London's real Willy Wonkas

Step into a world where anything is edible with London's most creative confectioners (then try their tricks for yourself!)

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They’ve made houses out of chocolate, oceans out of jelly and ice cream that tastes like Christmas. As a big new musical version of Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ opens in London, we went in search of London’s real-life Willy Wonkas – and their amazing creations.

Paul Wayne Gregory

© Ed Marshall


Paul Wayne Gregory once made Michael Jackson’s head entirely out of chocolate. If that’s not the best sentence you’ve seen this year, this reading thing might not be for you. The award-winning sculptor talks to Flo Wales Bonner about his love for ‘the food of the gods’.

Where do you get your inspiration?
‘I look at things not made of chocolate and think: How can I make that out of chocolate?’

What’s that in the corner?
‘It’s a chocolate cement mixer.’

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve made out of the brown stuff?
‘A 6'5" man, standing behind a chocolate table. Nearly everything on the table was chocolate, too – a chocolate bowl, chocolate cutlery. He took a week to make, and then we realised we’d forgotten to give him hands. Next I want to do a molten chocolate lake, with chocolate boats on it that melt before they reach the other side.’

Have you ever made yourself out of chocolate?
‘It will happen.’

Any chocolatey disaster stories?
‘A sculpture I made for a car company event kept falling apart – I had to stand next to it all night sticking bits of it back on. And some experiments just don’t work. I was once asked to make red-onion-and-tomato chocolate for a Spanish wedding. Believe it or not, the flavours worked individually. But together? Bloody horrible.’

Why is chocolate so intriguing to the human species?
‘It’s the food of the gods. Its effect on us can’t be explained.’

Find Paul Wayne Gregory’s creations at Harvey Nichols, 109-125 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RJ, www.harveynichols.com; Alexeeva & Jones, 297 Westbourne Grove, W11 2QA, www.alexeevajones.com; www.formanandfield.com and www.paulwaynegregory.com. They’ll soon be available at Selfridges and Harrods, too.

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Users say

2 comments
Jonny and Amy
Jonny and Amy

Easily the the funnest, most delicious, exciting and every updating, tasty ice cream place in London. It always tastes amazing, everyone is very helpful, extremely pleasant and the atmosphere is perfect - chilled out and fun. We've lost count of the number of times we've hurried from the tube station/bus stops to get there before closing.

Lisa
Lisa

I am from Manchester and whenever I visit London, I make sure to fit in a trip to Camden for a scoop (or two) of Chin Chin ice cream. It's incredible to watch the process...and the ice cream itself? The best you will ever taste. 5 stars aren't enough for this hidden gem, highly recommended.

More about 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'

Watch interviews with the cast and production team and get your hands on those golden tickets with our 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' information page. Read more about the production

  1. Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  2. Until Sat Nov 30

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