Sara gets a rather super bike – MITIE Revolution post no.2

15 May 2013

Dubble‘s Sara Barron with her second post as she prepares to cycle 180 miles this weekend with Mitie Revolution and goes to Condor Bikes to pick up the bike they are lending her for the event….

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at the Condor shop this morning. I’ve never been ‘fitted’ for a bike before. It was actually quite physical. More like being at the osteopath’s than a bike shop. Once I’d stretched and rolled my head around, James had the task of talking me through various adjustments, gears and body positioning. We established that I had wonky shoulders and longer than average legs (I never heard that before!) although I wasn’t sure if the size of the seat was an indication of being larger than average in other areas.

James at Condor sorting out a bike for me

James at Condor sorting out a bike for me

Once fitted, Claire checked my tyre pressure and attached my bottle cages. I was intrigued to hear about the history of Condor as she worked on the bike. They design all of their bikes in London as they have done for the past 60 years, and they continue to produce all of their frames by hand in Italy. It struck me and how akin the values of Condor  and Divine Chocolate actually are – basically, no compromise on quality or ethics in favour of cheaper products.

Claire took me through the last few items on my checklist. We talked about the merits of various performance gels (baffling) and soon established I wouldn’t need any given the banana fuelled pit-stops along the MITIE Revolution circuit. She gave me a supply of inner tubes and a multi-tool and with some good luck well wishes I was sent on my way. With the bike!

Despite the fact that I REALLY hate cycling in the City I managed to navigate my way safely from Gray’s Inn Road, along Chancery Lane and Cheapside and over London Bridge back to the office. I have to say that I’m over the moon with the Condor Italia in my possession. Claire couldn’t have picked me a better partner and I’m itching to get to know it better on a more familiar and quieter ride along the Thames when I head home this evening.

Sara with her Condor near our offices

Sara with her Condor near our offices

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Our Divine cyclist at Revolution this weekend – post no.1

13 May 2013

Sara Barron (Dubble HQ Online and Product Manager here at Divine) is getting ready to complete the Revolution ride this weekend – here’s her first post….

Sara Barron before the upgrade!

Sara Barron before the upgrade (the bike I mean)!

When Tal told me about Divine’s sponsorship of the Mitie London Revolution cycle ride this year my ears pricked up. But when she asked me if I wanted to do it as one of Divine’s ‘keen cyclists’ my initial thought was ‘Am I?’. Yes, I cycle to work every day come rain or shine and yes I love it but I’ve always thought of myself as a commuter rather than a cyclist. I actually avoid roads and other cyclists as much as possible on my commute along the Thames Path from Greenwich to Tower Bridge. I don’t own lycra shorts or any other cycling gear, apart from a helmet and some toe clips (which my husband bought me for Mother’s Day). And my bike is only still roadworthy due to the constant vigilance of my husband who frequently disappears into his shed with it and emerges with something that doesn’t squeak and feels 10 times more comfortable to ride. But even he declared it ‘unfit for purpose’ when I floated the idea of a 180 mile bike ride past him.

Tal brushed these reservations aside and told me to go ahead with my training programme, get the necessary gear and she would sort out a bike. Low and behold a collection of parcels of new equipment – including lycra shorts – are piling up at home, and today our lovely friends at Condor Cycles told us they have a bike ready for collection which they are generously loaning me for the summer. Incredible!

Lizzie at Mitie London Revolution  took care of my last minute registration, and so here I am on Monday afternoon with the prospect of a 180 mile bike ride ahead of me at the weekend. That too is incredible!

I have a knot in my stomach. I can barely contain my excitement at the prospect of completing this iconic circuit on an iconic bike. But so far the extent of my hill climb training for Box Hill (which despite my commuter mentality I’ve always had a secret passion to cycle) has involved a few circuits of Greenwich Park and Croombes Hill en route to work. A sense of competitive determination to finish the course in a decent time and enjoy the ride is bubbling up. I’m just hoping my old bike is the only thing that’s ‘unfit for purpose’.


London plans for Fairtrade Fortnight

14 January 2010

posted by Sophi

Despite the inclement weather, people from all across London met last night in City Hall to share their plans for Fairtrade Fortnight 2010, themed The Big Swap. Lots of lovely resources, posters , leaflets and cute stickers are available from the Fairtrade Foundation . The focus this year is on trying to get the big tea companies to swap to Fairtrade . Traidcraft has got together with the Women’s Institute to create a natty campaign pack called ‘The Big Brew’

Everything stops for Fairtrade tea - and Sam Stern's Divine chocolate fridge cake!

Cafédirect and Divine both have sampling packs you can request if you want to run your own event, and delicious recipes you can download, for the perfect Fairtrade tea party. 

A wonderful range of events are being organised, from Mad Hatter’s Tea parties to Strictly Fairtrade Dances, events in shops, libraries, cafes and churches , and an impressive range of events for children, schools and teachers, something for everyone. We also had a session on our fabulous new website so that everyone can now confidently blog about what is going on in their area.

If you want to know more about what is happening in your borough , or you want to set up an event go to www.fairtradelondon.org.uk


A week of chocolate is simply Divine

19 May 2009
Divine Chocolate Birthday Cake with Raspberry Ganache by Alan Coxon

Divine Chocolate Birthday Cake with Raspberry Ganache by Alan Coxon

It’s that wonderful time of year again when we start thinking about Chocolate Week.  Launched in collaboration with the Academy of Chocolate, Chocolate Week is all about unadulterated chocolate indulgence and runs from 12th – 18th October this year. We are delighted to be sponsoring it for the fifth year in a row.

One of the joys of Chocolate Week is all the fantastic partners Divine works with up and down the country. Last October, we worked with over 40 businesses including restaurants, shops, hotels, book stores, websites and chocolatiers and arranged all sorts of chocolatey fun; from sampling, events, and competitions to desserts and recipes. Two Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines used Divine chocolate in all his restaurants. The famous Pudding Club in the Cotswolds hosted Divine-themed afternoon teas as well as creating a special menu where Divine chocolate featured in every course!  Divine’s resident chocolatier, David Greenwood Haigh, ran chocolate workshops to happy chocolate lovers in a number of London venues. They were such a great hit that we will certainly be doing them again this year!

Last year, five celebrity chefs helped celebrate Divine Chocolate’s tenth anniversary by making chocolate birthday cake recipes just for us!  Trust me, they are really delicious, and we had great fun tasting them in the office (it’s all part of the job!) If you have a recipe you’d like to share please email us.

We’re going to make this year’s Chocolate Week the best yet so please let us know if you have any ideas for chocolatey events or any restaurants, hotels or shops who would like to be involved.

And finally, a few chocolate facts! Did you know that

  • 90% of the world’s cocoa is grown on small family farms of 12 acres or less (Developments Magazine, DFID)
  • Britain really is a nation of chocolate lovers.  In Britain we eat an estimated 660,900 tonnes of chocolate a year, an average of 11kg per person per year (about 3 bars a week).
  • Chocolate is actually made from a fruit – the cocoa bean.  About 40 cocoa beans are contained within a cocoa pod.

Divine, Dubble and Crazy Fairtrade Bananas

10 March 2009
Dubble with Anane and James from Kuapa Kokoo

Dubble with Anane and James from Kuapa Kokoo

Orange Street? Banana Street more like it

Orange Street? Banana Street more like it

London Calling Dubble

London Calling Dubble

Dubble, Divine and the Fairtrade Bananas

Dubble, Divine and the Fairtrade Bananas

Blondes bashing Dubble

Blondes bashing Dubble

Thousands of people went bananas for Fairtrade by eating a Fairtrade banana between noon on 6 and noon on 7 March, as part of the world’s biggest banana-eating event! Divine and Dubble have been on a banana munchathon and caught up with the banana possee and the London Fairtrade Campaign at Tower Bridge, Kings Cross Station and the finale at Trafalgar Square on Saturday.
387,272 people signed up to eat bananas beating the world record!


Divine and Dubble Go Bananas!

6 March 2009
Divine and a giant Dubble bar (thank you Sara) had fun eating Fairtrade banana’s near Tower Bridge and City Hall this lunchtime in aid of helping the Fairtrade Banana Eating World Record
Divine, Dubble and Fairtrade Bananas in London
Divine, Dubble and Fairtrade Bananas in London
Divine and a giant Dubble bar eat Fairtrade bananas

Divine and a giant Dubble bar eat Fairtrade bananas