Last night Milly and I went with hungry bellies to the press launch night of an immersive chocolate banquet run by Godiva in association with Gingerline, to celebrate the launch of Godiva’s new Masterpieces collection which is launching across the UK. Tickets to this delicious event which officially starts next week are being given away for free on the Godiva facebook page (the ballot closes at midnight tonight!), with an additional competition added yesterday due to the popular demand!
This sensory chocolate banquet was hosted in Bermondsey, with three indulgent courses informed by the shapes, tastes, and the stories behind the new Godiva masterpieces collection; the Heart, The Shell and The Lion. The evening is designed to encourage guests to rethink what they may think they know about both chocolate and Godiva. It is a visual and gastronomic feast and one that Milly and I fully embraced!
On arrival, we were greeted by a handsome chap with an artists pallet on his head. Amazing costumes and wacky storylines is something I have come to expect with Gingerline events like this one. We walked into the building; the first room an artist’s studio with living paintings and a large butterfly cloud. Before heading through to the banquet room, we were served a glass of champagne which we got to add colourful “paint” to, and had a rather delicious sherbet rim.
Into the banquet hall and we were sat at one of four long tables with pretty table decorations and colourful lighting. We sipped our champagne and waited for the first course to arrive.
Suddenly the lights changed and music began, as the serving cast for the evening began a performance based around artistic, ethereal movements representing the beat of a heart. They swept around the room gracefully, installing a series of chandeliers which rose above the tables just before the food arrived at our table.
The starter was a Duck Liver Parfait with cocoa, sour cherry, truffle aioli and beetroot chutney served with brioche toast. This was paired with a gorgeous, light Spanish Roija. This course represented The Heart of the masterpieces collection, which is filled with a ganache and is beautifully rich and elegant. It’s an unusual combination but the sweet, bitterness of the chocolate really worked with the richness of the parfait.
The second course was to represent the Shell, a milk chocolate hazelnut filled creation, and the look and theme of the room were transformed to appear like an under-the-sea world. The performers returned, this time with jellyfish that hung from the ceiling in place of the previous chandelier.
The food came in two parts – the first a coral platter with oyster shells containing an oyster emulsion, smoked eel, sea bass tartar, oyster leaves and tamarind gel. It was a small dish but the flavours were bold and beautiful. The second part was a celebration of scallops with hazelnuts and lemon verbena – the scallops seared to perfection and a sweetness of the hazelnut. Accompanying this was a beautifully light white wine from Southern Rhône.
The third course was to represent the Lion, the caramel filled milk chocolate lion of Belgium. The room transformed once again, with the walls representing an almost medieval banqueting hall. The final performance began and we were presented with dessert; a chocolate sphere with white miso mousse, brownie morsels, meringue shards, salted caramel sauce and orange powder. Based upon the milk chocolate caramel lion chocolate from the masterpieces collection, we were encouraged to melt the sphere with the accompanying hot caramel sauce.
This decadent dessert was accompanied by a beautifully sweet dessert wine from Australia. The whole dish was extremely rich and sweet, but I couldn’t bear to leave a single mouthful behind and scraped the plate clean.
And then came the final course. More chocolate and this time the real MVP of the evening, the chocolates that the whole night had been about. The trio of Godiva Masterpieces chocolate with Mr Black Cold Press Coffee liqueur. By this point, many of the guests had departed so Milly and I were able to scoop up many of the chocolates to take away with us (I’m munching on one now as I write this) as we were feeling a bit too sick after that amount of chocolate!
Milly and I appreciated the short walk back to London Bridge station as it gave our bellies a chance to settle and work off the sugar. It had been a glorious evening experiencing the smells, textures, movement and sounds of this decadent chocolate launch and the wonderment of Gingerline was, as ever, an absolute delight.
Head over to my Instagram quickly to watch my story from last night, and make sure to head over to the Godiva facebook page to put yourself on the ballot to attend this exciting and delicious event yourself next week. Remember, the ballot closes at midnight tonight (22nd September!) so you better be quick!