It’s been a busy start to December as everyone starts to realise Christmas is nearly upon us. I started the month at an incredible dinner at Fera at Claridges, in honour of the 10th anniversary of the FT Business of Luxury Summit. Chef Patron Simon Rogan cooks with seasonal ingredients to create dishes inspired by nature.
On Wednesday evening the Christmas lights were officially turned on at Motcomb Street, which marks the start to our Christmas season in Belgravia. Our flagship store, along with our Chocolate Cafe, were open late to join in with the festivities. We served chocolate mulled wine and canapés to friends and neighbours who popped in to have a look at our brand new Christmas products. Our hand painted chocolate Father Christmas took pride of place in the middle of the store and, weighing in at 3kg, had everyone captivated.
The weekend was busy with fairs and charity. On Saturday Millie and a couple of her friends held a stall at her school Christmas fair, selling chocolate alongside Millie’s services as a photographer. Having taken the photos of us all outside the Palace when I collected my OBE, she was given her first commission by Rococo MD Richard to take the photos at his daughter’s Christening. Sunday was meant to be spent at the Westminster Boating Base, where both Millie and Fergus have spent a lot of time. The club takes kids from all backgrounds onto the open water of the Thames where they can gain qualifications to become instructors and take up a whole host of water based activities. This weekend we donated a prize for their charity auction as we were unable to attend their annual panto and Christmas party. On Sunday evening we attended Ralph McTell’s 70th birthday concert at Drury Lane. The highlight for me as a cameo by John Williams on Ralph’s signature song The Streets of London.
After a packed weekend, it has been a relatively quiet week of planning and decorating. With only 2 weeks to go until Christmas, our tree was dragged out of the box and dressed. We didn’t have a tree when I was a child, as our Christmases were about family rather than the commercial side. We would just dress a house plant on Christmas eve, which was a tradition I carried on as an adult. Finally my children protested and we got a fake tree which we top each year with the Rococo Christmas Fairy. We add a new decoration each year, which once included Millie’s barbies. We of course also dress the cocoa tree in the kitchen and light the next advent candle each week.
This weekend was our final fair of the season, The Chocolate Festival at the Business Design Centre in Islington. Our stand was in the Direct Cacao zone and I hosted a talk and tasting on Saturday afternoon with them all about our relationship with Grenada. We tasted the Grenada Chocolate Company bars as well as our own single origin Gru Grococo. It’s so great that people are starting to pay more attention to where their chocolate comes from and love hearing the story of this amazing company, cooperative and island.