Dr Green pens front-page feature for the Telegraph

January 10, 2014
by matthewgreen

Dr Matthew Green’s feature on the anarchic and aristocratic chocolate houses of Georgian London has made the front page of the Telegraph website…just for one day.

The high-octane and witty piece, festooned with antique prints, paintings and maps, tells the story of how a “thick, luxuriant, and exotically spiced glop called chocolate” came to corrupt the most fashionable residential quarter in Europe, that El Dorado beyond Westminster, St James’s, spawning “hotbeds of decadence, depravity and destruction” called chocolate houses.

Hear tawdry tales of seditious plotting at the Cocoa Tree in Pall Mall, ruinous high-stakes gambling at White’s on St James’s Street – lamented by Jonathan Swift as “the most fashionable hell in London” – and the sex-enhancing qualities of the “West India drink” beloved of Samuel Pepys.

And hear about the wondrously extravagant  brew of Europe’s premier chocaholic tyrant, one Cosimo de’ Medici, who visited St James’s Square in the 1660s, and which contained an exotic concoction of spices from the West and East Indies. Lament the milky, powdery froth that generally passes for hot chocolate today in the face of this “divine nectar…sweat of stars…drink of the Gods”.

The Chocolate House Tour is proving popular and will run throughout 2014 and beyond. To read more and book your tickets, click here. All tours feature free samples of luxury Baroque hot chocolate courtesy of Cocoa Hernando.

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