I have recently researched the history of Charbonnel et Walker - founded in 1875 and one of Britain's first chocolatiers.  Reputedly encouraged by Edward VII, the business was formed as a partnership between Virginie Charbonnel and Minnie Walker, both from the esteemed Maison Boissier chocolate house in Paris.  The company found favour with royalty and the rich and famous from the outset, who bought chocolate and novelties from the shop, and frequented the Salons de The for coffee, ices, cakes, tea and refreshment.  Prince Francis of Teck courted his mistress with Charbonnel et Walker chocolates, before bequeathing the Teck emeralds to her - these were discreetly bought back by Queen Mary for a large sum.  Other customers have included Princess Margaret, Wallis Simpson, Sir John Gieldgud, Sir Alec Guinness and Noel Coward.