Do you love your chocolate? Me too! And other than combining chocolate with a good book, I can’t think of too much better than pairing chocolate with visiting a new place of interest.
While writing my latest novel, The Chocolate Promise (also called The Chocolate Apothecary in the UK), researching and taste-testing chocolate pretty much took over my life—and my dress size! And my palette for chocolate has changed. Only the finest will do these days. So now, I’ve begun writing myself a ‘Chocolate Tourism Bucket List’, to continue my love affair with this heavenly food.
Here are my current Top 5 locations:
1. Antica Dolceria Bonajuto. This is the oldest chocolate factory in Sicily. Let’s just consider that for a moment: chocolate + Sicily. It’s a no brainer, right? Top of my list.
2. Puyricard. This French chocolate artisan store is located just outside of Aix-en-Provence in the south of France, which is where the main character of The Chocolate Promise spends time with a master chocolatier, roams the beautiful countryside and encounters unexpected romance. I soaked up the research for this part of the novel and am positively salivating to go there in person and enjoy the delights of Provence, including this chocolate store.
3. Chocolate Walking Tour of Melbourne. A little closer to home for me, this would be a delightful weekend treat. Melbourne is known by many to be the food capital of Australia and I’ve no doubt the chocolate on this tour would leave a lasting impression. I only hear good things about this one. Definitely a To-Do, sooner, rather than later, I think. (At least the plane flight would be a quick one!)
4. Rococo. I certainly couldn’t comprise this list without including a visit to Rococo in London. You’ll find an acknowledgement to Chantal Coady (founder of Rococo) for her inspiration that influenced The Chocolate Promise and for good reason. I pored over her book, Rococo: Mastering the Art of Chocolate, as research for my novel. I even imported some of her creations. (The milk rose is my favourite.) I think I’d like to rent a flat just around the corner and simply hang out there every day, breathing it all in.
5. Cailler. I’ve been to Switzerland but only once and I would love to go back there. (I’ve even been trying to work in some sort of Swiss plot into a novel so I can have a tax-deductible reason to go.) And this factory has some pretty great architecture to go with the experience.
So there’s my shortlist to get me (and maybe you) started. I’m sure there are dozens of amazing places around the world that would keep me entertained on my chocolate tours. I’d love to hear your recommendations if you have any?
p.s. Here’s a recipe from Chantal Coady for Chocolate Ganache Teacups, which fortuitously combines two of my favourite foods: chocolate and tea!
WOW I loved hearing about all of this chocolate yummy I am afraid I have not travelled much at all so the chocolate I get comes from the shops here in Sydney although I am very partial to Lindt chocolate and visit the café about once a month with our romance reader group congrats on the book it sounds wonderful :)
Hi Helen, Lindt 70% dark chocolate is one of my favourites. And it's easy to pick up in supermarkets, which is a bonus :)Delete
Josephine and Helen - I've actually been eating Lindt 85% and 90% and am definitely acquiring a taste for it. And to think, as of about six months ago, I was a milk-chocolate-only kinda girl.Delete
Well done, Barbara. That's a swift transition. I can't eat most milk chocolate these days because my palette has changed so much.Delete
Oh yum. Yes, mixing chocolate with holiday destinations works for me, Josephine. What a great idea. Chocolate has to be my favourite indulgence.ReplyDelete
Sue, I'm amazed there isn't an entire travel agent devoted to just this type of travel!Delete
Hi, Josephine - just saw Rachel's post about the blog and had to hop right over. ;) Another chocolate-lover here!ReplyDelete
As I'm in the U.S.,my chocolate bucket list would include some of the manufacturers here, especially some of the smaller companies that keep candy-making in the family. I wouldn't mind visiting a few of the restaurants known for their chocolate desserts, either.
And I'd love to come to Melbourne for that walking tour.
Thanks for the yummy post!
You're welcome, Barbara! Thanks for stopping by. I'm pretty sure one of my other favourite brands, Green and Blacks, started in the US, by a forward-thinking artisan. (It's since been sold to Kraft, I think.) Let me know if you come across any 'must see' sites and I'll add them to my list. :)Delete
Will do, Josephine. Now you've got me thinking about a chocolate hunt. lolDelete
Josephine, it's no secret that I'm a chocoholic, so I can't believe I didn't have a chocolate tourism bucket list! I shall rectify this immediately and use your list as a starting point. Thanks!ReplyDelete
Rachel, if I (and now you!) keep writing about chocolate then these trips become bonafide tax deductions. Hurrah!ReplyDelete
My mouth is watering, just reading your blog.
Thanks for sharing your chocolate bucket list! What a great goal to aspire to.
I can't imagine anything better than travelling the globe and sampling chocolate the world over, unless you do it with someone special and a great pile of books to be read (thank God for my kindle!)
All the best with your new release!
Thanks so much, Michelle :)ReplyDelete
Welcome to the LoveCats, Josephine! Actually, you're talking about chocolate so double welcome! I whizzed over to look at that chocolate tea ganache - how simple and it sounds delightful. That's on my must try list!ReplyDelete
I'm off to explore your chocolate tourism bucket list now! Delish!
Congratulations on your latest release!
Thank you, Sharon :)Delete
Josephine, there is a delicious chocolate shop in the Royal Arcade in Melbourne called Koko Black...mmm... Have the hot chocolate and a tasting plate of their chocolates! My gosh. And then in Gymea, Sydney, there is a little shop called Nina's, which is a top notch local fave.ReplyDelete
Sorry, pushed the button before I was finished... When you browse in Nina's, they offer you a sample of whateve they're making. Why yes, please! Love your books, keep them coming!Delete
Malvina, Koko Black do make wonderful chocolate! I was lucky enough to sample a lot of their work in the promotion of the book. Mmm.... Lip smackingly good! :)Delete
Hi, Josephine, well I just read your post and its early in the morning. Now I might just have to have chocolate for breakfast. Love the idea of a chocolate bucket list.ReplyDelete
Hi Jennifer, oh, that was me while I was writing the book! I would research chocolate and recipes for hours and then have to grab my keys and race for the nearest shop for a chocolate fix!Delete
Chocolate! Oh, yes, a very BIG welcome to you, Josephine. :-) I love your chocolate bucket list tour. I'm trying to decide if I could only visit one of those spots, which one I'd choose. Perhaps, Puyricard...or...Antica Dolceria Bonajuto...or.... ;-)ReplyDelete
I remember going to Brussels for lunch once (as you do when you're staying in London -- and lunch consisted of standing on the footpath eating waffles from a street vendor). Before we boarded the Channel Tunnel train back to London, we ducked into a little Belgium chocolate shop and bought these dark chocolate orange sticks to munch on the way home -- they were rich and luscious and utterly divine.
P.S. Your book sounds luscious and utterly divine too!
Hi Michelle, you know what? I'm planning a trip to the UK in October and now I want to add that wee day trip to Brussels to my list! :)ReplyDelete