Five decadent chocolate treats to enjoy on board and ashore
World Chocolate Day falls on 7 July, and what better way to get in the mood than with a sprinkling of chocolate-themed travel inspiration? Which of delicious treats will you add to your must-do list?
1. Grenada chocolate making
Many things are perfect about the Caribbean island of Grenada. Among them are the conditions needed to grow its famous cocoa. Thanks to its rich volcanic soil, balmy temperatures and warm tropical showers, more spices grow per square mile in Grenada than anywhere else on Earth. A tour of Diamond Cocoa Estate shows the different types of cocoa grown on this enchanting isle and gives you the chance to taste the bean freshly picked. You can also visit the island’s chocolate factory to learn how this sweet treat is made – and, of course, taste some for yourself.
2. Make your own chocolate in Bruges
When in Bruges, don't just taste Belgian chocolate – learn how to make it. Get your hands messy and learn from a local professional chocolatier during your time in the city. P&O Cruises offer this as a shore experience, during which you can find out everything you need to know about the chocolate-making process as you blend the ingredients to make your own. Of course, the proof is in the pudding, and you’ll get to taste different delicious varieties of the finished product and take home your own creations to give to the family (if you don’t eat them first!).
3. Afternoon tea with a special chocolate tart
Eric Lanlard has been delighting guests with his world-class pâtisserie skills since becoming a Food Hero in 2013 and his Afternoon Tea at Epicurean* is an experience not to be missed. Eric’s West Indies Chocolate Tart is inspired by his time with the Marine Nationale, during which he visited Grenada. ‘Walking down the gangway, I was hit with the amazing scents of all the spices coming from the little stalls along the port,’ says Eric. ‘Cinnamon, nutmeg, chilli, vanilla. It was also my first time seeing a fresh cocoa pod. I was completely taken by how gorgeous it was, and I’m so excited all these years later to honour this beautiful island with this tart recipe.’
*Afternoon Tea at Epicurean is available on Azura, Britannia, Iona and Ventura. Arcadia offers Afternoon Tea in the Ocean Grill on selected cruises.
4. Dessert on the go in Cádiz or Barcelona
A lively place to start a day immersed in the spirit of Cádiz is at the central market. Not only a hub of early-morning activity, it’s also the place for a tasty breakfast of fresh, crispy churros and hot chocolate for dipping at one of the city’s most famous spots, Churrería El Puesto de Ana. In Barcelona, head to Carrer Petritxol for your choccy fix. Known as ‘chocolate street’ to locals, it’s home to many of the city’s chocolatiers and cafés serving churros and chocolate in many different forms. The street is right next to the main drag Las Ramblas so it couldn’t be easier to find.
5. Ice cream by the pool on Iona
When on holiday, it’s the small things you remember. There’s a delight that comes with tasting something great, and having that experience is part of the treat. One of those moments is tasting the chocolate-flavoured Snowflake Luxury Gelato on Iona – made with the best ingredients, by the best chefs using the best machinery. There’s a core of 25-30 traditional Italian gelato classics such as nocciola (hazelnut), pistachio, amarena (cherry), vanilla and of course a rich, velvetty chocolate, as well as some more inventive creations such as banoffee flavour – a banana-based vegan ice cream, and cremino flavour, which has a classic fior di latte base and a layer of gianduja chocolate. Delicious!