Call us cynical old frogs, but it does seem that these days it’s not possible for any high-profile movie or musical to launch without a bevy of drinking and dining events popping up to tie in with it. For the musical version of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, which opened on June 4, there’ll be at least two themed afternoon teas you can enjoy beforehand.
The first is at One Aldwych, the ‘official hotel’ of the new musical (musicals now have official partners, like the Olympics, don’t you know). ‘Scrumdiddlyumptious Tea’ includes sweet treats such as lemon sherbet candy floss or a blueberry brioche teamed with a smoking ‘Cocktail Charlie’ (the ‘smoke’ is dry ice), and runs from June 4 costing £26.50 per person.
The second, priced at £42.50 a head, is up on the Oxo Tower, because – tenuous link alert – there’s an elevator, albeit not a Great Glass Elevator, up to the top. This time the emphasis is more on ‘wacky’ drinks, such as the ‘Neapolitan hot shot’ (layers of hot chocolate, vanilla syrup, white chocolate and strawberry foam) or the ‘Snozberry slurp’, a mysterious sweet mocktail finished with a swirl of marshmallow and a huge candy floss garnish. There’s even a box of ‘children’ truffles (containing the likes of a Violet Beauregarde blueberry macaroon), to take to the theatre with you. Now, if they could just turn the Thames into a river of chocolate, THAT would be the kind of ‘inspiration’ we could get behind. Tania Ballantine