Brixton Chocolate Museum

Brixton Chocolate Museum Isabelle of Melange Chocolate

Isabelle Alaya and I first met in 2005 at a Seventy Percent chocolate tasting where we had both come to learn about chocolate as we planned our businesses.  I never connected the dots between Melange Chocolaterie in Peckham and the lovely French woman who talked of starting her own chocolate company at the chocolate tasting that evening long ago.  It wasn’t until she re-introduced herself to me at the Academy of Chocolate conference in 2010 that it clicked.

It was so lovely then to hear she had got her business off the ground, and more wonderful last week to receive her invite for the grand opening of her mini-museum of chocolate in Brixton this Saturday.  From now on upstairs will be the café and workshop space for the Brixton branch of her business and downstairs is the exhibit, which will take care of any overflow in busy periods as well.

Brixton Chocolate Museum

It’s only a short walk from Brixton tube and overground and she plans to hold monthly events similar to what we experienced on Saturday, with pairings of wines, cheeses or other foods, with her chocolate.  The space is available for private functions as well.

Alongside her own flavoured chocolate bars (including lavender & lemon in milk chocolate, dark with bergamot & cinnamon and coconut & vanilla in white chocolate), Isabelle is also selling Duffy’s wonderful chocolate bars and Willie’s Cacao – two fantastic, English bean-to-bar chocolate makers.   In the café she will be starting to sell savoury chocolate options.  At the launch party were some of the tartines with a variety of cheese and chocolate combinations.  I’ve always been a fan of chocolate and cheese together so whatever preconceptions you might have, I urge you to have a try.   I really enjoyed the Brie with truffles and the drizzle of bergamot infused dark chocolate.

Brixton Chocolate Museum cups and chocolate boxes

The exhibit downstairs is only small but it is a fabulous collection of old posters and ad campaigns, chocolate jugs for serving hot chocolate and old chocolate tins and chocolate moulds that were found in an attic in France from the previous tenant of a friend of Isabelle’s sister.  What a wonderful coincidence.  There are also some chairs and a television to watch a chocolate making video.  It’s a great place for a chocolate education or just a cup of wonderful hot chocolate.  The Melange hot chocolate can also be enjoyed with water or coconut milk which should be refreshing news for any dairy-avoiders.

Britain has a wonderful history of chocolate, including the invention of the first chocolate bar as we know it today (by Fry’s of Bristol in 1847) and this is a fantastic place to get a little insight into that past, whilst enjoying a chocolate fix as well.

Brixton Chocolate Museum wall
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Comments

  1. E Kay says:

    I just made an enquiry with this woman for a corporate event. I am stunned by how rude and abusive she was. I have never been treated this badly when I was enquiring how to bring her more business?!

    • isabelle says:

      I think this is the women who kept interrupting the workshop I was running with children; so selfish and so inconsiderate to children and people at work.

      • E Kay says:

        I rang once. You answered while you were doing the workshop. I asked one question and you were rude and hung up. If you answer the phone, how exactly is someone supposed to know that it wasn’t a convenient time for you to speak? Why even answer the phone? There is no need – EVER – to speak to a potential customer like you did (via text). I was not rude to you. I was making an inquiry about bringing you a lot of business? To all reading – there has got to be better options than doing business with this woman. This is a situation that could have been diffused easily as I give everyone the benefit of the doubt (having a bad day, off moment, etc) but this woman went on to be quite insulting. So insulting I was compelled to leave negative feedback, which is not something I usually do.

  2. Mr Hoskins says:

    Badgemore Primary School visited the Chocolate Museum on 11/12/ 13 and had a fantastic time, I would definitely recommend this to any school studying chocolate or South America.

  3. Maddie and Molly says:

    Thank you Isabelle for giving us a wonderful experience learning about the history of chocolate and making it! We would love to do it again

  4. Chantelle and Byron says:

    We enjoyed the Chocolate Museum! There were interesting chocolates with lots of different flavours. Our favourite was vanilla and coconut, but we hated the one with chilli in it!

  5. Jess and Libby says:

    We felt it was a fantastic experience to learn how chocolate was made. We really enjoyed our time at the museum and learnt so much about the process of making chocolate and all the tasting.

  6. Ben and Ryan says:

    We enjoyed learning about where he cocoa beans come from watching a film and tasting some of the raw ingredients (the raw cocoa bean was disgusting). Making chocolate and tasting it was lovely.

  7. Ceri and Lilyarna says:

    Dear Lilyarna,

    Thank you for having us at your museum, we really appreciated it and hope to visit again.
    Our favourite activity was the tasting.

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