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Chocolate & wine pairing afternoon with Hotel Chocolat · Saturday 17/2/18 · Chester


Christmas 2017  If you’re purchasing a wine tasting as a Christmas gift, all tickets are available as a printed gift ticket.  Please request a gift ticket during the online checkout process and ensure the recipient’s details are completed accurately when prompted to do so. Please ensure the recipient will be available on your chosen date as your ticket may not be transferrable (refer to our booking terms and conditions) or consider purchasing a gift voucher as an alternative.  All gift tickets and vouchers must be purchased by 12.00 noon on Thursday 21st. December 2017 for Christmas delivery by Royal Mail. E-tickets and e-vouchers are available after this date.


Chocolate and wine? What a perfect match! We’re thrilled to present a whole afternoon of chocolate and wine matching with gourmet dining featuring the Hotel Chocolat Rare and Vintage Collection, made with some of the most sought-after cocoa in the world soured from six incredible countries.


Join us at Restaurant 1539 overlooking Chester’s historic racecourse: this entertaining event features a two course gourmet lunch which includes chocolate ingredients, prepared by Executive Chef Daniel Speak along with our matched red wines personally selected and presented by Richard Smith of The Wine School of Cheshire which will be matched with the Hotel Chocolat Rare & Vintage collection from Hotel Chocolat Chester. Our signature Saturday wine school first and cheese courses have been replaced with chocolate for a truly indulgent afternoon out!


Click on the links below to find out more.


What's included

You’ll enjoy a fabulous wine and food pairing experience in The Private Dining Room at Restaurant 1539 overlooking Chester Racecourse, presented by Richard Smith, founder of The Wine School of Cheshire and wine writer for The Taster Magazine.


We’ll welcome you with a glass of The Gusbourne Estate Brut Reserve Vintage English Sparkling Wine:


The original Gusbourne Estate in Appledore, Kent dates back to 1410. In 2004, Andrew Weeber took over the estate with a clear vision and a single goal: to create English sparkling wines that would stand up alongside the very finest offerings from across the globe.


The first vines were planted that year. In 2010 the debut vintages of Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2006 and Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2006 were released to critical acclaim. Gusbourne quickly earned a reputation as a producer of outstanding quality wines, with accolades from some of the industry’s most exacting critics.


Winemaker Charlie Holland honed his skills in Australia, Germany, New Zealand and the USA before taking the helm at Gusbourne. With numerous international awards to his name, Charlie has produced some of the most celebrated sparkling wines in the UK and beyond.


Their best-selling wine, Gusbourne Brut Reserve, is a combination of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier which spends a minimum of twenty eight months on lees and three months on cork before release.


Before lunch find out how milk and white chocolate can work with white wines, with each of our wines paired with milk and white chocolates from the Hotel Chocolat collection.


There’s a two course gourmet lunch prepared by Executive Chef Daniel Speak featuring chocolate ingredients with premium red wines to match each dish. Our signature Saturday wine school first and cheese courses have been replaced with chocolate for a truly indulgent afternoon out! After lunch there’s four different red wines to enjoy with the Hotel Chocolat Rare and Vintage collection, made with some of the most sought-after cocoa in the world:


“We are immensely proud to bring these fantastic new couvertures into the heart of Hotel Chocolat. Our blueprint for sustainable cocoa growing teamed with cutting-edge British design and chocolate know-how has enabled us to submerge guests into our world of cocoa. Our new collection bridges the vast disconnect between raw agriculture and fine chocolate, marrying our expertise in both to make some of the world’s best cocoa beans into chocolate that can be enjoyed every day.


Not only is the cocoa butter, milk and sugar in our new range all organic, we have used sugar as sparingly as possible. Cocoa will always be our number-one ingredient, even in milk and white chocolate. Most of the world’s solid “chocolate” is laden with sugar. Flip it over and check the ingredients.” 

– Angus Thirlwell – CEO & Co-Founder, Hotel Chocolat


Expect a great wine selection, all of which will be sourced from our favourite local stores, and with a maximum of fourteen guests this will be an intimate dining experience perfect for a winter afternoon out in Chester.


What to expect from your day out with us


  • 12:00 Arrivals and introductions with a glass of The Gusbourne Estate Brut Reserve Vintage English Sparkling Wine to welcome you.
  • 12.30 Chocolate and white wine. Can it work? Yes it can! Find out how with our before lunch white wine selection paired with white and milk chocolate from Hotel Chocolat!
  • 13:15 Lunch: enjoy two courses featuring chocolate ingredients with matched wines presented by Richard. (select the menu bar below to read your menu for the day)
  • 14:45 Take a breather for coffee or tea with our compliments as we prepare for the afternoon wine selection.
  • 15:00 Hotel Chocolate Rare & Vintage: enjoy our selection of four premium wines which will be matched perfectly with the Hotel Chocolat Rare & Vintage Collection, made with some of the most sought-after cocoa in the world.
  • As always there’s time for any further questions and answers and we expect to finish at around 4.30pm.


Timings are approximate and subject to change

Our menu from Restaurant 1539 is featured below:
Main Course

Beef medallions with a chocolate jus and chilli con carne tenderstem broccoli

Vegetarian alternative main course

Wild mushroom casket with grilled king oyster mushroom, truffle dressing and grated dark chocolate


Chocolate opera served with white chocolate cream


Your wine school host

The afternoon will be hosted by our Founder, Richard Smith, who will share with you some of his twenty five years knowledge of all things wine as well as some anecdotes (but alas, no secrets) from his time as a butler. Richard trained at one of the world’s finest hotels and is proud to have advised several members of the British Royal Family and a number of international heads of state and celebrities. Richard has recently been featured in The Daily Mail and Cheshire Life magazine and he regularly writes for The Taster magazine and During our Saturday wine schools in Chester you’ll get to meet either Paul or Doug too. Find out more about the team here.

Date & time

Saturday 17th. February 2018, 12.00 noon – 4.30pm (approx.)

Timings are approximate and subject to change


The Wine School of Cheshire at Restaurant 1539, The Racecourse, Chester CH1 2LY.

wine school cheshire 1539 map

The pedestrian entrance to Restaurant 1539 is at 9 Nuns Road, Chester, CH1 2LY.

Access to Restaurant 1539 for customers with special access requirements is via a lift from the car park: proceed through the tunnel under the restaurant, bearing left. The lift is located directly in front of you.

Important information & allergens

Spittoons will be available for any participants wishing to use them – this is of course optional! However we ask all attending to drink responsibly and strongly advise you do not drive after the event. Visit for the facts.

In accordance with the law, all persons attending our events must be over 18 years of age. Admission will be refused if suitable age verification photo ID cannot be provided upon our request and under these circumstances we regret that a refund will be not be possible.

We strongly advise that you do not drive on the day, however if it necessary to do so free parking is available at the racecourse for restaurant guests. There is a charge of £10 to leave vehicles overnight. Please advise us on arrival if you are driving.

Food allergens: we understand that some guests may have specific food allergies and we are always able to provide alternative ingredients and, if required, alternative dishes to ensure your food and wine pairing experience is enjoyable. We do require a minimum of 24 hours notice prior to the event start time to ensure our venues are able to access the appropriate ingredients and appreciate your understanding and kind assistance when this is necessary.

Please be aware as we are a wine school that wine is served at all our events and all wines produced do contain sulphites. We endeavour to feature wines where additional sulphites are not added by the winemaker or transporter, however UK legislation requires that all wines are correctly labeled as containing sulphites as these are produced in small quantities naturally during fermentation. If you suffer from a sulphite allergy we will be unable to offer any alternatives to wine and this must be considered before booking. We regret that a refund will not be available if we are informed of a sulphite allergy after your booking has been completed. Please refer to our full terms and conditions for further reference.


If you’re booking for someone as a gift and would like a presentation voucher sent to you to give to them free of charge please use the special instructions box at the checkout. Please also state here if you wish your voucher to be posted in plain packaging instead of our branded envelopes.


If you’d like us to send it directly to the recipient please include their name, address and personal message which we will include for you.


Our vouchers are sent UK first class within two business days of purchase. If you would prefer to buy a gift voucher for the recipient to select their own wine tasting, click here to find out more.