September 21st, 2023
Melt Chocolates is proud to introduce our newest Luxury Chocolate Advent Calendar – the new Portobello Advent Calendar 2023! Inspired by the beautiful colourful houses of Portobello Road and the bustling activity on the Portobello Street Market.
As a dedication to a world-renowned location and the picturesque historic architecture, at Melt Chocolates, we bring to you our Portobello Road Advent calendar! Inspired by the filmmaker Wes Anderson and his delightfully colourful movie The Grand Budapest Hotel, we have created our own Anderson version of the famous Portobello Road in London.
Anderson’s films are renowned for delicate baby pink colours, pastels and kitschy set design. Full of eccentric characters and intricate plots, each film is a joy to immerse yourself into. Anderson is a master at world building. At Melt Chocolates, we want to create the same effect for our chocolate lovers.
Our new Portobello Advent Calendar 2023 exudes the whimsical charm of a Wes Anderson film. Meticulously handpainted with watercolours to evoke the spirit of Portobello Road and the playful pastels of The Grand Budapest Hotel. The colours are vibrant yet soothing, and every detail, from the antique shopfronts to the bustling market stalls, transports you into a miniaturized world of delightful nostalgia and enchantment. This advent calendar is a work of art that captures the very essence of Portobello Road’s picturesque allure, making each day of the holiday season a whimsical journey through its distinctive beauty.
Portobello Road is a magical place to explore in person. The vibrant, pastel-hued facades of quaint shops and charming cafes created a picture-perfect streetscape, transport you to a different era. The bustling market, brimming with antiques, vintage finds, and delectable street food, adds an irresistible energy to this already picturesque corner of Notting Hill. Portobello Road is a true London gem, where history, culture, and aesthetics converge. It is a harmonious symphony of beauty that will leave you truly enchanted.
We have been inspired by real shops that have been a part of Portobello Road for years. The distinctive exterior of Alice’s antique emporium, situated along Portobello Road, is a beloved fixture in the Notting Hill neighborhood. This family-owned establishment has been a cherished part of the community since its founding in 1887. The captivating storefront is delightfully adorned with a diverse array of antique and vintage treasures, showcasing an eclectic collection that spans furniture, toys, decor items, curiosities, and a variety of beautifully patterned Staffordshire china from Heron Cross Pottery.
Each day, as you open a numbered window, you’ll be greeted with a meticulously crafted scene of the beautiful interiors of our Portobello houses. We have imagined the colourful lives the locals live. So we have suitably designed and painted magazine-style rooms for them to enjoy. From brightly coloured tiles, to gorgeous plush sofas, these houses have it all! And you can have it too.
Savour the delicious milk chocolates behind each of their 24 doors, this luxury advent calendar is packed with chocolate toys, animals, Christmas decorations and many more!
Christmas is the best time to celebrate the fun, vibrant areas of life and appreciate the culture that surrounds you. When you curl up this Christmas, watching the classic Rom-com Notting Hill or The Grand Budapest Hotel, make sure you have a piece of London with you.
If you want more from Melt Chocolates, don’t forget to check our or Chocolate Christmas Gifts selection this year.
The Portobello Advent Calendar
Wes Anderson’s World – Both Accidentially and Deliberately Wes Anderson
It seems that Notting Hill and Wes Anderson were made for each other. Wes Anderson’s locations and sets could just as well be Portobello Road or Notting Hill. Lets deconstruct Wes Anderson’s method and cinematography and find and identify the similarities to Notting Hill and the world famous Portobello market.
Portobello Road has one of the most famous street markets in the world. One of the world’s largest antique, bric-a-brac and vintage clothing markets. Portobello Road pastel coloured historic houses has everything one needs to live a full life. Families have been selling on Portobello Road for generations – and look like they have fallen into some Wes Adnerson set.
The Wes Anderson Method:
1 They place the viewer inside a story book.
Wes Anderson crafts delicate, highly meticulous worlds, with beautiful sets and visual scenery. The sets tell just as much of a story as the story itself and his characters are placed in these story books.
Portobello Road: Portobello Advent Calendar
Notting Hill, and particularly Portobello road is just such a set or storybook. Walking down this famous street and you immediately feel part of one of his movies. You are an actor in his beautifully crafted set. You see the pastel colours, the complex layers of history and character of Notting Hill all around you. Of course you see the perfect georgian symmetry of the buildings is one of the signatures of Wes Anderson – every shot must have perfect symmetry. These streets are just like sets full of the eccentric characters in the Antique shops – selling you old world charm and children’s toys.
Wes Anderson clearly has an obsession with luxury cakes, ones that are beautifully packaged and covered in chocolate. Think of the prominence of the courtesan au chocolat in Grand Hotel Budapest.
The real-life pastry the courtesan most closely resembles is a less colorful two-tiered French confection called the religieuse. A religieuse is typically filled with vanilla custard and glazed with chocolate or mocha ganache, and its name means nun, which it ostensibly resembles. Then there’s the more obvious symbolism of the courtesans: They have three layers, just like the narrative of The Grand Budapest Hotel. And they are beautiful, colorful, playful, and needlessly elaborate—descriptors that apply to every film Wes Anderson has ever made.
Calling his Easter egg-hued variation a courtesan seems like a deliberate repudiation of the chaste, saintly connotations of the convent. The hero of Grand Budapest Hotel is something of a courtesan himself.
Of course Notting Hill answer to Mendl’s is Melt. Melt’s and Mendl’s style can best be described as glamorous gourmet. Boxes of chocolate piled high with an old world luxury feel. Designer boxes, entirely plastic free just like the turn of the century. Melt’s Portobello Advent Calendar perfectly captures this love of the luxury chocolate shop – with pink pastel colours – glamorous gourmet.
In Wes Anderson’s movies the children act like adults and the adults act like children. The adults are often lonely people, often in dire, desperate circumstances or reckoning with grief. The Portobello Advent Calendar has milk chocolate Children’s toys – the type of toy you will find in the Portobello market.
His characters are often Flawed characters with selfrish desires – real people that you will see everyday in Notting Hill and Portobello. No superheroes here. Just ordinary people doing ordinary things – and there is a certain poetry in that
Portobello Advent Calendar
The Portobello Advent calendar is to enter the dream world of a child. Imagine running a chocolate shop – full of sweets and cakes.
Monsieur Gustave H. (played by Ralph Fiennes), concierge of The Grand Budapest Hotel, is a very civil man, whose even temper never breaks. That’s why it’s so hilarious when he insults someone or curses. Civil, polite setting: rude behavior.
Notting Hill residents are generally very polite and considerate -its a diverse community that is civil and orderly.
But just like Monsieur Gustave, Notting Hill’s civility can break – such as during the night of the Notting Hill carnival.
We all have animal instincts. Especially if you are a fox (Fantastic Mr. Fox) or a misfit canine (Isle of Dogs). Anderson makes us laugh with the constant struggle to keep these rabid tendencies at bay.
Gustave is a perfectionist in Grand Budapest Hotel. Maps, plans, inventories. But the payoff from a comedic perspective comes when it all comes crashing down and all the planning fails.
We appear composed, but we are out of control. There are outbreaks of violence among close friends “Rudeness is an expression of fear,” Underneath that fear, we just want to be loved. Outbursts of emotional and physical violence stand out prominently in his films, but they happen so frequently that we must conclude they’re at the core of his work.
Portobello Road and Notting Hill look like the model of control and self restraint – perfectly ordered and harmonious societies. But for a few days each year – mayhem and outbreaks of violence erupt. Think of the Notting Hill Carnival an exuberant display of our human instincts to dance, to party, to sing and to fight.
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