Friday, 28 May 2010

This Weekend - The County Arms gets a Makeover

Hey there. Back in London now after choc van trips to Brighton and then to the fascinating planned suburbia of Letchworth Garden City. We'll be hot-footing it over to Wandsworth on Sunday for The County Arms' festivities to celebrate its new makeover.

As well as ourselves (serving up sundaes, ice creams and milkshakes), there'll be Morris dancers, magicians, face painters, story tellers, a treasure hunt, a Pimms & caipirinha bar and hopscotch.

Imagine that - hopscotch!

We're excited. If you live around South-West London and fancy some fun, get on over.

The County Arms, 345 Trinity Road, London SW18 3SH

Monday, 17 May 2010

Time Flew!

Hello y'all! Greetings from the midst of a rather interesting and experimental epoch in the Choc Star experience: Brighton Fringe Festival....

For almost three weeks Jimmy will have been parked up in the central concourse of the town's marvelous one-way system as part of the Free Range event.

A massive red and blue dome rises up in the midst of this micro festival within a festival and puts on wonderful performances every night. The highlight so far has been the physics-defying kids from Circolombia. Pure magic. If you're anywhere nearby in the next few days you must witness this!

Other fun times - both in and out of the van - have been found at...

The Kingston Food Festival.

I feel a little bit in love with Suburbia that weekend.

The brilliant Food Junctions. UCL have collaborated with local food adventurers to pull together this event in the rambling and off-piste location of Camley Street Natural Park.

I was asked to go along and give a tasting and you can imagine my delight when I was offered up this teepee as the possible location.

That's it! I squealed, and then set about transforming it into a little chocolate den (no pics, sorry - I got mobbed!)

There have been a lot of chocolate tastings at schools lately too. The local press even came along to the last one in Kent to take pics of the excited kids. (If I ever figure out how to post a scan on here I'll insert it toutes suite). I love going to primary schools and showing everyone the cocoa love - it's a whole fresh sheet upon which to lay down the stories and magic of chocolate for curious minds.

And this wedding last week was fun - a Scottish knees-up right in the heart of Dulwich. God, talk about a sure-fire way of ensuring everyone has a damn good time. I LOVE all that prancing around and getting out of breath and being spun around and it certainly worked up their appetites...

New sweet encounters also have been fun. A visit to Hawksmoor for their legendary burger was given a dash of extra pleasure by a scoop of their Cornflake ice cream for pudding. It was delicious - like crushed up Crunchy Nut Cornflakes in the most purely churned vanilla ice cream. It actually reminded me a bit of those crazy ice-creamists at Momofuku Milk Bar.

Then, while doing some pavement pounding in Hackney the other day, I finally got to see my friend Claire's new bakery. After almost five years as the most popular cake stall on Broadway Market, Violet has now added a bricks and mortar string to its bow.

It's so great to see someone with Claire's taste transform an old building and offer up a spot that you just don't see in this country very often. Very Bay Area with an E8 twist.

Now can we start seeing some more of this please? I have a patio that needs inhabiting...