Having received various quality and food awards for their small luxury hotel in East Lothian, David and Angela Cockerton launched their very own handmade chocolate business – The Chocolate Stag – which is a complementary business to Garleton Lodge.
For many years the art of the chocolatier remained solidly associated with France and Belgium. But in recent years the UK has seen a dramatic rise in the number of chocolatiers producing traditional and more innovative artisan chocolate than ever before. And, East Lothian’s David and Angela Cockerton have joined this renaissance, taking an artisanal approach to chocolate with their handmade chocolate business – The Chocolate Stag.
Chocolate is not a new thing for the couple, David and Angela previously ran a successful handmade chocolate business before they moved to the Middle East. This was Angela’s first step towards following her and David’s passion for food and drink after more than 20 years as an accountant in the corporate world. Relaunching the chocolate business has always been part of David and Angela’s business plan since their return to the UK and in 2017 they opened Garleton Lodge, and The Chocolate Stag quickly followed. Angela commented; “There are strong links between Garleton Lodge and The Chocolate Stag, with guest room ‘treats’, end of dinner petit-fours in the restaurant and with our famous afternoon teas. Before adopting the GL letter-based logo for Garleton Lodge, we had intended on using a stag as the Garleton Lodge logo. This was dropped but the stag became embedded in our brand and internal décor – we have stags everywhere! With this, and the daily visits from local deer (including stags), the name ‘The Chocolate Stag’ was a natural choice for our handmade chocolate business.”
Dark, milk or white – everyone has their favourite shade of chocolate. Whether you are an aficionado who refuses anything below 70% or a milk chocolate lover, the one thing that binds us all together is the thing we love all comes from the same place – the cocoa bean. And it’s the same with the maker. Artisanal makers get to know their materials well – in this case, cocoa and sugar – shaping them carefully from bean to finished product. The result is lovingly crafted chocolate that showcases cocoa’s natural flavour range. And the gorgeous range of handmade chocolates from The Chocolate Stag is no exception. Angela is quick to point out “Our range of handmade chocolates includes everyone’s favourites using white, milk and dark chocolate. All our ingredients are fresh, quite often locally sourced where we can, and contain absolutely no preservatives. You really can taste the difference!”
Angela’s skill also lies in creating a range of truly unique and creative flavour pairings. From strawberry spheres and salted caramels to dark chocolate spiced rum truffles From the intriguing dark chocolate baby Guinness cups to her gin and tonic truffles, made with local artisan gin – Fidra Gin and lemon tonic water. And if that’s not enough, each month a new chocolate of the month is featured on their website. Available online and from Garleton Lodge, in boxes of 6, 12 or 24 individual chocolates, these mouth-watering chocolates are a feast for the eyes and won’t disappoint when you get to the tasting. Perfect for a gift or just that moment in life when you really need chocolate!
Next Issue: Editor Kim Williams meets the maker and learns how to make chocolate in a ‘Chocolate Making Experience.’