Fenwick’s Window 2019 – Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
Fenwick’s window 2019 is Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, the much loved children’s story by Roald Dhal, and illustrator Quentin Blake. Like every year, the window unveiling marks the start of the festivities in the North East, and for this year the Northumberland Street windows tell the tale of Charlie Bucket and his adventure to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
I’ve said it for years the best time to see the windows without the crowds is first thing at 9am. I’m a week later than usual as I was in London last weekend, but I was in town bright and early this morning and went along to see it.
The windows begin part way through the original Roald Dahl tale, with the first one showing an ecstatic Charlie standing in the sweet shop, clutching the last golden ticket for Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. If you’re a Newcastle local you’ll know what I mean when I say it looks just like Clough’s old sweet shop on Heaton Road.
As the windows progress the story from there, we see Grandpa Joe leaping out of bed to accompany Charlie on his visit to the chocolate factory, and the two of them arriving to be met by Willy Wonka himself.
In previous years I really noticed the music that accompanies the windows, especially when it was the Snowman, but I have to say it wasn’t all that memorable this time, aside for the usual Merry Christmas message from Fenwick’s.
Nevertheless the windows go on to show iconic scenes from the Roald Dhal classic, including Charlie dancing among the edible garden full of sweets and the chocolate river…
Augustus Gloop, who fell in the river and got sucked up the pipe…
Violet, who blows up like a giant blueberry after trying a chewing gum that isn’t quite ready for consumption…
and Veruca who gets into trouble with all the squirrels.
If I’m being totally honest, from this point on I thought the windows were a bit disappointing. The television room was just boring, and even the flying lift scene wasn’t all that exciting as it soared over the factory and the town.
The final scene shows Charlie, Grandpa Joe and Willy Wonka back at home, a very similar picture to one of the first windows.
Although the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory theme for this year is very delicious looking, with the giant lollipops, candy canes and of course lots of chocolate, it just lacks a Christmas feel to it for me.
This doesn’t always bother me, as my all time favourite windows are from the Paddington year which also isn’t a Christmas tale, but I was left feeling a tad underwhelmed this year. I think they could have made a lot more of the start of the story, and skipped the television room window certainly.
That said, Fenwick’s window does mark the coming of Christmas, and young and old alike were still enjoying it including myself.
Follow your visit up with a visit to the Christmas Cafe in Fenwick’s basement, which has a Charlie & The Chocolate Factory section next to it selling some fabulous Wonka style sweets and treats, a chocolate bubble machine, and official memorabilia.
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