Chocolate Unwrapped at Vinopolis

It’s a change of venue for the Chocolate Unwrapped show this year.  Last year it was at the Mayfair Hotel, this year it moved to the rather more interesting Vinopolis.  The new venue though did not work as well for the lectures. Paul A Young‘s talks  for example were averaging about 90 attendees instead of the expected 30.  Fortunately he warned us about the over attendance and we got in early enough to get front row seats. His talk was suitably entertaining,  I was especially amused by the story that his mother still buys him Quality Street for Christmas.

The Chocolate Art work was fun, especially the gorilla. Thorntons Eiffel Tower was hideous though.

There were lots of new stands this year.  Matcha Chocolat with their tea and chocolate combinations were especially interesting.  All the chocolates and the brownie we had from Paul A Young were really good, I even found his new Marmite chocolate unoffensive. I loved William Curley’s Cinnamon Milk Chocolate.

There were some novelties too.  Like Chocri, who let you play chocolatier, choosing toppings and having your name on the bar and the Lebanese company Patchi, who seemed to focus on very ornate packaging for special occasions like weddings, baby showers and embassy do’s – kinda OTT Ferrier Roche!.  Thorntons were there too this year, showing yet again just how big a gap there is between the mass market chocolatiers and the artisan chocolatiers.

This event is definately in the diary again for next year.

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Vinopolis – nothing to wine about!

There are several restaurants and bars in the Vinopolis complex. I have been to most of them, on more than one occasion. The Cantina Vinopolis in particular delivered much better food than I was expecting, and off course being where it is, it’s hard to beat the wine list. If you do the wine tour first you can normally find some of the wines from that on the wine list.

It’s a large room, so works well for groups.

The Blue Bar, situated next to Vinopolis is a relaxing venue. It has a good cocktail list and does a mean white wine Kir.

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The Wine Wharf is a fairly conventional wine bar with an excellent wine list and good bar service.

The Brew Wharf is a livelier venue that is good for groups.

The complex also has the only Majestic Wine Shop I am aware off in London that lets you buy individual bottles rather than cases.

UPDATE : March 2010 – Vinopolis is not such a serious wine venue these days, seems to attract a lot of hen and stag parties. Majestic has also been replaced by Laithwaites.

Marks out of 10

Food 5.7

Service 5

Ambience 4

Cantina Vinopolis on Urbanspoon

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