Purple Dragon in Battersea, South London, is a club for the under-12s in which the little ones can kick back and play Wii on supersized plasma screens, hang out in the sensory room, do a little extracurricular Mandarin or capoeira, or grab a bite in the 100-seat organic brasserie. Parents get to go too, and I dare say if I could spare the £1,200-per-child membership I’d be a regular as well. Alternatively, day membership costs £40.
Overseeing the class was Laurent Couchaux, “Prof du choc” at the very upmarket Rococo Chocolates. He kicked off by showing the children how to pipe hazelnut fondant into chocolate shells to create a tray of petits fours. “Petty what?” asked eight-year-old Isabella, visions of brownies and chocolate truffles disappearing. “The filling is a mix of chocolate, sugar, hazelnut paste and cocoa butter,” explained Couchaux as he expertly filled the first few shells. The children got to have a go too, and then they decorated the chocolates with a sprinkling of silvered balls, candied rose petals and crystalised pralines.