Tuesday, 3 March 2015

12 places every chocolate lover should visit

True chocoholics know that a tour of a chocolate factory or confectioner’s shop can be a memorable part of any trip. In honour of every traveler who simply loves chocolate, here is some of the world’s coolest chocolate destinations…

This is an enchanting maze of all things chocolate. You can shop for anything, from cocoa nibs, crystallized violet petals to hot chocolate while watching chocolatiers in action. You can even take a truffle-rolling class! The artisan chocolate bars come in antique packaging with exotic flavours like basil and Persian lime, son they’ll be a perfect gift for chocolate lovers back home.

You will love this Willy Wonka-meets-Disneyland experience near Melbourne in Australia. You can make you own chocolate bars, ride a miniature train through a chocolate village, gape at the strobe light display of spinning chocolate figures and there is even what may be the world’s largest chocolate waterfall!

Theo Chocolate Tour – Seattle

This is one of the youngest bean-to-bar factories in the U.S., but they offer 45minute tours that draw many people for their generous samples and thoroughness. The guides will walk you through everything from the bean roasting and table tempering process to the final making steps in a 100 year old building. Best of all, the store sells unique factory-only flavours like salted liquorice caramel, key lime pie and peach Riesling.

MaisonCailler – Switzerland
Its true, the Swiss LOVE chocolate and few factories show it as much as this one! Maison Cailler’s hour-long tours begin with a look at ancient Aztec cocoa ceremonies, walk you through the milk chocolate production line and end with an all-you-can-eat tasting experience! At the workshops they demonstrate how to make personalized pralines, cream-filled Valentine’s Day hearts and kid-friendly chocolate moulds.

The brothers behind this craft factory in Brooklyn offer an intimate tour that show how their raw cacao beans from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Madagascar are hand-sorted, roasted and winnowed through a machine custom-made by a friend and former aerospace engineer. One of the main highlights of the tour is seeing how flavours like fleur de sel and Stumptown coffee are added to the process.

Mina Street – Oaxaca
There is no better place for chocolate lovers than Calle Francisco Xavier Mina near the city’s central market, also known as Chocolate Street. It is home to some of Mexico’s biggest names in chocolate, as well as family-owned shops where everything is made on the premises and hot chocolate is treated with the seriousness of fine wine! Watch roasted cocoa beans being ground with spices in the windows of Mayordomo or head to La Soledad for exquisite mole pastes or Chocomiel, an energizing drink laced with honey and vanilla.

Taza Factory Tour – Boston
The aroma of dark chocolate mixed with hints of spices and floral accents greets you at the door, this is the first sign that this bean-to-bar operation take their mission very seriously. The Taza is one of the few factories in the U.S. to make 100% stone ground chocolate, they also lead 45-minute tours where you’ll see the hand carved mills used to grind the cacao beans. The tour ends at the store which is filed with free samples!

Cacao Sampaka – Barcelona
Traditional truffles and tablets share the aisle space with out-of-this-world offerings like sachets of fried corn with bitter chocolate, bars flavoured with Parma ham, anchovies and hazelnuts and Modena vinegar. You can prolong this heavenly experience by ordering churros and chocolate or a dark chocolate raspberry gelato in the back seating area.

Spaat the Hotel Hershey – Pennsylvania
The chocolate on this menu at this high-end hotel spa honour the rich history of Chocolatetown, U.S.A. and go above the typical massage and facial offerings. How about your try a chocolate fondue wrap, unwind in a whipped cocoa bath or indulge in an edible dark chocolate facial? You’re guaranteed to glide out on a delicious chocolate covered cloud.

Schokoladenmuseum – Germany
There are three floors of a huge futuristic building on the Rhine devoted entirely to the history of chocolate. The piece de resistance at cologne’s Schokoladenmuseum, or Chocolate Museum, is the giant chocolate fountain in the lobby, look for the staffer dipping waffles in it and handing out samples!

Hotel Chocolat - St. Lucia
The old chocolate plantation, which opened in 2011 as an eco-friendly boutique hotel was called “cacao heaven” by the New York Times. Stay in one of its 14 suites and you may find yourself harvesting your own cocoa pods, learning how to turn them into truffles, indulging in a cocoa-oil massage, then kicking back at the infinity pool over cocoa Bellinis and chocolate infused liver pate.

The Nestle-owned Perugina makes Baci, foiled-wrapped nuggets of dark chocolate and hazelnut cream and other confections in its factory. The tours begin at a small museum and move on to the world of chocolate production. The elevated walk-ways will give you a birds-eye view of the whizzing conveyer belts and vats; there are plenty of samples offered too!

From a spa in Pennsylvania that features whipped cocoa baths to a museum in Australia with a chocolate waterfall that Willy Wonka would be proud of, make sure to add these destinations to your travel bucket list if you are a true chocolate lover!

For a luxurious, self-catering apartment contact 808 Cartwright today! Do you need a reliable shuttle service? give Airport Shuttle a call today.

Written By: Christine Romans

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