When the first bank holiday of the year rolls around, cracking open a luxurious chocolate Easter egg marks the end of the dull, dark winter months – which is precisely why you should select something bold in design and crafted with care.
Our 2023 celebrations are part of a time-honoured tradition: chocolate eggs were first recorded in the court of Versailles and became popular in the UK in the 19th century. We now eat around 80 million of them a year in the UK and spend an estimated £3-£4 million doing so. If you’re on an Easter hunt for hand-painted artisan confections, egg-shaped truffles or a seasonal single-origin chocolate treat, we’ve got you covered, scouring the UK’s top luxury hotels and restaurants for extra-special Easter gifts. Scroll on for 10 of the best eggs for this year’s Easter Sunday (…and then discover the best wine to pair with chocolate treats).
10 top-quality Easter eggs
ROSEWOOD’S ‘A BIGGER PICTURE’ EGG
New for 2023, Rosewood’s executive pastry chef Mark Perkins has produced a limited edition hand-painted egg full of the joys of spring. Inspired by David Hockney’s 2009 retrospective, this blue creation is delicately decorated with chocolate leaves and branches that nod to the painter’s exuberant spring landscapes. Pre-order now for collection from Rosewood London between 1 and 9 April.
£65 (collection only), shop.rosewoodhotels.com
HARVEY NICHOLS’ EVERYTHING’S GOLDEN EGG
This dark chocolate egg gets the Goldfinger treatment. Break it open, and inside is a treasure trove of gold-speckled praline truffles within its gianduja and chopped nut interior (finished with a little sprinkle of Maldon for good measure). It’s hand-finished by London chocolatiers and makes a serious statement about your commitment to the sweet stuff.
CLARIDGE’S EASTER EGG
Created by Claridge’s pastry chef Yago Doamo, this limited-edition egg made from French Valrhona chocolate comes wrapped in beautiful Art Deco packaging, inspired by the hotel’s iconic black-and-white tiled lobby. Milk, dark and white chocolate eggs are available for pre-order, each version filled with hand-made praline chocolate ‘quail’s eggs’ and encased in a beautiful jade box – true, classic luxury.
PIERRE MARCOLINI’S CHOCOLATE LILYPAD EGG
Balancing delicately on a white chocolate lilypad, the Belgian patisserie’s Easter egg for 2023 is a visual treat. Inside the praline and dried fruit shell is a lining of roasted hazelnuts and caramelised almonds, cashews and pecan nuts. On top is a chocolate dragonfly to complete the spring garden scene.
FORTNUM & MASON’S HAND-PAINTED CHICK EASTER EGG
World-famous department store Fortnum & Mason has released an egg that’s almost too good looking to eat. Its hand-painted eggs come in two seasonal designs – featuring a bunny or a chick – and are crafted by master chocolatiers based in Wales. The egg is made from aromatic Colombian chocolate and the artwork is created over many weeks using natural pigments – so it’s definitely one to savour.
ROCOCO’S ORANGE EASTER EGG
This extra-thick-shelled, hand-wrapped milk chocolate egg has been made with a blend of sweet orange essential oil. Smash it open and inside you’ll find dark chocolate-covered orange peel batons. Rococo’s orange egg drops alongside ‘Cappuccino & Blonde’ and vegan varieties – all new for 2023, hand-crafted at its London operation, and finished with the iconic Rococo ribbons and illustrated blue boxes.
MARCHESI’S 1824 DARK CHOCOLATE EGG
Marchesi’s 800g delight is the largest of its classic, minimalist Easter eggs. Made from the Prada-owned Milanese patisserie’s high-quality dark chocolate, the egg is finished with a delicate etching of the Marchesi marque and crown. For those with smaller appetites, don’t worry: Marchesi also makes smaller dark and milk versions. Could there be a classier Easter treat out there? We think not.
VENCHI’S BRUTTO & BUONO EGG
Want an egg with impact? Look no further than the one-kilo egg from Venchi. Made with only whole Piedmontese hazelnuts, this egg nods to the delicious Italian biscuit, brutti ma buoni (‘ugly but good’). Made with Venchi’s signature 31.8% minimum cocoa milk chocolate, the centre is packed with nuts. For those not yet familiar, Venchi is a historic gourmet chocolatier that originated in Turin in 1878 and now runs chocolate shops and gelaterias all over the world – nearly as huge a presence as their 2023 egg.
MAGLIO’S ECUADOR EGG
For something very grown-up, try Maglio’s Ecuadorian egg. Its shell is made from Maglio’s single-origin 72% dark chocolate, coated entirely in dried fruit and almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios. It’s also gluten-free and vegan. Maglio has been making chocolate in Italy since 1875 and now prioritises sustainability by working directly with growers in Venezuela and Ecuador – fair as well as delicious.
Hôtel DE CRILLON’S BUTTERFLY EGG
Coinciding with the opening of Hôtel de Crillon’s new pastry shop, head pastry chef Matthieu Carlin unveils its ultra-cool butterfly egg for Easter 2023. This hefty 550g chocolate egg is made from 62% Brazilian chocolate, is filled with an organic red quinoa praline and coated with caramelised puffed white quinoa. There’s no question of how delicious it might be; but whether you can bring yourself to break it apart is another matter.
€95 (collection only), shop.rosewoodhotels.com