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Saturday, 29 December 2012

Cinnamon by William Curley

Before the onset of a serious dose of cabin fever and the imminent arrival of the next weather front, we made a hasty exit into the murk.  Seriously, there is only so much Christmas TV a person can take!   With more than fifty shades of grey clouds rolling in over the horizon we decided Thorndon Country Park was just a bit too far and headed for Galleywood Common instead.  What an insightful decision that was to be.  

I have visited Galleywood Common several times in the past and walked through and around it on several occasions.  I have always been struck by the white fencing that can be seen from the road at various points. It never dawned on me that Galleywood Common was once a racecourse. Doh! How did I miss that?  

Apparently, the vibrant and colourful sport of horse racing had been taking place in Galleywood for 176 years from 1759 to 1935.  Allegedly, it was one of the oldest racecourses in the country probably dating back to King Charles ll (1660-1680).  

Galleywood Racecourse
It must have been an extremely exciting place to visit with all types of gambling and prize fighting taking place including, cock-fighting, rat-hunts and dog-fights to name just a few.  There were also special booths set up around the racecourse where visitors could part-take of food, beer, some fighting before finishing off with a spot of dancing...not Strictly I'm sure.  

Thousands of people came to see the steeplechase meetings which must have had a huge economic impact on the local community.  

In 1803 the English were particularly concerned about being invaded by Napoleon so, a huge star shaped Fort with artillery batteries was set atop massive earthworks to keep the French at bay should they decide to pay us a visit.  Galleywood Church is the only church in the country to be built in the middle of a racecourse. Unfortunately, the money ran out and the racecourse closed and was sold to Chelmsford Borough Council in 1942.  Interestingly, racing could be set to return to Essex at Great Leighs racecourse in April 2013.......I wonder if they'll have any cock-fighting?  

All that walking and fact finding has given me an appetite for some chocolate. Not that I really need any after all those mince pies and slices of Stollen! 

32% Milk Chocolate
This particular bar of chocolate is produced and presented in the same style as William Curley's House Bars.  The outer packaging and thick gold paper is excellent providing a quality feel to the product.  This bar itself is described as, 'milk chocolate hinted with cinnamon, the delicate spicing adding to the caramel notes'

50g Milk Chocolate with a
hint of Cinnamon. £4.50
 The finish of the chocolate surface looks scuffed and scratched and I'm not sure whether this is due to the packaging or whether it was due to my poor photography skills?  The not overly sweet milk chocolate melts quickly with a smooth buttery mouth feel and caramel taste.  Unfortunately, after several chunks more I'm still trying to find the cinnamon.....not even a hint. 

Disappointingly, an indifferent bar of chocolate which didn't set the taste buds a bubbling. A hint of cinnamon is not enough....I need a nudge, nudge, wink, wink's worth of cinnamon! Overall 5/10. To buy click here.