Roald Dahl stories will never go out of fashion with families. London is lucky to have the award-winning ‘Matilda the Musical’ at the Cambridge Theatre and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory The Musical’ is opening at London’s Theatre Royal in June 2013. But you don’t need to come to the capital to enjoy Roald Dahl; do some car rental comparison and head out to discover the Roald Dahl connections around the country.
This is the Buckinghamshire village where Roald Dahl lived. The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre is well worth seeing here. It has galleries devoted to his life story and a wall that looks like, and even smells like, chocolate. There are lots of craft activities on offer every day and you can even sit in a reproduction of his writing hut and try out his makeshift desk which he used on his lap. There’s also a trail to follow around the village to see sights that were important to him and to also visit his grave. It’s an endearing place and not sad at all as children love to follow the BFG’s footsteps to find the grave and many leave notes and trinkets. It really is a delightful village and Sophie Dahl (Road Dahl’s grand-daughter) and her husband jazz musician Jamie Cullum have bought a home in the village.
Back at the museum there’s also ‘Cafe Twit’ which has an amazing ‘Whizzpopper’ drink consisting of frothy hot chocolate with raspberry coulis topped with crushed Maltesers, Smarties and marshmallows.
Roald Dahl’s parents were from Norway but he was born in Fairwater Road in Llandaff, Cardiff. He was baptised at the Norwegian Church and worshipped there with his family when he was a young boy. When the derelict little white church needed help in 1987, Roald Dahl became the first president of the Norwegian Church Preservation Trust although he sadly died before the building work was completed. But he is honoured there every September as the author’s birthday is celebrated with a party held for local children.
It’s not Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory but at Cadbury’s World in Birmingham you can play in chocolate rain and invent your own chocolate bar. Pre-book to visit on a Thursday and you can use the 2-for-1 ticket offer.
York Chocolate Story
If it is all about the chocolate for you then this new attraction is York unveils the history of chocolate in the city spanning more than 300 years. The businesses which began in this great city have shaped the way the British have enjoyed chocolate and sweets ever since. There are plenty of tasting opportunities and an all-day chocolate breakfast in the cafe.
London has some amazing chocolate shops including the truffle specialist, Charbonnel et Walker and the incredible Paul A Young who has a store in Islington, the City of London and Soho. Choccywoccydoohdah, located just off Carnaby Street, is a decadent cafe with fantastic creations as it is a cake shop and chocolatiers. It’s on two floors with crazy kitsch decor and enormous ice-cream sundaes.
Sally Johnson is on a mission to spark a love of travel within all of her family and regularly takes her two children to see new sights both in the UK and further afield.