I’m beginning to think that the nice people at Hotel Chocolat are out to kill me.
First: the goody bag.
Keen-sited readers might notice that the bag is empty. This is because I’ve already eaten the contents, which comprised: a selection of six deliciously creamy truffles; a 100g chunky slab of delicious milk chocolate with delicious cookie pieces; two delicious chocolate dippers to swirl into a delicious hot drink and nibble; 180g of deliciously creamy caramel drops; and some entirely average chocolate flakes ready to melt in hot milk.
Why is it that you can’t buy quality drinking chocolate? Charbonnel et Walker make a half-decent version, but you can’t find anything of the standard found at the brilliant Paul chain of bakeries, the otherwise catastrophic Apostrophe, or the excellent Caffe Vergnano. Why? WHY? Hotel Chocolat, I demand that you rectify this cowardly cocoa chaos – I need my nightly dose of top-end phenethylamine, and I need it now.
The chocolate slab is the real treat here. As well as being most toothsome it’s enormous, about the size of a medium sheep’s head.
Note: not actual size.
It’s so vast, and so chunky, that I’m convinced Hotel Chocolat are missing a trick or two. As well as selling it as food, why not also offer the slabs as building material, or as sporting equipment, or indeed as some kind of alternative weaponry?
There are endless variations on this theme, of course. Hotel Chocolat, while making sumptuous artisan fare, are in many ways naive, and the slab offers a myriad of opportunities they’re quite obviously not taking. This is perhaps why they send me these samples: they appreciate my lateral thinking, and the degree of hard-nosed business acumen I bring to the table, an attribute that the firm so sorely lacks in-house.
I hope this entry helps.