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Tested: Rumsey’s chocolate workshops

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I’ve known about Rumsey’s chocolate-making workshops for ages, but like a lot of things on my own doorstep (like a gallery 2 miles away and a wine bar 6 miles away – yes, yes, I’m working on it!) they’re always the last things to be tried.

IMG_3593 IMG_3594
This half term, I finally got around to taking my two oldest kids (11 & 6) to Rumsey’s Chocolaterie in Thame for a Halloween-inspired chocfest. It was something to do for an hour or so, frankly, and I totally wasn’t expecting the reaction – they both absolutely raved about it.

For £25 a pop it’s unquestionably on the expensive side but for that money they get to play with chocolate for an hour, create some very creditable sweets, wear a silly hat like a proper chocolatier, get some orange chocolate buttons to go away with, and have a drink while they wait for their creations to set in the freezer.

Ones the chocolatier made earlier

Ones the chocolatier made earlier ready for you know what…

While your children are smearing chocolate behind their ears and up their noses, you can relax with a paper and coffee, which is rather lovely. You can also see into the workshop, as there’s clear glass between the cafe and the chocolate-making area. And since Thame is such a fab little town, there’s plenty to do before or after to amuse you and yours.

I don’t often allow guest posts, because frankly I’m in charge!!! (sorry, a bit of control freakery there), but I told my kids to write what they thought about the event as really they’re the only ones who can give the first-hand account. So here they are, painfully unedited!

Finn, 11:

The workshop was really fun and the man who ran it was a really nice bloke with a calm demeanour of showing stuff to you. The best thing though, of course, is the chocolate!!! You don’t actually make the mixture but you decide which colour chocolate goes where and you put the chocolate in the moulds too. For the Halloween course we could choose to make either four pumpkins or four spooky heads. This is the thing where you squeeze the different types of chocolate in and you put sticks in and they become choco-lollies! Afterwards you use milk chocolate to make 20 different shaped Halloween related things. You pour all the chocolate into the moulds and WAMBAM, chuck em in the freezer. You also get free orange chocolate buttons. It was totes epic!

Iris, 6:

I thought the Rumsey chocolate place was amazing. I loved the lollies. The bloke was really nice [obviously copying from her brother at this point!]. I liked the chocolate heads. The spooky characters were a witch, pumpkin, ghost and that’s it. After you always get a lovely dessert. [I think she means the hot chocolate]. 

skeleton lollies at rumseys

The courses are generally for 7+ (though well behaved 6 year olds are fine). The space is small – I can’t imagine any more than 6 kids fitting comfortably –  so think twice if your little darling is one of those kids who gets a bit, er, exhuberant, with the inevitable sugar rush.

Rumsey’s run lots of courses through the year, and also do parties. Happy, occupied kids, no mess to tidy up afterwards, only a handful of children to look after, and chocolate everywhere. Yup, it’s a no brainer. That’s my daughter’s next birthday sorted!

Rumsey’s, 8 Upper High St, Thame, OX9 3ER. Tel: 01844 260303.



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