BON APPETIT

The pros and cons of living in a French cottage made entirely of chocolate

Yes?
Yes?
Image: Booking.com
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Would it be nice to live in a chocolate house?

It’s a question I’ve honestly never considered before. But now the time has come for us all ponder it together, because an all-chocolate cottage in Sèvres, France is available for rent on Booking.com. (At least, it was—other guests appear to have snapped up the two available dates for the bargain price of €50, or $59, a night.)

The 18-square-meter cottage, designed and created by artisan chocolatier Jean-Luc Decluzeau, is located in the glass house L’Orangerie Ephémère at the museum Cité de la Ceramique de Sèvres. Decluzeau went for an après-ski vibe, and it is indeed incredibly cozy-looking, featuring a chocolate fireplace, chocolate bookshelves, a chocolate chandelier, a marbled-chocolate sink, and—wait for it—just outside, a chocolate duck pond and flower bed.

Image for article titled The pros and cons of living in a French cottage made entirely of chocolate
Image for article titled The pros and cons of living in a French cottage made entirely of chocolate
Image: Booking.com

It looks friggin’ adorable. But you, like me, may have questions about how this would work. Fortunately, Forbes reporter Eustacia Huen cleverly covered the basics:

  • Wouldn’t the chocolate house melt? No, they built it with the AC on, and now it’s in a glass house so insects don’t eat it either.
  • Are the floors made of chocolate, too? Because if so, gross. No, the floors and bed are non-chocolate.
  • Would it be sticky? No, most of the chocolate house items have a thin coat of varnish, so you don’t have to worry about getting your pants dirty every time you sit down.
  • But what’s the fun of having a chocolate cottage if everything’s varnished? Don’t worry, there are some edible items inside, too.
  • Is there a chocolate… bathroom? Huen’s article doesn’t get into this, but based on the photographic evidence I’m going to go with “no.” (Good call, Decluzeau.)

With these qualifications in mind, we can now proceed to the question of whether or not it would be nice to live in a chocolate house like this one.

The biggest argument in favor of living in this particular chocolate house is that it’s cozier than most non-chocolate apartments. It has a fireplace and outdoor space and bunnies that greet you on your cobblestone path after a long day at work, which sounds like a great way to ease into your evening. Also, chocolate is biodegradable, so it’s an eco-friendly choice, especially if the chocolate is fair-trade and certified by the Rainforest Alliance. And if you get hungry, you can just eat a candlestick or whatever, which is both frugal and possibly even more time-efficient than Soylent. (In this chocolate-house scenario, let’s assume there is an infinite supply of chocolate candlesticks, so you don’t have to worry about eating yourself literally out of house and home.)

The biggest downside, I think, is the bathroom situation, since you’d probably have to have an outhouse of some kind. (Although two of my friends lived in a yurt with a composting toilet a couple meters away for a while, and they were very happy.) Also a chocolate house is such a novelty that probably you’d find yourself with a lot of hangers-on, which would be emotionally confusing. “I don’t know if Roger likes me for me or for my artisanal chocolate clock,” you’d complain to your chocolate bunnies and ducks, because they’re the only friends you can really trust now.

These are the quotidian concerns that I’d expect to weigh if faced with an offer to move into a chocolate house. But upon further reflection, perhaps I’ve been going about this all wrong.

Here’s the thing: Trying to determine whether it would be good to live in a chocolate house is actually not so different from trying to decide whether you’d like to move to a foreign country tomorrow, or marry the person sitting next to you on the subway, or do some other impractical but theoretically possible thing. The point is not whether you would be making a wise decision, or even if the decision would make you happy in the long run, but simply to remind yourself of the wild options that exist in this world. We are not stuck with houses made of brick and wood and concrete; if we made up our minds, we could live in houses made of chocolate, or mushrooms, or some other seemingly incredible thing.

And so I have come to a conclusion. Let us put our faith and our futures in the hands of chocolatiers! Let us forget concerns about plumbing and processes and electrical outlets. If we’re going to have any fun in this life at all, the only way to answer to the question “Would you like to live in a chocolate house?” is with an unqualified yes.