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Brief Published: 19 Mar 2013

Willy Wonka Chocolate Garden, London


A football-pitch-sized experimental chocolate garden themed around celebrated children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will be on display at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in south London in July 2013.

Designed by Irish horticulturalist and television personality Diarmuid Gavin, the project aims to recreate the magic of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory using contemporary technology, including 3D printing. Other features will include a zeppelin airship flying above the grounds distributing chocolate; a miniature high-speed train that will emerge from a dairy farm to make fresh ice cream; and a sweet-flavoured canal complete with a candy gondola.

“Through something that is visually arresting and entertaining, we can explore the story of the movie and create a magical experience,” Gavin told Stylus at the World Food Technology & Innovation Forum. “People will walk through the garden and be able to eat anything that they touch, giving them a new experience of food.”

The garden, which will feature 18 shipping containers repurposed as confectionery laboratories, also serves to educate visitors about food provenance. “We want to show everybody the story of food in the most fun way possible. We’ll allude to food production, talk about the industry and educate people about where their food comes from.” 

Read more about playful food in our interview with architectural British foodsmiths Bompas & Parr. Also look out for Stylus’ upcoming report on Chocolate Innovation.

Hampton Court Flower Show