on February 1 2011
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Mrs Minnie Walker
173 New Bond Street
1st February 1878
My Dearest Mrs Walker
I do hope this note finds you in good health. It has been some time since we last corresponded, but Mme. Charbonnel informed me of your recent dalliance with the arts and I felt strongly that it warranted a response!
It pleases me greatly that you have found a new leisure activity. An interest in artistic endeavours is surely an admirable pursuit! But I confess it confuses my mind as to why you have elected to distract yourself from your work in this way, when there are urgent matters at hand.
Mme. Charbonnel took the liberty of forwarding your latest etchings to my home. They are creations of beauty, of that there can be no doubt! I was, though, at a loss to explain the horse, and your view of the Thames is rather gloomy. Perhaps it represents the cloud that seems to have risen between us of late?
I do not wish to force your hand, my dear, but it must be said that I am concerned about our future. Your demeanour and look has always pleased my eye, but you must move with the times! A gentleman would never judge a lady on appearance alone, but I fear in your mind, that is all you believe you have to offer.
It is clear to me that you could be so much more, if only you were to spend your time more wisely. An outsider may assume you were using your beauty to cover the inner turmoil you feel. Fine attire will not bring a lady closer to the kingdom of heaven when her heart is so heavy with sadness.
I beg of you Mrs Walker, be true to yourself!
I am, ever your friend,
My point? These new “art bars” from Charbonnel et Walker, are below-average chocolate of unspecified origin, packaged in boxes that have random paintings from the National Gallery on them. While not particularly expensive at £4 per bar, they’re really nothing more than novelty items aimed at tourists.
Charbonnel have a great brand and a lot of history, but no real focus on quality or innovation. Nothing I’ve seen from them lately has led me to believe they’ll be around in another hundred years and that makes me a little sad.