Hotel Chocolat was founded to make people happy with three unwavering pillars: authenticity, originality and ethics. One of the few chocolate makers to directly grow some of their own cacao on their eco-conscious farm on the grounds of their Saint Lucia hotel (yes, you can stay there too), they connect the world of sustainable cacao agriculture with the hedonism of top-quality chocolate. This makes them unique in the UK, and gives them an unrivalled understanding of what impacts the taste of their chocolate, right from the growing tree. Authenticity Hotel Chocolat’s mantra has always been ‘More Cacao, Less Sugar’. High levels of sugar dull cacao’s exquisite flavours, denying you notes such as citrus, coffee and brownie, and masking the quality so poorer cacao can be used. But of all their ingredients (they use nothing artificial, ever) cacao will always be number one, even in white chocolate. Originality Hotel Chocolat have never played by the rules of what people say chocolate should be. They’ve made their Easter eggs ridiculously thick but snappable, and their idea of a chocolate bar is their iconic Grand Slab, inspired by the shape molten chocolate takes when poured onto a chocolatier’s table. They’ve created the world’s first single-côte chocolate, developed their own chocolate genre, Supermilk, and innovated even further with their drinking chocolate system, the Velvetiser. Ethics Hotel Chocolat have a deep sense of fairness. They work directly with cacao farmers all over the globe, all of whom deserve respect and a fair deal, and their Engaged Ethics programme continues to transform the lives of many in Ghana and Saint Lucia. For future generations, they’re reducing waste. They use every part of the cacao bean, down to the malty shells in their Salted Caramel Vodka Liqueur. But more than that, they have committed to their Planet Pledge: 100% ethical cacao now, almost there with 100% recyclable packaging and striving for net carbon zero by 2030. In the meantime, bring flexible plastic wrappers and rigid plastic trays from any chocolate brand to any Hotel Chocolat and they’ll put it through their own responsible recycling system.