As you may have guessed, chocolate features quite heavily in my life. It influences my diet, my holidays and my relationships. (Yes, really!) So an afternoon at the London Chocolate Fair was really quite mind blowing for me.
From tiny chocolatiers starting out on the road to business growth with delicious samples at every turn, to a Dubai firm whose stand resembled a Bond Street jewellers, with beautiful chocolates perfectly set out in glass cabinets guarded by a surly looking salesman (?). I can only describe him as an unapproachable security attendant charged with actively not encouraging prospective customers to taste his wares, if you know what I mean.
Dating a fellow chocolaholic, it was inevitable that we would enjoy the exhibition at London’s Olympia, and we came away with a veritable selection of truffles, water truffles, chocolate-covered fruits, liquid-filled chocolates, dark chocolates, milk chocolates, pralines, ganache and hot chocolate. I didn’t even care that he shoved a creamy chocolate whip thing in my face, smudging my make up and leaving me sticky. Didn’t care…
I started out at the exhibition pretty sleepy, having fallen asleep after 2.30am following a charity ball on Friday night. My accountants – Nordens – I’m sure I’ve recommended them to you before – were invited by the Institute of Chartered Accountants to raise money for a hospice in Essex. Following a (non-chocolate themed) dinner, we played at the casino tables set up around the room, and danced to a selection of immortal 80s tunes. It was great fun, and thank you to the tea for inviting me.
I skipped last week’s blog. The Jewish holidays and all the cooking and entertaining that entailed meant I had to reapportion my time. That sentence originally said ‘ran out of time’ but clearly that’s not good coming from someone who trains businesses in time management! But it’s true. I was away at picturesque Rutland Water the previous weekend, then cooking for several large dinner parties, plus baking six cakes and carrying out various 121 social media workshops all over London. Something had to give.
Two of the cakes were for the accountancy team – by request, a large double layer chocolate cake, embellished with galaxy counters, flake, chocolate buttons and maltesers, and a big squidgy carrot cake. As it turned out, this was squidgier than planned, as a member of the team that had helpfully offered to carry it into the office, sadly… er… d…r…o..p…p…e…d… it, upside down and with a loud yelp onto the pavement. Still, people ate it, gravel, fag ends, dog poo and all… (Well, hopefully not, we went with the three second rule, even though it took a bit longer than three secs to scrape it off the kerb.) All’s well that ends well though, as everyone is still alive today…
I’m typing this in the lobby of the Hoxton Hotel in Shoreditch. I often come to this trendy space to work as the wifi is good, the atmosphere is buzzing and the hot chocolate is rich and creamy.
This is not one of the 80s tracks played on Friday, but Gill and I played it an awful lot back then, and it’s probably more relevant today. “You know very well what you are: you’re my sugar thing, my chocolate star. I’ve had a few, but not that many… But you’re the only love that gives me good and plenty.”
If you need to find more time to eat your chocolate stars, or to grow your business in a more friendly and sociable way, email me for info on 121 training sessions being held in London between now and Christmas. Or ask me here: @WeekendWitch.