Peckish? Craving sugar? Longing for a chunk of chocolate? Here, snap off a piece of my Beyond The Abyss. Too strong for you? Try some Bittersweet Romance.
London chocolate lovers have known for decades that a quick fix of their favourite substance is available in the heart of Piccadilly. Pop into Fortnum & Mason, turn right on the ground floor and a discreet bar of what you fancy can be yours.
Recently, though, things have taken a turn for the peculiar at the chocolate counter of London’s grocer to the posh and wealthy. The bars in the venerable store’s “Chocolate Library” have been renamed in the most startling manner.
Out have gone the elegantly presented classical wrappings of bars that simply declared, in curlicued Olde Worlde script, “70% dark chocolate” or “Hazelnut Praline”.
Instead, Fortnum’s now offers Goodnight, My Bittersweet Beloved (a sugar-free dark chocolate), The Forest That Floated (a milk chocolate with salted almonds) and the utterly weird Pilots Fly in Pink Skies (a strange confection of white chocolate, strawberry and black pepper). They seem to have come over all Farrow & Ball.
What is going on? Has Mr Fortnum been at the traditional aged fino sherry? Has Mr Mason found some magic mushrooms in the vegetable hall?