Oh, the delights of the chocolately, hazelnutty goodness that is the Ferrero Rocher. We got to indulge in a sweet (quite literally) experience to showcase the making of the world-renowned confectionary in Westfield, London. Yes, that’s right, we went all the way to London for chocolate! But let’s be honest, this is no ordinary chocolate.
Our day began with entry to the “pop-up” location in Westfield Shopping Centre where we were blinded by the classic gold wrapping wherever we looked; there were rows and rows of the chocolates, regular size as well as some giant. The interior was fittingly stylish with dark furnishings to contrast with the sparkling gold along with a bar that served Ferrero-inspired drinks, including cocktails. Beyond this was a large pyramid of the chocolates – now that’s my kind of pyramid!
We then made our way upstairs to the seating area to eagerly wait for our timeslot and were greeted by complimentary prosecco and chocolates (of course!). After patiently waiting (it’s easy when there’s free food!) it was our turn to enter through the mysterious door and find out what awaited us. We were escorted into a small, circular room centred around a bar-type setup; but of course, we were not here for drink. The experience was appropriately entitled “Behind the Layers”, making the clever link between the revelation of the manufacturing process and composition of the chocolate itself; we were about to be taken on a journey of the senses.
Now I’ll try to recall the details of each layer we were taken through but I was so distracted by the amazing aroma of the sweet hazelnuts and chocolate that my mind was elsewhere half the time (i.e. heaven).
They started off by going through the process of the hazelnut picking and processing, before introducing fondue set. This consisted of a vessel of warm melted praline (basically chocolate that tastes of hazelnuts for those of you that don’t know) along with whole hazelnuts on skewers and a biscuit crumb; the idea being that you coat the hazelnuts in the praline and coat it with the crumb for one delicious sweet. Next came the wafer and praline layers that were showcased through a closed tin of unknown contents that was presented in front of each person. Following prompt, it was revealed as a praline base topped with a crunchy cornflake, wafer and hazelnut garnish…and a spoon to devour it! The experience then took a slightly cold turn for the crushed hazelnut layer with the emergence of chocolate (as you probably guessed) ice cream cones simply topped with crushed hazelnuts; simple yet satisfying. The final layer – the gold wrapping – was more of a display for the eyes, it was almost conducted like a magic trick. We were shown a single chocolate that was placed in a bowl of what appeared to be cocoa powder. But as the chocolate was swirled around in the bowl it was clear to see that this was no ordinary cocoa powder because the chocolate turned gold!
All in all, this was a very tasty and magical experience that was well worth the long trip, especially considering it was a pop-up experience that may not be seen again. So I guess the message to take away from this is to make the most of any experiences that get offered to you as they may not come around again and you may regret it if you don’t take it, I know I would’ve done if I didn’t go to this!