The shop itself has its own character, and part of its charm is that the shop reflects the true natural origins of chocolate, large shells holding chocolate pearls, huge pieces of wood that hold dark cocoa dusted truffles and cauldron like pots bursting with heaps of cocoa dusted almonds. It's fascinating and inviting and you can either fill a box with your chosen chocolates, or fill a bag.
There's certainly quite an array to chose from, I decided to go for the 'overdose' truffle, chocolate orange rinds and chocolate cherries. And below, a separate bag of chocolates: coconut milk chocolate, limoncello chocolate, pistachio pearls, passion fruit pearl and mocha nougat. It came to a hefty £12.45 and so for that price I was expecting something special. And if you're wondering why these weren't photographed properly out of the bag, it's because half of them melted in the heat of the day on a humid train journey home and the pearls burst.
So anyway, the verdict. What did they taste like?
Of course, taking to account that this review is more than a little unfair since the hot weather did affect the chocolate, but still only a couple were melted and it would not have had an impact on their flavour.
So the first bag. The 'overload' truffle, which is vegan, had a strange, dry texture. Claggy. Not smooth, melt in the mouth as you would expect, and very, very bitter. I did not enjoy it. The chocolate orange rinds were fine. Very sweet as you'd expect, covered in dark chocolate. The chocolate cherries were far too sweet, and quite uninteresting to eat. So in that way, I'm not sure that Dark Sugars needs such a huge selection of chocolate dipped fruit and nuts. All in all, disappointing.
Onto the other bag. The limoncello chocolate was awful and filled with some rather artificially tasting dark chocolate ganache. I don't believe dark chocolate and lemon work particularly well together. I nearly broke a tooth on the mocha nougat which was far too hard (I was expecting soft and chewy, this was pretty hard to eat).
The pistachio pearl was average, the smooth gooey filling more reminiscent of almond than pistachio, but pleasant nonetheless. The passion fruit pearl had an graininess to it, and lacked a deep fruity flavour that I was after.
The best chocolate of the bag was the coconut milk chocolate, sprayed metallic bronze and had a creamy fragrant coconut taste.
More style over substance sadly, the chocolates did look so beautiful but are not really all that great. I'd take Hotel Chocolat over this any day of the week.