For Lent this year I gave up alcohol, processed sugar, dairy and anything with a smidge of gluten. It was a big ask, but my body was crying out for a change. I felt bloated and tired all the time. Something had to give. Thankfully, it worked. I dropped 3 kilos without lacing a sneaker and slept better than I had in years. And, for the most part it was easy-peasy. Except however, when it came to chocolate.
After the 40 days were up, it wasn’t a flute of bubbles that I craved. Bread nor pasta turned my head. My quarry was a 500g block of Green & Blacks. I inhaled the lot (the minty dark version, in case you’re wondering) before the sun crept over the horizon on Easter Sunday morning.
It’s months later and, while I’m still eschewing dairy (how much better does a flat white taste with soya milk?) and anything wheat laden, every now and then I get a head steam for cocoa and I go on a binge of epic gorilla-banging-drums-to-Phil-Collins-tunes proportions.
I had a friend visit from Geneva last week. She arrived on Sunday morning, obligatory choccie box in hand. I had split the seal before I bothered to give her a kiss hello (even though I hadn’t seen her in over a year). By the time she left the following morning a scattering of foil wrappers, a pretty tin and the white shirt I was wearing sprayed with Vanish awaiting a thorough wash (what is is with choccie shards melting into fabric at the drop of a hat?) was all that was left. I hope she’s forgiven me.
If that’s not all, I was also invited to the Godiva Café launch at Harrods a few days later. Forget the ‘celebrity’ attendees (though Mischa Barton was fighting it out with Nicky Haslam for the most plungiest neckline award…), I’d stepped into a space that would’ve set the Jolly Green Giant onto Willy Wonka. Pyramids of pralines! Strawberries and crystallised orange rinds doused in Belgian chocolate! Trays laden with truffles! Cakes! Cocktails! Champers! I tried and tested. Sampled and swallowed. I was a heathen in heaven. (I must stop before my alliteration gets any worse).
That was last week, and I’ve happily not spent one day ‘sober’ since – mostly because they sent me home with this…
I’ve well and truly caved. Can you blame me?
More info on the Godiva Café here.
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Images © Kate McAuley