9 tempting attractions for chocolate lovers

Date Posted: 23/09/2014

Pictured: A selection of chcocolates on offer at York Cocoa House.

Does your group have a sweet tooth? Check out these nine chocolate attractions that are sure to tempt and delight.

1.    The city built on chocolate

A city of temptations if you’re a chocaholic, York was a city built on chocolate - its rivers brought in the vital ingredients while railways transported the final products around the country.  

You can follow the legacy of chocolate with Visit York’s new Chocolate Walking Trail.

Groups can follow this self-guided walk through the city’s rich and colourful history of chocolate and all things sweet.  

The trail is available to download at www.visityork.org/chocolate or a hard copy can be picked up from the Visit York Information Centre at 1 Museum Street.

Temptations include exclusive group offers at York’s Chocolate Story, with discounted admission for groups of 15 or more, with a free place for group organisers. 

2.    York's Chocolate Story

York's Chocolate Story, located in the heart of York, bills itself as an entertaining and informative guided tour through the history of York's most famous chocolate-making families and their finest creations.

Here, groups can discover chocolate's origins, how to make it and how to taste it like an expert.

Plus, you can uncover a host of surprising secrets and facts behind York's greatest chocolate products, from the Chocolate Orange to the Kit Kat.

3.    York Cocoa House

You can get another chocolate fix at York Cocoa House.

Here your group will be able to discover interesting chocolate combinations in the Chocolate Cafe, sample handmade chocolates and take part in a chocolate-making workshop.

There are also dining options and chocolate-tasting history lessons for chocolate lovers of all ages and abilities.

Taster chocolate-making workshops are available every day for small groups, or a special chocolate event can be arranged for larger groups either directly with the Cocoa House or in conjunction with its partner venues across York.

Pictured: Try a ‘choctail' at the Chocolate Boutique Hotel.

4.    Bournemouth’s Chocolate Boutique Hotel

Down on the south coast, ‘Chocolate Weekends’ at the Chocolate Boutique Hotel in Bournemouth include a two night stay in a chocolate themed room, and chocolate pancakes for breakfast.

The weekend will begin with a welcome party for your group with a free glass of bubbly.

Over the next two days, you’ll learn about the history of chocolate and the production process from bean to bar.

You can also take part in a tasting of chocolates from around the world and learn how to pair chocolate with wine.

There’s even a chocolate portrait painting session, where you can immortalise yourself in milk, white and dark chocolate.

You’ll also discover the art of tempering chocolate and Belgian chocolate truffle making,  whisking up 40 truffles of your own before learning how to package them beautifully.  

The resident chocolatier will also show you how moulded chocolates are made.  

Later, you can relax with a ‘choctail’ or two in the hotel’s Chocolate Bar.

5.    A golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s factory

For choctastic fictional fantasy, why not book to see the award-winning West End production of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Sam Mendes.

The musical tells the dark tale of Charlie Bucket and the mysterious confectioner Willy Wonka.

When Charlie wins a golden ticket to the weird and wonderful Wonka Chocolate Factory, it’s the chance of a lifetime to feast on sweets he’s always dreamed of.

But as the five lucky winners discover, not everything is as sweet as it seems.

Enter a world of fantasy complete with a chocolate garden, an army of squirrels and the peculiar Oompa-Loompas promising to dazzle your senses.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is currently booking at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane until 31st October 2015.

6.    Hershey’s Chocolate World

Over the pond, you can explore the wonders of the famous American chocolate at Hershey’s Chocolate World attraction (pictured) in Pennsylvania, USA.

Group experiences starts with a free Hershey’s Great American chocolate tour ride where you will follow cocoa beans on a journey from the rainforest to Hershey.

You can then watch Hershey’s new show - Hershey’s Great Chocolate Factory Mystery in 4D. A collaboration with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, audiences will follow the adventures of Hershey, Reese and Kiss as they navigate the mystery which has more than 100 possible outcomes based on audience participation.

Next, taste Hershey’s chocolate on the Chocolate Tasting Adventure before creating your own chocolate bar.

7.    P&J Chocolate Factory

On the Continent, P&J - which has three venues located in Belgium and France - has introduced a range of chocolate workshops where you can learn about the origins of chocolate and get an insight into artisan chocolate production.

Belgian chocolate is world renowned for its quality, so what better place to learn how to make chocolate?

P&J also offers a chocolate shopping experience. In its largest retail outlet, situated between Ostend and Bruges, you will discover some of the most famous Belgian chocolate products such as pralines and handmade truffles.

8.    John Bull Factory Tours

Back in Yorkshire just outside Bridlington, groups can take a self-guided factory tour of John Bull Confectioners - famous for making rock and chocolate.

Promising a treat for all your senses, you can experience manufacturing first-hand by making your own chocolate lolly and personalising a stick of rock; hear the history of the area’s premier confectioners; and see and smell the assortment of products being made including Belgian chocolate and Yorkshire biscuits.

What’s more, taste a selection of goodies at the World of Rock and choose from the extensive range on offer at the factory shop and cafe. Groups of 20 or more are advised to pre-book.    

Pictured: On a Memory Lane tour at Cadbury World.

9.    Cadbury World

At Cadbury World in Birmingham, you can learn how to make your favourite confectionery and uncover the story of Cadbury chocolate as well as watch chocolatiers demonstrate how they make some British classics.

Groups can opt for the Memory Lane tour, which combines a fully guided heritage tour around Cadbury World and an informative talk about Bourneville and Cadbury.

Appealing to groups who want to learn more about the Cadbury business, the village of Bourneville and its Quaker history, the tour is also great for those looking for some nostalgia.

The Memory Lane tour costs £15.85 per person and includes afternoon tea of scones and sandwiches and a bar of Bourneville dark chocolate to take away.

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