The brains behind INNSiDE, the hotel complex on First Street, certainly know how to treat their guests. Not only is it a beautiful space, the team are hard at work coming up with new ways to wow visitors. The latest concept is pretty special: an in-house chocolatier. We head along for a sneak preview of what this involves.
To be precise, it’s a collaboration with Manchester-based Chocolatier, Oli The Choc, who hosts a pop-up chocolate-making workshop during our visit. It’s hard to imagine anyone more suited for the job. Oli isn’t just a great host – charming, funny and keen to keep everyone involved and smiling – he also lives and breathes all things chocolate.
And not just any old chocolate, this is some of the finest, silky-smooth cocoa-bean-derived produce you’ll find anywhere in the North. His main type of chocolate is known as ‘The Holy Grail’ and well, he’s right – it’s that good. Oli is widely known for his innovative and stylish chocolate creations, such as a gold-leaf coated chocolate cassette tape, and my particular favourite, white chocolate fries (with just the right amount of salt).
You’ll find both of these in the Curiouser & Curiouser chocolate hamper, which guests can add to their room when booking their stay at INNSiDE Manchester. This costs just £16 – a bargain considering the high quality and sheer amount of goodies packed into each stylish box. As well as the fries and cassette tape, you’ll get a bunch more quirky chocolate products, designed by Oli The Choc, such as his famous Holy Grail bar, a mini chocolate Gameboy replica and other special surprises, featuring chocolates with unusual flavours.
It doesn’t end there – INNSiDE is doubling down on the whole Wonka-style experience by including an instant summer classic cocktail at INNSiDE Manchester’s in-house restaurant, First Street Bar & Kitchen, called the Chocolate INN Disguise cocktail. This is a delicious creamy mix of summer fruits and an indulgent chocolate vodka infusion, with a long chocolate finish.
INNSiDE have a knack of taking the classic hotel experience and whipping it up into something modern, exciting and ultra-memorable. This collaboration with Oli The Choc is a great example of Manchester’s hotel-scene at its most inspired best.