July 1st saw the reopening of Brighton’s Montezuma’s store on Duke Street, and it seemed only fair (purely in the name of investigative journalism, you understand) that I should go down and “investigate” some of their chocolate, and chat to the staff.

As you’d expect from a well-renowned and successful company, the shop has followed all the government’s guidelines, limiting customers to four at a time, providing directions and markers for customers to follow on the floor, and readily available hand sanitiser. (Is it just me or is it weird that such a sentence is now deemed a normal part of reviewing a shop?!)

I was given an extremely warm welcome by Sam, the Manager, and Irene, the Assistant Manager, who were both keen to show me Montezuma’s newly branded chocolates. And if, like me, you thought Montezuma’s packaging was bright and cheery before, well they now seem positively Goth-like in comparison to their new joyous packaging. The eye-catching rainbow of colour could hardly be more suited to Brighton, and meant the chocolates all but leapt off the shelves, straight into my belly, by way of a spectacular gift box.

Montezuma's Chocolates
“In an orderly fashion, all of you get in my belly.”

The central Brighton store is not only bright and airy, with sun streaming in through their front window, but it benefits from the artistic talents of one of Montezuma’s own. Heather, who works with Sam and Irene at the Brighton branch, whilst studying animation, has demonstrated that her studies are clearly going well, providing bespoke artworks for the shop, that reinforce the festive atmosphere.

Clearly pleased to be back sharing their wares with the public, Sam tells me they have had a successful reopening thus far, and are looking forward to more customers coming to enjoy the new-look goodies.

I came away with a gift-box full of treats that I had no intention of actually giving as a gift. Some dark chocolate buttons, a selection of milk, dark and white chocolate truffles, and a 100% cocoa with Orange and Cocoa Nibs bar, part of their Absolute Black range, which is not only delicious but is vegan-friendly and, without sugar and without milk, is so far from being unhealthy, it’s practically one of your five a day.

My favourite of the contraband, however, were the Mango, Chilli and Lime White Chocolate Truffle Bites. Eating one is like biting into the sweetest, tropical fruits, until a different, white chocolate sweetness joins it, then overtakes it, before a gentle kick of chilli rounds each morsel off exquisitely. These really are to die for.

So, waistline already on the up, and a friend’s birthday coming up, I was overcome by a rare (first ever, in fact) moment of generosity and decided give the dark chocolate buttons as a birthday present, as they make great presents. However, in the time it took to write that last sentence, I have learned to regret my brief dalliance with generosity: they’re all mine. Sorry Liz!

Montezuma’s, 30 Duke Street, is now open and I highly recommend paying them a visit. https://www.montezumas.co.uk/