Two months ago, I spent an afternoon at Somerset House with Heston Blumenthal. I was one of the lucky group invited to his grand chocolate box restaurant, which meant a few happy hours giggling with delight as we tasted one clever creation after another. Most of the audience were chocolate specialists (producers, artisan chocolatiers, retailers…) so I was very fortunate indeed to be there. That was thanks to my dear friend Jen who couldn’t attend but responded to the researcher’s request to recommend others who might fit the bill. The fact I’d written a fair bit about chocolate here on Kavey Eats won the day and I was given my golden ticket.
After an hour or two waiting in a nearby hotel lobby we were finally walked into the grounds of Somerset House, where a giant Black Magic-style chocolate box awaited. It slowly opened out to reveal a small bar and stage in front of which tables, chairs, linen, cutlery and menus were quickly laid out, within a roped-off area. There were pretty plants in pots; there was even a Maitre d’s stand at the entrance. Shown to our seats, we spent the next few hours enjoying the Heston experience.
We were served chocolate-themed drinks – my favourite was the black forest gâteau hot chocolate with a cloud of “chocolate essence” squirted into the glass but we also sampled a gin cocktail, sweet chocolate wine and a chocolate stout. A beautifully painted edible chocolate box with pretty chocolates inside was delivered to each table. And we were fascinated by Heston’s Moos Bar, a beefy version of a Mars-Twix-Milkyway combo. I wish the beef taste was less subtle – I would have liked more evident beefiness!
Lastly, the tables were cleared away and a vast chocolate bar arrived. Each piece had been made by different companies, from mainstream brands to artisan chocolatiers, before being assembled onto a giant bar by Heston’s chefs. With chisels and mallets, Heston and his team broke into the chocolate, piece by piece, and we had a crazy feast, trying the many different fillings.
The giant chocolate box, opening out, to reveal Heston’s House of Chocolate, BFG hot chocolate, Moos bar advert, Heston’s team, Heston telling us about his Moos bar, the Moos bars being delivered to our table, a Moos bar, me tasting the Moos bar and declaring “More cow, more cow!”, our reaction to the edible chocolate box, the giant chocolate bar arriving on a forklift, us reacting to the giant chocolate bar, Heston breaking into the first piece, his staff taking over the job, the crowd enjoying the chocolate, me at the end saying “it’s the best one ever – it’s chocolate, and it’s fantastic and it’s in a magical box!”, Heston summing up at the end
If you missed this episode, or the rest of the series, you can catch it on 4OD for a few weeks, here.
With enormous thanks to production company Betty for letting me be part of this wonderful experience.
Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!12 Comments to "Heston’s Great British Food | Chocolate"
That looks like a brilliant day out! It goes without saying that I am of course crazy jealous 🙂
Yes I know you’d have enjoyed it too!
This looks like an absolutely magnificent and, of course, utterly unique experience! Very jealous and also impressed.
What I love about your report of the day is how it seems like so much attention to detail was paid to all aspects of the day, not just the food. It looks lavish and delicious and magical!
P.S. you might not be a retailer or artisan chocolatier, but as a passionate, knowledgeable and enthusiastic blogger I’d say you were more than worthy of being there. Well done and well deserved! 🙂
Thank you my dear, very kind of you. Yes, lots of attention to detail, they were keen to ensure we felt the magic. I feel very fortunate to have had the chance! 🙂
It all sounds chocolate filled fun but I really want the black forest gateaux hot chocolate!
Yes that was very good!
so jealous… need chocolate!
Heh, thanks Dom!
I recognised you straight away when i watched that episode & saw you, i have been a reader of your blog for the past two years
That’s lovely, thank you for reading! X
Hello! I am so jealous … You know the giant bar that the various manufacturers contributed to? Do you happen to have a list of all of those? My other half and I want to try and tick them all off! Thank you x
I don’t have a list but will ask if anyone rise has one!