Gum is great to chew, but better to share, because how much goddamn mint does one person need? Shake up your incessant mastication at The Artisanal Chewing Gum Factory, a one-week-only pop-up swinging its doors in Whiteley's today at noon.
Artisanal is the world's first gum micro-factory, where Joe Public can handmake tiny batches of oral fixation in any flavour he likes -- the three-year dream of jellymongers Bompas & Parr, finally made possible when they were sent a batch of normally unattainably large gumbase by the inventor of M&S's Percy Pigs, who can afford such generosity now that he's totally in Vogue.
The process: punters are suited up in protective gear (oversized apron w/ sleeves), then invited to browse/smell the 200-strong "Flavour Library", where 40,000+ possible combos can be created from bases like fois gras, whiskey, humid soil, smoke, honey, caffeinated coffee, ale yeast, bacon, and sea urchin -- but not plain old urchins, though they could easily be lured into the essence-extraction room with the smell of free bacon.
Armed with a pipette of your preferences, you're then taken to next door's "Factory Unit" (complete with "Wonka-style soundscape"), where you'll add your creation to the coveted gumbase, plus sugar, glucose, stabilizers & citric acid, then have it mixed to your desired chewiness level, one of the few times you'll earnestly request "I'd like for it to totally blow".
Finally, the end result is chopped into about ten squares, netting you five precious hours of chewing -- all for just £2.50, so you won't have to raid the mint.