Boutique chocolate shops are flourishing at seaside locations, offering all kinds of sweet treats with a coastal twist, from lime and seasalt bars, to choc seashells and ultra-indulgent fish ‘n’ chips. Words: KATE YOUDE

Chococo, Swanage, Dorset
Ever since husband and wife Andy and Claire Burnet founded their first chocolate house (featuring a shop and café) in Swanage in 2002, they have prided themselves on using local ingredients, from cream to honey, jam to gin. Their unusual Blue Dorset chocolate features the county’s delicious Blue Vinny cheese and cranberries. Now with added branches in Winchester, Exeter and Horsham, Chococo has won more than 85 food awards and its handmade confections are stocked by the likes of Harrods and Harvey Nichols. Its popular Jurassic Coast dinosaur eggs return for Easter (01929 408288;

Oban Chocolate Company, Oban, Argyll and Bute
Sip on a dark, milk, white, vegan or even chilli hot chocolate while enjoying the views over Oban Bay – and the chocolaty aromas from the next door factory – at this café and shop on the esplanade. The cranachan truffle, inspired by the Scottish dessert, stands out among more than 50 flavours of chocolates, but don’t forget to pick up a takeaway. Owner Helen MacKechnie came up with the idea of producing fish and chips, made from milk and white chocolate, while sleep-deprived and up in the night with her young son (01631 566099;

Montezuma’s, Brighton, East Sussex
Inspired by their travels in South America, including a visit to the Argentinian chocolate town of San Carlos de Bariloche, former financial lawyers Helen and Simon Pattinson set up shop in Brighton in 2000. Since then, they have earned a reputation for bars with unusual flavours, including dark chocolate Sea Dog (lime and sea salt), and Orange and Geranium. The popular Absolute Black is made with 100% cocoa. The Brighton store is now one of five in the south of England, while retailers nationwide stock Montezuma’s confectionary (01273 324979;

Caragh Chocolates, Sark, Channel Islands
The stylish packaging of Caragh Couldridge’s chocolates reflects their charming journey, by horse-drawn carriage and boat, from carless Sark to off-island customers. Her dark chocolate is inspired by Sark being the world’s first dark sky island, thanks to its excellent stargazing, while confectionary sea shells take the shape of those found on local shores. Seasonal visitors to the family’s farmhouse near La Coupée, the scenic causeway connecting big and Little Sark, can see the kitchen where the sweet treats are made and enjoy panoramic views of the Channel Islands from the tea garden (01481 832703;

Coco Kitchen, St Ives, Cornwall
Andrea Parsons and her husband Kevin opened Coco Kitchen in 2017 as an offshoot of their artisan chocolate shop I Should Coco. A purpose-built workshop close to St Ives’ harbour, it hosts chocolate-making classes for all ages. Families can learn how to make bars and lollies, while adults can try their hand at creating fresh cream truffles or their own Easter egg. Prices for the family workshops are £17 a head, or £60 for a group of four people. The longer, adults-only classes are £45 per head (01736 798756;

Cocoa Mountain, Balnakeil, Scottish Highlands
Located in Balnakeil craft village at Durness on Scotland’s northern coast, Cocoa Mountain boasts of being ‘probably the most geographically remote chocolate producer in Europe’. Those who make the trip to the shop and cafe, founded by Paul Maden and his partner James Findlay in 2006, are rewarded with handmade premium chocolates and truffles to match the stunning sea views. Hot chocolate made from a blend of five different chocolates is the biggest draw. A second Cocoa Mountain shop and café opened on Scotland’s east coast at Durnoch in 2017 (01971 511233;

Pump Street Bakery, Orford, Suffolk
As well as freshly baked loaves and pastries, this Suffolk Heritage Coast bakery and café, founded by Joanna Brennan and her baker and chocolatier father Chris, also sells handmade small batch Pump Street Chocolate. The brand has a bean-to-bar philosophy, buying beans from farmers around the world to turn into single origin bars. The two strands of the family business are combined in the unusual sourdough and sea salt chocolate, while the £60 ‘library’ of 10 bars includes Eccles and rye crumb flavours (01394 459829;