The best luxury Easter eggs for 2017
From sweet treats inspired by Japanese dolls to a creation from one of the UK's top designers - this year's clutch is a feast for the eyes
Chocolatier Henri Le Roux has looked to the east for inspiration for this Easter creation exclusive to Harrods. Designed with Chiso House, which has manufactured traditional kimonos in Japan since 1555, it is adorned with an undulating pattern called seigaiha. Here, its wave-shaped forms were chosen to symbolise the ocean between Chiso's factory and Le Roux's native Brittany, while the shape of the egg itself represents the menhirs - large standing stones - found across the French region.
Henri Le Roux Infinite Waves Easter egg, exclusive to Harrods, £40; harrods.com
Hotel Cafe Royal
Stroll down Regent Street and you can't fail to be drawn in by the hotel's grand Easter display, complete with an impressive 1m-high, 75kg egg adorned with edible gold leaf. Each taking three days to mould and decorate, only two of these creations have been made - one for display and the other on sale for £600. For a more modest, but no less decadent option, take home one of its smaller (read 'standard') eggs, made from rich and creamy Valrhona milk chocolate and filled with salted caramel truffles.
Hotel Cafe Royal Easter egg, £45; hotelcaferoyal.com
The Italian specialist has created all kinds of seasonal fare to ensure you have a buona pasqua, from the panettone-esque traditional Easter cake colomba to sweet assortments of baci di meringa - chocolate meringue kisses. And when it comes to the classic egg, Carluccio's has also given it a Mediterranean twist, with two variations that come filled with your choice of limoncello or delicious nutty gianduiotti chocolates.
Carluccio's milk chocolate egg, £19.95; carluccios.com
Recently picking up the accolade of the World's Best Pastry Chef by the World's 50 Best Restaurants award, Dominique Ansel has opted for a very British inspiration for the Easter egg sold through his London store. The whimsical and petite treat recalls the Queen's Guard, who are stationed just a stone's throw away, dressed in a bright red jacket with trademark tall hat.
Soldier chocolate egg, £10; dominiqueansellondon.com
This elegant and sculptural piece is made from 66% dark chocolate using Trinitario beans of the Caribbean, decorated with a luxurious red velvet coating. The focal point, however, is the delicate feathers that sweep over the egg, which sits upon an intricate nest made of dark chocolate.
Nest Egg, £26, available at Bulgari Hotel from 1-17 April; bulgarihotels.com
Fortnum & Mason
These golden creations, craftily nestled in a run-of-the-mill cardboard tray, are made using hollowed hens eggs. The fragile eggshells have been delicately filled with delicious praline chocolate. Crack them open and enjoy, or gently heat them up as you would a boiled egg and dip in brioche soldiers.
Fortnum & Mason Six Golden Praline eggs, £25; fortnumandmason.com
Head pastry chef Kimberly Lin has looked to the famous hotel's Art Deco checkerboard lobby for the inspiration behind this year's design. The egg, limited to 100 pieces, is made from Valrhona dark, milk and white chocolate and filled with homemade chocolate quail eggs before being careful packaged in the eye-catching geometrically patterned foil.
Art Deco Easter Egg, £50; claridges.co.uk
The much-loved British purveyor of fine chocolate, Hotel Chocolat, measured up an actual ostrich egg – the largest egg of any living bird – to create this mammoth Easter offering. The Classic Ostrich Egg is made with half 40 per cent milk chocolate with crunchy cookies and puffed rice, and half 50 per cent milk chocolate with crispy feuilletine. A dark version (pictured above) is also available, made with half 70% dark chocolate with almonds and a dash of salt, and half 70% dark chocolate with hazelnuts and another sprinkling of salt.
Both giant eggs come with a tray of 27 delicious chocolates – pralines, truffles, caramels and more – plus six hidden golden eggs secluded somewhere in the box for you to hunt. The exclusive Easter gift amounts to more than a kilo of chocolate - which should keep you going until next Easter.
The Classic Ostrich Egg, £75; www.hotelchocolat.com
Other eggs may go all out on appearances, but Prestat's focus is on the taste. For 2017, it has come up with a suitably seasonal hot cross bun-themed variation, infusing milk chocolate with delicious and fragrant spices. It comes wrapped in ribbon and packaged in a gift box along with a handful of mini eggs.
Hot Cross Bun Spiced Easter Egg, £17.50; prestat.co.uk
Pierre Marcolini has looked to Asia for inspiration this Easter, coming up with a cute and quaint collection that sees Japanese dolls morph into modern and stylish chocolate creations. The Kimono Doll, adorned in a pink patterned white chocolate robe, comes with 30 miniature eggs in six different flavours as well as an array of caramel animals.
The Kimono Doll, £125; uk.marcolini.com
Paul A Young
This truly indulgent treat from British chocolatier Paul A Young, limited to a run of 30, takes its inspiration from the place of origin of the chocolate from which it's made. Crafted from a 65% variety from Machu Picchu in Peru, the glamorous egg is imprinted with Mayan script and bedecked with 22-carat gold leaf. It comes accompanied by a box of nine caramel ganache truffles.
Paul A Young Machu Picchu Egg, £75; paulayoung.co.uk
The so-called "Picasso of pastry" has turned to the art world to inform his bold and colourful collection, which draws from the work of acclaimed Italian painter and sculptor Lucio Fontana. The unique trio of eggs – available in bright hues of yellow, red and blue – are made from Pure Origin Belize chocolate, which leaves an intense and fruity flavour on the palate.
Œuf Tagli d'apres Lucio Fontana £136, available from 21 March to 23 April; pierreherme.com
Easter is never good news for dieters, but this is about as close as it gets to a "healthy" chocolate egg. The shell is filled with dark chocolate mini eggs topped with all manner of superfoods, including bee pollen, almond nibs, cacao nibs, goji berries and quinoa. Even the packaging makes it a virtuous choice, using only recyclable materials.
Dark Chocolate Avocado Egg, £49.50; meltchocolates.com
The flavours of Rococo's popular Artisan Collection has informed a duo of Easter eggs created by founder Chantal Coady for this year. Each hand painted in stunning designs, they come in a choice of milk chocolate with sea salt, filled with four of the brand's Superior Seagull fleur de sel salted caramel eggs, or a honeycomb-infused version whimsically decorated with bees.
Artisan Easter Eggs, £27.50; rococochocolates.com
Camille Walala x Harrods
Harrods has teamed up with designer-of-the-moment Camille Walala to bring her signature graphic style to a limited number of chocolate eggs.
Her colourful 1980s prints were handpainted by an artisan chocolatier on 12 eggs made by Harrods pastry chefs in a Parisian chocolate laboratory.
Visiting Harrods' food hall on a school trip is one of the designer's first memories of London, she said: "I've been fascinated with it ever since."
Camille Walala Harrods egg, £350; harrods.com