Chocolate Fountain - I want your advice!

Hi, I posted this under 'Receptions' too, but I want lots of advice on this one, so am posting it here too!

I'm really undecided as to whether to have a choc fountain or not. Had a meeting with the caterers last night and we're having a finger buffet in the evening, but we couldnt agree on any sweet things/desserts for the evening buffet. The caterers offered to do gateaux and cheesecakes, but I really dont like creamy desserts or anything like this, so I'm not keen on gateaux and cheesecakes. I can't think of any other options for sweet things at the buffet (in the afternoon reception we're having apple pie, pavlova and fruit salad, so these suggestions have already been used!)

Because I'm stuck for ideas, I'm thinking back to the wedding fayres we've been to - there's chocolate fountains at every fayre! And I thought they were a bit sickly at first... but they are growing on me actually, I am quite liking the idea of a choc fountain. But I've looked around on a few websites, and they all seem to be so expensive - on some of them, dips are extra! (what's the point of hiring a choc fountain WITHOUT dips?!?!) Can anyone recommend any good choc fountain bargains, or any good companies? We're having about 150 guests, but then a lot of the guests will be eating the gateaux - it's not like the choc fountain is the ONLY dessert, and therefore has to cater for the entire 150 guests - it's a dessert option. I mean, the caterers won't have 150 gateaux and 150 cheesecakes just in case everyone wants one of each - the choc fountain is just an option for the guests to have one go if they want, or whatever. There'll be some people there who don't like chocolate anyway.

I went to a wedding fayre at Tracy Park Golf Club (now called 'The Park'), between Bristol and Bath, back in the autumn, and there was a choc fountain there and the owner said that the main difference with his company is that they always get people to throw away their skewer once it's been in their mouth and use a new one. I remember being very impressed with his hygiene rules - I hadn't even thought of that before, I've been to other wedding fayres and tried the choc fountains, and re-used my skewer (e.g. i'd have a marshmallow, dip it in, eat the marshmallow, then try a strawberry, dip it in, eat it (same skewer), then throw the skewer away once I'd finished) and no-one stopped me and told me it was unhygienic. BUT - having seen so many choc fountains, I can't remember which company this was!!!! I know it's a long shot, but can anyone help? Did anyone go to this wedding fayre?

Now, I know there'll be a lot of people at our evening reception who WILL like gateaux type stuff, so therefore that will suit a lot of our guests. But it's our wedding after all, and if the bride and groom dont like the food, well....!! So I was thinking about a choc fountain for only, say, an hour, just while the buffet lasts, rather than going on all evening - coz if it's there for 4 hours, that's when it starts to make u feel sick, coz of the constant smell. Do companies do choc fountain hire for this short amount of time? Hopefully it will be cheaper.

I have seen websites that say 'instead of renting a choc fountain for one night, buy your own and then you'll be able to keep it afterwards'. Now H2B and I bought a cheap one (£30) from a shop called The Range in Bristol a few months ago. It worked by using an augur (auger? not sure how you spell it) - it's like a twisty thing going up through the centre of the fountain, and it raises the melted choc to the top where it's meant to flow down. It doesn't flow - we've followed all the instructions, got advice from friends/family/internet - nothing we've tried makes it work. The common advice we get is that it's not runny enough. We've tried that - all it does is drip. The choc is meant to be sheeting down the sides of the fountain, but it just drips down. I think the augur isn't powerful enough to push the chocolate down, because I've tried giving the melted choc a little push with a spoon (once it's at the top of the fountain) to make it flow down faster, and it does start to sheet down then, flowing really fast - but once the momentum of me 'encouraging' it stops, the choc stops sheeting. That's why i think the motor and the augur aren't fast enough. So is there any I can buy that don't have an augur - are there any that have a pump instead? Would this be better?

So what do you think, everyone? What's the best option? Is it:

- Have a chocolate fountain for 1 hour (any good recommendations, anyone? NO advertising please!)

- Buy a decent chocolate fountain with a pump, not an augur - ok, it'll be about £100 but that will still be cheaper than hiring one

- Give up on the choc fountain idea coz it's too costly for what it's worth

- Have other (non creamy) desserts at the buffet instead of the fountain - if so, then please recommend something!! image


  • Emma_GiffordEmma_Gifford Posts: 1,589
    I personally think they are very expensive for what they are - I spoke to the guy from original chocolate fountain co a while back and he quoted me over a grand!!

    I laughed at him and said no way!!

    dunno if you can look around - or maybe go for a cheese cake (not the peter kay kind!! proper cheese) - for something savoury instead of sweet - a few people on here have got them instead of wedding cake
  • LisaMMMLisaMMM Posts: 59
    It seems people love or hat them.

    I really like them - what about a compromise (SP?).

    Could you just buy a small one and do it yourself - they are bout £30 odd in Tesco -
  • Jess17ukJess17uk Posts: 2,381
    I think a proper chocolate fountain will cost you between £1000 and £2000 to buy.

    The company I'm using is good, I got a good deal for £575 I get the tall chocolate fountain, including all dips for 150 people and a complimentary 6 ft champagne fountain . The only thing I have to do is supply the drinks of my choice for it.
  • Hi petite_bride

    Just a quick question though - if you are having apple pie, pavlova and fruit salad at the sit down meal and gateauxs/cheesecakes in the evening AND possibly a chocolate fountain, what are you doing with the wedding cake?

    Just that, I know for our sit down meal, everyone is having the same dessert (unless allergies) and then we are serving our cake (we are having 1 fruit and 1 chocolate for only about £60) for dessert in the evning, as I doubt people who were at the sit down meal will want much, and I don't think H2B and I will be eating much on the day due to nerves excitement etc etc. Could this not be an option for you?

    Or for other dessert options, how about traditional like victoria sponges, lemon drizzle cake, or you could have roulades instead, lemon meringue ones are lovely and light, a bowl of fruit (not fruit salad, just fruit...)

    There are so many different things out there, and to be honest, I think a chocoalte fountain is just a waste of money, really. Just my personal opinion. Also you would need to check with yoru venue if they allow them as I know a couple we visited didn't because it was so hard to get out the linen.

    Hope this helps!

    Niks x
  • Wedding cake will be wrapped in (colour co-ordinating, of course!) serviettes and taken home i think.... although ur right, they could have that instead. But I like the idea about victoria sponges - i'll mention that to H2B image

    Thanks for everyones replies - i think i'm getting carried away with the IDEA (not the reality) of a choc fountain, and getting swayed by all these wedding fayres' advertising - I needed u all to bring me back down to earth i think!! lol! image
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