tudor and Baroque styling which has been in existence since the 1500s. The last King to call it home was George II.
Hampton Court Palace can be reached by rail from Victoria station in only 45 minutes. The palace itself is host to a large number of pieces from the royal collection and the grounds also boast a famous maze and the largest grapevine in the world.
That’s all well and good, but what about the chocolate?! Well, from 1-17 April the palace is home to the Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt! Follow the map around the gardens, finding all of the gold bunnies before claiming your real chocolate prize. After that, why not give yourself a much needed half hour break by showing your kids into the maze? Everything is included in the price of the entrance ticket.
All of these activities and more are taking place in and around London over the Easter holidays. Make sure you stay at the Melita Hotel for easy access to everything you need for a break in a wonderful city that you won’t forget.