Picture Marseilles 1772, a ball hosted by the Marquis de Sade. A renowned lover of chocolate as well
as sex. de Sade served his guests chocolate pastille laced with Spanish Fly - a famous poisonous aphrodisiac made from little green bettles - lovely !
It is said that even the most respectable women were unable to resist the uterine rage that stirred within them, De Sade was no doubt delighted that his choice of chocolate, rich and strong would easily have masked the unusual flavourings.
It was via France, the epitome of chic, that Chocolate came to England. A Parisian shopkeeper opened the first chocolate shop in London 1657. Chocolate houses soon sprang up across the capital and other major towns and cities, competing with the Coffee Houses as meeting places for the male socialites of the 17thc and 18thc.
There needs to be balance with simple interiors, a balance not too utilitarian, but informal and above all calm. Variation of textures, wall coverings, flooring, upholstery and soft furnishings all play an important part when creating this modern interior theme. Interiors with a country rustic simplicity do not need a country home to enjoy. Painted wooden furniture, chairs with rush seats. Soft...
There are about 300 species of Dendrobium, all natives of the tropics. Many have large handsome flowers. With few exception they require tropical treatment, when the correct temperature applied can be easy to grow. One of the easiest is D. Phalaenopsis a native of New Guinea, proves its self exceptional in the size and beauty of its flowers, ranging in colour from white to deep red-purple with...
Britain has embraced cafe culture with huge enthusiasm. Cafes and coffee shops abound in even the smallest town or Village.
The first coffee house (above) was opened in Oxford in 1652. Still on the same site a cafe bar called the Grand Cafe. Slightly later - Queens Lane Coffee House has been serving coffee in Oxford for 360 years - established in 1654.