Oh chocolate, how we love thee. Natasha Holt rounds up five weekend getaway ideas to gorge on the good stuff right here in the UK.
There's no need to book a trip to Switzerland or Belgium to get a taste of some artisan chocolate. Why not satisfy your sweet tooth on one of these gastronomic weekend getaways right here in the UK. From a chocolate boutique hotel to a three-day chocolate making course, we round up five of the best the UK has to offer. It's a drool fest.
1. The Chocolate Boutique Hotel, Bournemouth
Ever fancied immortalising yourself in chocolate? If so, The Chocolate Boutique Hotel offers themed chocolate weekends throughout the year where you can take part in a chocolate portrait painting session before learning about the history of chocolate. The weekend also includes daily chocolate, truffle making, tasting sessions and a lesson on how to pair chocolate with wine. And if you’re not sick of the sweet stuff by then there’s even chocolate pancakes for breakfast and ‘choctails’ in the bar, priced at £9 each. Stay for the weekend from £230.
2. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London
Get yourself a golden ticket to the ultimate chocolate experience and watch Roald Dahl’s much-loved tale played out on stage. Almost 50 years since the book first charmed readers, Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory comes to life, complete with a chocolate river and the mischievous Oompa-Loompas. Tickets are priced from £17.50. In the heart of London’s West End, you’ll be spoiled for choice for places to stay so we've listed a number of great hotels nearest to Drury Lane.
3. Three Ways House, Mickleton, Chipping Campden
Even the most committed choccie lovers will have their fill of the sweet stuff on a Chocoholic weekend at Three Ways House, home of the Pudding Club. Run throughout the year, the weekends start with hot chocolate, or chocolate ice cream depending on the season, before guests are treated to a three-course chocolate inspired dinner menu. Homemade truffles are provided in the rooms and there’s even a chocolate car treasure hunt followed by chocolate cookery demonstrations and tasting sessions. Stay at the Three Ways House for as little as £280 for 2 nights.
4. The School Of Artisan Food, Worksop, North Nottinghamshire
Become a chocolate connoisseur whilst learning to make your own sweet treats on the one-day introduction to Artisan chocolate making, in the heart of Sherwood Forest. Students will learn to make everything from chocolate bars to truffles and ganache as well as experimenting with different beans. The course costs £145 per person and includes lunch. Stay at Browns of Holbeck B&B on The Welbeck Estate in North Nottinghamshire is walking distance from the school and offers double rooms from £85, including breakfast.
5. Chocolate Craft by the Alresford Chocolate Company, Hampshire
Hand-make your own box of chocolates with the help of a professional chocolatier on a workshop run by the Alresford Chocolate Company. Learn how to make ganache (a cream/chocolate based filling) and how to decorate chocolates using a fine piping technique. There’s even a prize for the best decorated lolly. The course costs £55 for two and a half hours. Stay at the Grade 11 listed Swan Hotel in the historic town of New Alresford, offering double rooms from £95.