Historic Decadence The Chocolate Houses Of Georgian London
The idea of consuming chocolate nowadays normally inspires photos of a milky-sweet steamy chocolate drink, possibly enjoyed in a single’s pyjamas earlier than bed on a winter night time. One generally doesn’t consider absolutely-grown guys of distinction playing their fortunes away or plotting treason below the have an impact on of an extraordinary, highly spiced, beverage! But this latter picture is precisely the only to keep in mind whilst thinking about the records of chocolate in Britain’s capital. London chocolate, it turns out, has a (actually) darkish beyond, that’s nothing if no longer bittersweet.
Cacao Arrives in London
In 1585, the primary shipment of cacao beans arrived in Europe from the New World. By the early 1600s, consuming chocolate become in vogue throughout Europe. In palaces, mansions, and grand estates, the stylish elite have been sipping on the radical beverage. The consuming chocolate of this era was a much cry from the frothy, candy mixture of contemporary instances. The chocolate served up in Georgian London might had been a dark brew infused with citrus, jasmine, vanilla, cinnamon, or Indian chilli peppers – with not a marshmallow or dollop of whipped cream in sight!
The Chocolate House
Just as the advent of coffee to English society brought about the proliferation of coffeehouses throughout London, so too did chocolate inspire a similar explosion of chocolate homes inside the city. However, chocolate become a long way extra high priced than coffee, and consequently the chocolate homes, the maximum famous of which have been placed in specific St. James’s Square, were frequented through a more unique society of elite gentlemen. Described as ‘the drink of the gods’, consuming chocolate turned into a mark of gentility and high elegance.
These chocolate homes, at the same time as they hosted the elite, had been infamous for the rowdy behaviour that went on internal. In White’s Chocolate House on St. James’s Street, men of fortune gamed and gambled, betting on the entirety from stock prices to consequences of battles. White’s earned a reputation for reckless behaviour, reinforced by way of William Hogarth’s famous collection of artwork, ‘A Rake’s Progress’, which shows a ruined guy losing his fortune at the gaming tables of White’s.
Two different chocolate houses, Ozinda’s and the Cocoa Tree, are famous for having been amassing locations for Jacobites plotting the overthrow of the monarchy. In 1932, workmen drilling into St. James’s Street exposed a secret underground tunnel among the Cocoa Tree and a Piccadilly tavern that could have allowed Jacobites to escape to protection at some point of the 18th century.
The Chocolate Houses Today
These notorious institutions of the seventeenth and 18th centuries unluckily now not exist of their unique form nowadays. White’s is now the oldest gentleman’s club in London, even though it no longer serves up the chocolaty brew from centuries past. Guided tours of the historic chocolate homes are to be had, led by London historian Dr Matthew Green.
Though present day drinking chocolate may seem pretty harmless, the history of London’s chocolate homes indicates a mischievous facet to this delicious beverage. Through centuries of records, chocolate has changed and advanced nearly beyond popularity, but there is no doubt it has constantly been enjoyed!
Angelina Moufftard works for HF Chocolates, suppliers of high satisfactory chocolate elements, consuming chocolate, and confectionery to the retail trade and others who desire to purchase wholesale portions. Renowned seeing that 1957, we’ve sourced the first-rate providers from France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, the us and UK. Our fantastic tasting and superbly packaged merchandise additionally constitute excellent value for money.