It’s such hard work, drawing to the smell of liquid chocolate and constantly being offered hot chocolate, sweet things ‘to see what I think of them’ and nice strong coffee. But you know what they say, somebody’s got to do it.
Christmas at Cocoa Amore is of course a stupidly busy time, and as this was Pete’s first one in the new building, its big Victorian windows needed something extravagant to announce the arrival of the biggest sales season of the year, so were created a little bit at a time in an anticipatory fashion. Hallowe’en was well and truly over, and the windows clean again ready for the next season.
Cocoa Amore is a chocolate boutique for grown-ups, I fancied no Santas nor presents but a winter forest, where the chocolate things dangle tantalisingly from frozen branches in a deafeningly-quiet clearing; all you would be able to hear, were you actually there, is the crunching of fresh snow underfoot and the occasional creak of branch as someone reaches for a chocolate bauble. The stars (if we could look up) would be clear and plentiful. And perhaps there were some things hiding inside the trees that may or may not look out occasionally to serve you chocolate!
Just as Leicester was setting up its Christmas ferris wheel and accompanying city celebrations, I began working on the two trees. With a previous piece of work in mind - Snowtrees, from a story written by Ed Garland - the Cocoa Amore committee - Pete, Alun, Leigh and Me) decided that it should start snowing first, so that the design developed over the weeks from the top:
followed by the toppermost branches of the trees:
and went back a few days later to work downwards…
On successive visits the trees were hung with be-ribboned chocolate ornaments, some painted with gold:
and other baubles were painted on:
Late night working of course requires sustenance, this being the richest source of carbs and fat to be foraged in the immediate environment:
And after three weeks of as many night shifts as I could fit in, the window is complete!
And this is Podrick, named by the owner and hanging proudly in the centre of the window above the logo in his Christmas ribbon:
Pete went on to add three strings of fairy lights (that’s Pete on the right in the grey jumper) which really brought the final twinkling magic, and lit up the forest floor!
I will be back there soon to begin the Valentine process.