Posts Tagged ‘Chocolate week’
A little while back, two of my passions were celebrated together. Yes, chocolate week and cocktail week happen to fall the same time of the year in the UK. Of course, they do mix quite well too and so was born Choc Tales, taking place in an historical house of Soho, 68 Dean Street. The street is so buzzing with cafés and restaurants you probably haven’t noticed it but oh, inside is another universe, suspended in time, a gorgeous Georgian house from the 18th century and you almost expect to see ghosts in each room.
The delicious evening used three floors: one room – one chocolate paired with one cocktail. I started with Damian Allsop who made me reconsider ganache completely. He never uses milk nor cream, which he finds weigh the cacao too much. Instead, he prefers spring water and you will understand the difference immediately. The way it melts, the texture of it - no comparison. The little disks you see here are made with raw Pacari chocolate from Ecuador - fruity then a beautiful sour/bitterness that balances perfectly. Then comes the truffle with a soft ganache on top but oh, inside, sudden crunchiness, not one but two meringues – one of green tea, the other of blackberry. Full autumn flavour, making you want to sit in a leather armchair with a cup of tea, watching the rain fall outside. I love chocolates that bring out a full emotion.
With this was served a Deconstructed Bramble – made with Martin Miller gin (nice citrus and juniper notes, cristal like), green tea and gel balls filled with berry juice that explode in your mouth. Oh, did I mention chocolate on the rim of the glass?
A l’étage, on se laisse séduire par la truffe au rhum de Rococo Chocolates, coque fine sur ganache ultra-crémeuse, relevée d’une touche de sel, laissant s’ouvrir les épices. Quelle finesse! Saviez-vous que la compagnie possède une ferme bio à Grenade, Grococo qui produit la totalité de leur cacao Trinitario et plus encore très bientôt. A suivre de près. On the first floor, Rococo Chocolates had created a rum truffle, crunchiness then creamy ganache, a touch of salt to bring out the spices. So very refined! Did you know the company have their own organic farm in Grenada, producing their entire Trinitario cacao there? And hopefully even more soon.
The cocktail was seasonal, a hot buttered rum with Ron San Teresa, amber like, complex,a hint of vanilla, silky. Add butter, spices, served steaming still. Liquid apple tart. The brand also has a Rhum Orange that suddenly wakes you up and makes oyu lick your lips and a ron y caffé that makes Bayleys overrated. Great presents for Xmas, fantastic treat for parties - just saying.
Another room, another sweetness. But first, get your cheeks pinker with a glass of Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Never tried it? Dedicated to a 1827 whisky, it aims at recreated its exceptional taste barrel after barrel by blending old and young whiskies. And so it brings out two levels - the first sip reminds you of smokiness (that would be the old whiskies), the second is vibrant with orange zest and nuttiness (young whiskies, of course).
William Curley had matched it with one of his masterpieces. Art work, you spend as much time admiring it than enjoying it. Chocolate genoise, raisins soaked in whisky, vanilla crème brûlée mousse, a gorgeous powdery finish and an apricot and vanilla coulis… Divine, simply divine. You never know whether you should deconstruct it to taste layer after layer or select them all at once.
Until now, tequila meant “let’s get drunk quick” to me. Memories of uni - the quickest way to party. To be frank, I am more of a Vesper girl. And so AquaRiva comes into my life as some kind of revelation - smooth, velvety, warm, no agressivity at all, just pure cheerfulness. It just takes a few minutes with Cleo Rocos who produces it to fall under its charm. The secret? 100% agave when cheap brands add poor alcool to the mix. This one my friend will make you extra happy and garantees no hangover. Tested and approved. Get it at Harvey Nichols.
Paul A Young too has succumbed and even made a special truffle that suddenly melts in your mouth. Oh, I am sure you can get drunk on those. They are exquisite. But even better, you have to try the micro bars made with cacao and parmesan. yes, it does work! Cacao then suddenly saltiness, cheese. But ideally have the whole trio. You are sure to wow your guests.
Last but not least, we crunched happily in l’Artisan du Chocolat chocolate disks… to find a liquid heart of salted caramel. We did have to lick our fingers. Happily. We had to take a couple more to enjoy the quality of it. Only professional, you know. Just to be sure. yes, they are that good. And go quite well with n Aperol Spritz.
This week-end brings a luxuty escape. On a train. On a luxury train. I will admire the vibrant British countryside from the cocoon of the British Pullman. Breakfast on board, a stroll in the Cotswold villages, champagne and dinner on the way back, watchinh the lights switching on softly…
What about you?
* Indulge in a gourmet pub crawl. The menu is mouthwatering and we guarantee you will fall in love with the Renaissance Pubs…
* Art switches to 3D
* The famous champagne bar Kettner’s will be offering with Jameson a different party each evening between October 12 and 27. Hoorray!
* Celebrate Diwali.
* There is some dancing at the Scoop.
* Nothing more autumn like than a market dedicate to wine and cheese.
* Discover the latest artitic installation in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall – movies are a piece of art too.
* Aromatherapy and macaron: isn’t it me time yet?
* Well, this week is chocolate week. You can go round the best chocolatiers in town who will be proposing a variety of events or… spend an afternoon at Chocolate Unwrapped where they will be presenting their best treats.
* Take your coffee with style.
* Hop, second dose of Tracey Emin this year.
* Big Ben leans. Yes, you read that right.
* Indoor bike training, graffiti and trendy music included, is the new winter sport.
* Love the Royal Family? Well, the Diamond Jubilee china is now on sale.
* Are you all ready for Movember? You might be missing a crucial accessory.