But tonight I have been invited through my blog to sample the festive fare at the fabulous Hotel Chocolat who are having a special chocolate fuelled event tonight.
And it seemed much too good an opportunity to miss so I agree to meet T in Kensington on what turns out to be a stunningly cold night.
We hot foot it to the warm welcoming glow of Hotel Chocolat and are swiftly furnished with Champagne (for those not heavily dosed up on cough mixture) and frequent shiny trays of enticing squares of chocolate to sample.
I am on a mission tonight as I am keen to procure some of Hotel Chocolat’s finest for the lactose intolerant Swedish M for her birthday party tomorrow. And after hearing some of the lore and history of Hotel Chocolat (their founder also invented the Mr Whippy machine- isn’t that just wonderful?) we are let loose amongst the shelves to consider which of their heavenly delights we should treat ourselves to. Actually my absorption of our chocolaty educational is slightly hampered by the awareness that my throat is actually sealing itself which will surely impede my ability to enjoy their chocolates or perhaps breathe. My chemist has armed me with a throat spray to temporary allay this predicament but I don't seem to be able to administer it with any degree of discretion so my thoughts are really on when and where I can take evasive throat constrictive measures before I may possibility keel over.
Fortunately the friendly Z, one of the intrepid PR team entertaining us tonight, whisks me to a underground location to ensure that doesn't happen. After a few squirts of soothing tincture I am well on my way to being able to continue tucking into the delicious chocolaty offerings and just generally swallow. Though I do admit that it was a terrible idea for me to sample squares of chocolate with the addition of pink peppercorns as they can give you a little tickle in the back of you throat or in my case make you feel that you've accidentally been swallowing Brillo pads. Though I hasten to add that it was still rather tasty, despite the coughing.
However the white chocolates containing the most amazing purple blueberry ganache were incredibly soothing and seemed almost healthy, the Champagnes truffles are blissfully sublime, and I hear the wonderful news that we may get to take some home in our goodie bag - excellent! There are some extraordinarily intense chocolate nuggets to sample, some sliced chocolate logs with little pistachio and hazelnut morsels, mint chocolate puddles and some huge slabs that particular catch my eye. The slabs are extremely enticing swirled with milk, dark and white chocolates and in some cases studded with all matter of goodies like nuts, chocolate nibs and bits of biscuits. They have intriguing names like cool yule, triple chocolate wham bam or caramellow.
After a wonderful indulgent evening we are spoilt even further by receiving the most plumpest of goodie bags with a box of favourite ink Champagne truffles, jars of liquid chocolate in classic, milky and Aztec chilli, slabs of their smoothest and glossiest dark and milk chocolate and a chocolate unwrapped book.
Haven't we done well? And I've also had the opportunity to stock up on a few little edible treats for Christmas.