You’ll have seen the Mast brothers; they’re all over the telly. The hipster artisan chocolate makers are based in Brooklyn but you don’t have to schlep to the US. Just drop down the bank in Staithes, find Betsy & Bo on the High Street, and walk into an exquisite sweet shop straight out of Alice in Wonderland. The fabulously designed Mast chocolate bars are the first thing you see – then the rest of the magic hits you.
There’s Moroccan Mint, Cardamom White and Seasalt from Chester-based Rococo but a bit nearer home, in Pickering, chocolatier Ian Peacock’s bars are more simply designed but just as gorgeous. Gawp at shelf after shelf of old-school sweeties in glass jars - pear drops, gobstoppers and Refreshers, and if liquorice is your tipple, check this out – there are over 20 types, including an extraordinary Swedish salty one which does indecent things to your tongue.
In Saltburn, head for Chocolini’s, which has been in town in one location or another for over a decade, but has recently become ‘a dream come true!’ for Lindsay Gallagher, a young local woman who loved it so much she bought the company, and is honing her considerable skills as a chocolatier. With her two handmaidens she makes everything you see (in Belgian chocolate) - there’s row on row of treasures – we particularly like the ‘Abstract’ bars, especially the Dark Rose, and the incredibly skilled chocolate pictures she creates (they’re completely edible, of course). If you’re hunting for an unusual gift, look no further.