Tuesday, March 13, 2007

My kinda research

Word count: 52,905

Yesterday I went to research chocolate shops. Oh yes. The halfway point of a novel is always a tough time, so in need of pepping up, I went with my friend J to investigate the sweet stuff. I discovered that:

  • The Prestat shop is like a little girls’ dressing up box, all gold and pink and pretty, down the prettiest arcade. But the flavours I wanted – oh, I so wanted to try a banoffee truffle – were all in pre-packed boxes so I wasn’t so keen.
  • Fortnum and Mason’s chocolate department is bigger, but the chocs looked a bit more regular, and I like my chocs to look slightly homespun. But J and I were very taken with the hand-decorated Easter Eggs, serious works of art they were, and with the glace fruit including whole oranges which looked like beef tomatoes. But in a good way.
  • Fortnum’s Fountain Restaurant is AWFUL. Sorry, but it’s true. They are doing refurbishment work, which may explain things, but there’s no excuse for damp stains on the ceiling, coffee served in battered metal pots that a greasy spoon would be ashamed of, and waitresses who look as if they’d rather be ANYWHERE but there, inspecting their nails, texting people. Shame, as the sacher torte was delish. But it seems awful that visitors might be going there and thinking, is this the best London has to offer? By contrast the food hall downstairs is a thing of beauty. Maybe it’ll be better when it’s made over.
  • La Maison du Chocolat on Piccadilly is like Tiffany’s for chocolate. Takes itself VERY seriously but what’s wrong with that? I think this one is the most likely to feature in the book.

Actually, I am not sure I have researched it thoroughly enough yet. Perhaps I need to go on the Chocolate Ecstasy Tour, just to make sure. I mean, OK, the scene is only a couple of pages long but I owe it to my readers to get it spot on, wouldn't you agree? Anyone fancy coming along?

And, as if by magic, my word count is going up again.


Blogger Jane Henry said...

Kate, sounds sublime. ANd you've made me feel so much better about my research on the hoof approach... I keep writing and then thinking, bugger I don't know anything about that, better do some research.

love Janex

7:01 pm  
Blogger Lucy Diamond said...

You definitely owe it to your readers. We need you to tell us about the Chocolate Ecstasy Tour!

Funnily enough, I'm planning a scene in Venice for my new novel...

8:05 pm  
Blogger Helen said...

My husband bought me a 1 day chocolate course from Leiths a while back. They teach you about chocolate (including tasting!) then you make your own. It was fab! And, of course, great research...

10:34 am  
Blogger Jay said...

Oooh, I think I might conduct my own research, needed or not.

12:29 pm  
Blogger hesitant scribe said...

What a shame Fortnam and Masons cafe has gone down hill!

In the interests of research (of course) you want to check out Green & Black's chocolate range including their hot chocolate! xx

5:01 pm  
Blogger sheepish said...

Count me in for the Chocolate Ecstasy Tour. And what a brilliant idea, choose your plot to coincide with your fantasies, then do the research.
WOW!!! I'm off to change the plot or perhaps I've just lost the plot.
Now where do I fancy going?

1:04 pm  
Anonymous Judith Auld said...

Hi Kate

Well done on reaching your target! Great news!

And really motivating for newbie writers!

I was wondering if you could add me to your list as a new novel racer please?

I've just started my own (fiction) blog. 'Poles Apart' is a fictional diary that follows the glamorous adventures of Mazie Millington (would-be sex kitten) as she turns to pole dancing in a bid to rekindle the sizzle in her tired relationship.


The blog is a free taster of my work in progress chick-lit novel.

BTW - Any comments you have if you get a chance to read it would be really appreciated!

Thanks Kate,


Judith Auld

9:24 pm  

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