World Chocolate Tours With Taste
With all the good news surrounding the confection, chocolate travel has never been more decadent.
Touring the world of chocolate is all about locating a native, peripatetic guide with a sixth sense for where to go to find the bitter and the sweet.
As researchers continue to uncover evidence of chocolate’s nutritional benefits—as an arterial plaque buster, a cough suppressant, even a skin hydrator—chocolate tours have proliferated into an industry.
Brussels, Paris, San Francisco and Zurich are A-list chocolate destinations, without a doubt. But dare to take the road less travelled to find sweet surprises. Here is a sampling of recommended chocolate tours that are sure to satisfy your cravings for the sublime.
Florence is a renowned chocolate centre, thanks in large part to the city’s history as a major player during Italy’s Middle Ages and Renaissance, its brief stint as the capital of the Kingdom of Italy and its current position as capital of Tuscany and a centre of business, art and fashion. Its famed cafes, such as Gilli and Rivoire, both with sinfully rich histories, are included on the tour as are the city’s outstanding chocolate creations—from crepes and gelato to biscotti and chocolate soup. Your journey then takes you along picturesque back streets, and if you choose, by car into “Chocolate Valley” just outside Florence, home to some of the city’s newest and most talked about chocolatiers.
Chocolate Ecstasy Tours
Here, ecstasy means two tours that offer the most for those who want to maximise the chocolate experience. The Chelsea and Mayfair tours both offer part education (learn how to properly taste chocolate), part history lesson (visit the Queen’s Royal Appointed chocolatier and taste the favourite chocolates of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory late-author Roald Dahl), while dialing in modern decadence. On day and evening tours, you’ll visit the two Englishmen who threaten to turn chocolate-making into an Olympic sport: award-winning author and pattissier William Curley, and Paul A. Young, who wows with his truffles: Malt Loaf, Marmite, and a smoky one evoking tobacco, pine and chili.
Chocolate Espresso Tours
There are no chocolate slouches here. Australians are among the world’s top consumers of chocolate Easter eggs. But you’ll get to sample the country’s finest sweets on these tours, as you try hand-made confections made from Swiss and Belgian chocolate and Australia’s own Haigh’s Chocolates. Founded in 1915, Haigh’s is one of the few chocolatiers in the world that does the whole manufacturing process themselves, starting with the raw cocoa bean. On the Sweet Sunday tour, you’ll visit Haigh’s shop in the historic Strand Arcade of Sydney’s Central Business District. Or you could try the Delectable Delights tour, where you’ll sample some of the more modern and experimental chocolate makers in the Darlinghurst suburb. That includes Boon, a brother-and-sister–founded chocolate company that makes au courant spicy chocolate drinks that make Sydneysiders swoon.