From the desk of Penelope Alice, Britain’s most fabulous PA – PA Life Club

From the desk of Penelope Alice, Britain’s most fabulous PA

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What’s in a name, my dear readers? Try this one on for size: Theobroma Cacao – sounds mysterious and enchanting, doesn’t it – guess what, it’s actually the proper name of the cocoa tree, derived from the Greek for “the food of the Gods”; they clearly had good taste in ancient Athens.

I was reminded of this last week when the London Eye played host to a chocolate-tasting evening in association with Hotel Chocolat in what has to be the most delicious pairing since Brangelina.

The Eye is such an iconic landmark and in the evening the twinkling lights of London make for a spectacular sight-seeing opportunity even, if like me, you’ve lived in London since the days of the Routemaster. The wheel’s height of 135 metres gives you an amazing panoramic view of the capital’s most famous monuments – from Buckingham Palace in the west to the Shard in the east and the Houses of Parliament to the south.

Our experience was enhanced by an engrossing presentation from the lovely people at Hotel Chocolat, (discover more about their products at who told us all about the origin of chocolate, the method for producing it and the various types available – accompanied by copious samples of this sweet treat, I’m delighted to report.

Apparently, chocolate contains a higher percentage of a substance called theobromine than anything else in nature; this is similar to caffeine, but has a milder stimulant effect. Initial research has shown that it may be helpful for suppressing coughs and it has long been used to treat blood pressure. Chocolate is also high in antioxidants, which are good for the heart and assist in preventing the onset of cancer.

All very nifty information to have to hand the next time one of your colleagues makes a catty remark as you reach for the Dairy Milk, I’m sure you’ll agree.