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Byron Bay, NSW, 2481
Australia

+61 2 6685 7974

LOVE BYRON BAY ....SPECIALISTS IN INTERNATIONAL AND LOCAL CHOCOLATE.

Love Byron Bay creperie and chocolate boutique is dedicated to sourcing, creating and sharing a quality chocolate experience from Byron Bay, Australia. We'll cultivate your understanding of cocoa, stimulate the palate with a discerning appreciation, fire the imagination with unique chocolate encounters and share the passion for this legendary food of the gods. Exceptional chocolate infused with delicious flavours, irresistible aromatic characteristics and high quality cocoa. 

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Choc Recipes, Choc Facts, Choc Travels and our regular Chocoholic-not-so-Anonymous feature. All this and more in our weekly blog.

Filtering by Category: Choc Travels

Choc Travel : London, pay in chocolate coins this Christmas

Alison Campbell

The festive season is in full swing, but one of London's top attractions just upped the stakes when it comes to spreading Christmas cheer. You can pay for one of London's biggest attractions in chocolate coins this Christmas! 

The ArcelorMittal Orbit is offering visitors a chance to climb to its viewing platform AND ride its thrilling slide - all in exchange for chocolate coins.

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You won't need to spend any 'real' money to have a go on the world's longest and tallest tunnel slide, as the attraction will accept the sweet treats as legal tender instead.

There is a catch though. The offer is only valid if you head down between 11am-12pm on Wednesday 20th December, and you'll need to exchange 100 chocolate coins to receive a ticket.

Still, with normal adult ticket prices from £16.50, child tickets from £10.50 and family tickets from £52, you could make some serious savings even if you have to buy a couple of bags of the chocolate coins.

For example, Wilko has bags of chocolate coins from 50p , while Tesco has an offer with three bags for £2 , while Sainsburys has bags from 80p .

The confectionery exchange will give you access to the viewing platforms, which offer panoramic views of the Park and London skyline, as well as a go on the popular slide.

"The ArcelorMittal Orbit is the perfect destination for families looking to do something a bit different throughout the festive season," said Peter Tudor, Director of Visitor Services at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. "From enjoying panoramic views across London to experiencing a hair-raising ride on the world’s longest and tallest tunnel slide."

"We know that Christmas is a time of overindulging, so we’re excited to be the first attraction to offer people a chance to put all their excess chocolate to good use…"

The ArcelorMittal Orbit structure is 114m high so the viewing platforms offer some seriously spectacular views of the skyline up to an impressive 20 miles away.

All tickets are subject to availability on the day.

Now that's what we call clever marketing.

Sourcemirror.co.uk
Image: ArcelorMittal Orbit in Stratford, UK

Choc Travel : Lima, Peru

Alison Campbell

To the east of South America lies Peru, a nation offering diversity like few others. With the Andes mountain range running north to south and the amazon basin to the east, options for travellers include everything from mountaineering to the jungle ruins of Machu Picchu.

Once you’ve finished touring the epic landscape, there's always time to enjoy some sweet treats, so feast your eyes on two of Lima's finest.

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Giovanna Maggiolo of Xocolatl

The first thing that will greet you when you walk into Giovanna’s shop Xocolati in Miraflores, Lima is the burst of colour!  Giovanna Maggiore uses Peruvian couverture and ingredients to create her unique bonbon and bar flavours. The fruit and nut bars are the smaller sized bars. The plain chocolate bars are larger. Both sets are colourfully wrapped. All are delicious and reflect Giovanna’s creativity.

The Fusion bar features a dark chocolate base flavoured with cocoa nibs, cherries, and watermelon! It's absolutely delicious and hits you with fresh flavours as opposed to the sickly sweetness you occasionally find with fruit-flavoured bars and confections. That freshness is something consistent with products of all of the Peruvian chocolatiers and chocolate makers. Because, for the most part, they are using cocoa and ingredients grown locally, freshness and intensity of flavour is what puts Peruvian chocolate out in front of most others.

Roselen Chocolatier

When graphic art meets chocolate, you know you’re in for a treat. Elena Basagoitia Villavicencio started her chocolate company back in 2003 from her home in Surco, located in the south end of Lima. Her handsome son, Giorgio Demarini Basagoitia, is trained in graphic design, and uses his artistic talent to design Roselen’s colourful packaging and handpaint all of their chocolates. You almost hate to eat them as they’re so beautiful, but believe me, you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to try the delectable flavours Giorgio and  Elena have come up with. The Guinness truffle rolled in crushed maca (a Peruvian potato popular in the Andes culture) is just an example of the creative flavour palette you can enjoy from Roselen. They use couverture from Orquidea. Roselen uses three different kinds of organic chocolate to make 30 different unique flavour combinations in small batches that you can order online and have hand-delivered if you live in Lima.

if you can’t get to Lima anytime soon, it’s good to know that Willie's Cacao, the British bean-to-bar chocolate made from Peruvian cacao, is available in the Love Byron Bay Crêperie and Chocolate Boutique.

Sourcechocolatour.net

Choc Travel : Sydney's Choc Ride

Alison Campbell

After a sell-out in 2016, the almost calorie-neutral Chocolate Ride will return to Sydney Rides Festival this weekend with a bike tour of Sydney’s tastiest chocolatiers, gelato and confectioners.

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LIFE is great on two-wheels but add chocolate and it's even better. Sydney Rides festival’s celebration of bikes and family fun in the outdoors includes a chocolate ride this Saturday October 14th that tours some of our tastiest chocolatiers, gelato manufacturers and patisseries in Sydney. Eat your way around the backstreets of Marrickville on a choc-tastic bike tour weekend.

A highlight on the chocolate ride is Adora Handmade Chocolates - a little blue oasis of all things chocolate at the southern end of Marrickville’s Steel Park, just across the Cooks River bridge. Adora, with chocolate cafes also at Newtown, Sydney CBD and Parramatta, boasts a loose chocolate range that includes an orange champagne truffle with freshly squeezed orange, zest, champagne and white chocolate as well as the Ben Hur, with walnuts and mocha butter coated in chocolate. 

If that does not have your taste buds tingling the sweet treat packs include chocolate drizzled marshmallows.

City of Sydney cycling strategy manager Fiona Campbell says there is so much to discover on the side streets of Sydney, particularly by bike, and if there’s one thing people love to find and eat it’s chocolate. 

“We like to think of it as best of both worlds - being active and eating chocolate,” she says.

Experienced guides will lead you to the hidden chocolatiers, gelato manufacturers, patisseries and specialty shops you never knew existed.

This ride is perfect for those with a sweet tooth, so if you're heading down to Sydney this weekend make sure to check it out. 

The chocolate ride is one of the 30 events on this year’s Sydney Rides calendar. You’ll need to take your own bike and helmet. Bookings essential at sydneycycleways.net

Sourcedailytelegraph.com.au

Choc Travel : chocolART, Tübingen, Germany

Alison Campbell

Held in the picturesque historic old town of Tübingen in central Baden-Württemberg, chocolART is Germany's largest chocolate festival. A gathering of International master chocolatiers from five continents, the festival offers visitors a diverse mix of chocolate themed activities, from chocolate tastings and cooking course to exhibitions, workshops and chocolate art. 

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Thirty kilometres south of the state capital, Stuttgart - Tübingen is a traditional university town. Tübingen's Altstadt (old town) attracts a growing domestic tourism business as visitors come to wander through one of the few completely intact historic Altstädte in Germany. The highlights of Tübingen include its crooked cobblestone lanes, narrow-stair alleyways picking their way through the hilly terrain, streets lined with canals and well-maintained traditional half-timbered houses.

Germany is one of the countries with the highest chocolate consumption per capita. In the past chocolate used to be reserved for the rich and the aristocracy due to high tariffs and taxes and mainly available in pharmacies. Now it is a luxury food for everyone.

More than 200,000 visitors attend the chocolART festival, and over a hundred master chocolatiers travel from Africa, South and North America, Europe and Asia to compete with their range of cocoa-based products. 

Spread across over 10000 sqm of festival site, the chocolART program includes chocolate art, chocolate theatre, chocolate illuminations, fine chocolate tastings, creative pralines course, artful cocoa painting and chocolate lectures. 

Sounds like a good excuse to rug up and get on a plane to Europe this Winter. :)

When: December 5-10, 2017
Where: Tübingen, Germany
More Info: chocolate.de

Choc Travel : Modica, Italy....one of the world's best kept secrets

Alison Campbell

For years, travellers have been drawn to Sicily’s intriguing history, smoking volcanoes and famed cuisine, but somehow the island’s distinctive chocolate – made in the Unesco World Heritage town of Modica and inspired by the traditions of the ancient Aztecs – has remained one of the world’s best-kept secrets.

When the Spanish were ruling Sicily in the 16th Century, conquistadors went to Mexico and brought back cacao and the recipes needed for what the Aztecs called xocoàtl, a paste ground by a smooth round stone called a metate. Unlike the often over-sugared and creamy snack we know as chocolate, the original xocoàtl was bitter and used to enhance sauces for meat dishes, grated over salads or eaten on its own as a dietary supplement. If prepared with certain spices, it was considered an aphrodisiac.

In Modica, generations of families have followed the same techniques, using metates crafted with lava stone from Mt Etna. Locals would mix the chocolate paste with sugar, “cold working” it so that the sugar doesn’t get hot enough to melt; it gives the treat an unusual but deliciously crunchy texture. Then, they would incorporate flavours typically enjoyed on Sicily such as lime oil or pistachio. Today, flavourings are occasionally adapted to more modern tastes such as the current European fashion for sea salt chocolate.

As soon as I arrived in Modica, my eyes took in the sights of baroque churches, piazzas lined with palm trees and entrances to tiny, twisty alleyways. My nose, on the other hand, was unable to escape the ubiquitous scent of cocoa and exotic spices.

The first shop I encountered was the grand Antica Dolceria Bonajuto, which dates back to the 1880s, and is still run by the family who founded it. When the rest of Europe began to develop a taste for milk chocolate in the 19th Century, the Bonajuto family eschewed the practice and continued making dairy-free, dark chocolate in the Aztec style. All along the counter were dishes filled with samples infused with chilli, cinnamon, lemon oil, sea salt, vanilla, caramel and other flavours.

Just down the road is Antica Dolceria Rizza, which opened in 1935 and makes their now-renowned treats with flavours such as fiery ginger. At Caffe del’ Arte, which doubles as a café, I had the opportunity to sip hot chocolate alongside chocolate-covered fruit and typical Sicilian pastries like cannoli.

Modica’s businesses are serious about preserving – and celebrating – their chocolate traditions. (Even when most of Modica’s infrastructure was destroyed in the 1693 earthquake, the chocolate industry survived). In 2013, the Consortium for the Protection of Modica Chocolate published recipes dating back to the 1740s, and in December, an annual festival called ChocoModica melds the town’s two most important features: chocolate and baroque architecture. There’s even a dedicated chocolate museum, the Museo del Cioccolato (Corso Umberto I, 149, 97015; 39-347-461-2771), located within the Palace of Culture. Inside, almost everything is made out of chocolate, from classical-style statues to a relief map of Italy, and there are videos demonstrating how the chocolate is made along with a valuable archive of historical recipes.

Recently, Modica and the surrounding area were chosen as a filming location for a popular BBC mystery series, bringing a new wave of tourists to discover the secret of Modica’s chocolate as they follow in the main character’s footsteps. But even if the secret gets out, the unusually prepared treat remains nearly impossible to find outside of Italy.

Source: bbc.com
Photos: Antica Dolceria Bonajuto

 

Choc Travel : Lyon, France...home of Bernachon's Le Président

Alison Campbell

Lyon’s love affair with chocolate goes back to the seventeenth century, when two influential chocolate lovers, archbishop Alphonse de Richelieu and Anne of Austria, ensured a steady supply into the region. The archbishop relied on chocolate to relieve his bad moods, and the abundance of chocolatiers that have since flourished in Lyon might explain the even-tempered nature of the population.

Home to around 50 chocolatiers, including six winners of the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France (best French artisan) title for pastry and chocolate and one for chocolate alone, Lyon is not so much a creative hotbed of this craft as a keeper of traditions.

One of the city’s best-known chocolate shops, Bernachon, has been making bean-to-bar chocolate in its laboratory behind the shop since 1953: impressive considering that only a handful of chocolatiers in France do the same today. 

The first thing that strikes the visitor to Bernachon is a spectacular cake in the window, the pastry equivalent of an Elizabethan ruffle. Soaked with cherry alcohol, filled with hazelnut gianduja (chocolate-hazelnut paste) and topped with an explosion of chocolate, Le Président was created in 1975 for president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, with the original cake weighing 3 kg and serving 20 people. Now available in multiple sizes, it remains a signature pastry.

Though it houses a pastry shop and tea room, Bernachon is primarily a chocolaterie, producing its bars and filled chocolates by hand on the premises with beans that it imports mainly from Latin America. Founded in 1953 and still a family business, it has only one shop in Lyon and its chocolates are difficult to find elsewhere.

Two unique bars available here are the Jour et Nuit, with dark chocolate on one side and milk chocolate on the other, and the Kalouga, caramel-filled dark chocolate. Worth exploring too are their bite-sized chocolates, including the celebrated Palet d’or filled with dark ganache and topped with gold leaf, or the Pacha, an intense rum praline coated with dark chocolate. Freshness is key here, and the chocolates come with instructions to savour them quickly: not a problem for most. 

Source: itinerariesoftaste.sanpellegrino.com

Choc Travel : Kids dreams come true at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie

Alison Campbell

Thinking about heading south during the school holidays? Don’t go past this sweet new destination experience…..the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery on Victoria’s iconic Great Ocean Road.

Ian and Leanne Neeland had a Willy Wonka-like dream to build a chocolate factory…..and late last year they made every Aussie child’s dream come true, doing just that with their Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery.

The couple recognised a gap in the market in the wineries regions, and plugged it with chocolate. "They (wineries regions) already have a tourism component  … and already have people visiting them and there is a gap for family friendly attractions," Neeland says. "You can only take your kids to so many wineries." 

Around an hour from Melbourne, the chocolaterie has a firm family focus, so if you’ve got the kids in tow you’re in for a treat. Their weekly Junior Chocolatier classes – 45 minute hands on workshops for 6-12 year olds - also run right through the school holidays…little chef’s delight with their own hat and apron, graduation certificate plus take home chocolate creations.

And while the kids are knee deep in chocolate, big people can enjoy the myriad of free tastings, with over 250 milk, dark and white chocolate pastilles to choose from. The product range features ingredients hand picked from their own kitchen garden and emerging orchard. Their collection of over 7000 truffles uses cocoa sourced from eight different regions around the world. If that’s not enough to tempt you, they also offer free tastings from their extensive range of house made icecreams and sorbets.

What’s not to love?

The Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery is open 7 days a week, every day except Christmas. So put it on your bucket list.

Source: gorci.com.au/
and smh.com.au

 

Choc Travel: The Aroma Coffee and Chocolate Festival

Alison Campbell

Bringing our regular Choc Travel feature a bit closer to home this month, we're looking forward to the Aroma Coffee and Chocolate Festival in the Hunter Valley this year.

The warm aroma of freshly ground coffee beans and rich melted chocolate descend on Maitland in the Hunter Valley during this wintery August festival. Featuring expert chocolatiers, talented baristas and the best of the region’s winemakers it is the perfect way to ward off the winter chill.

This festival of the senses sees the riverside come alive, allowing rugged up visitors to enjoy some of the most indulgent products from across the entire Hunter Region.

Each winter Maitland casts off the winter blues with a few thousand cups of hot coffee and sweet chocolate treats, but the Aroma Festival is more than just an excuse to indulge  – it’s a celebration of the region’s growing love affair with the people and products behind the food and coffee scene.

This year the festival takes place on the 12-13 August, bringing dozens of stalls, experts, artists and attractions to the riverside carpark, the riverbank and the Levee in Maitland. The festival has grown year-on-year - last year over 15,000 people attended the festival and this year is set to be bigger and better.  Sounds like a good excuse for a weekend break in the Hunter Valley. We'll see you there. :)

The event runs from 10am to 4pm on the 12-13 August.
For more information visit maitlandaroma.com.au

Photos: maitlandaroma.com.au
Sources: maitlandmercury.com.au
               mymaitland.com.au

Choc Travel : The Grenada Chocolate Festival

Alison Campbell

At 344 square kilometres, with an estimated population of 110,000, Grenada is home to miles of unspoiled white sand beaches, verdant green rolling hills, mountainous peaks, winding rivers, and cascading waterfalls. But it is also the 'Island of Spice' ...a  leading producer of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace, allspice, orange/citrus peels, wild coffee, nutmeg and delicious organic cacao. The perfect Caribbean destination for a chocolate festival!

The upcoming Grenada Chocolate Festival takes place from May 12th to May 20th 2017. Visitors to this 9-day chocolate-themed festival will have the opportunity to partake in a unique visitor experience based around Grenada’s pure, delicious, organic and sustainable cacao industry.

Highlights include:

  • Becoming a farmer for a day and experience the old fashion and ethical way to grow and pick organic cacao.
  • Learning from Grenadian artisans how hand-made, small-batch, ethically-produced, tree to bar chocolate is crafted.
  • Taking a journey through the history of chocolate, bartering with cocoa beans as the Mayas did, learning to grind cocoa the old fashioned way and taste a wide range of decadently delicious chocolate food and desserts.
  • Kicking back and relaxing with friends while indulging with aromas of locally brewed chocolate cuisine, beer and rums and dancing to local drums by a bonfire at the beach, enjoying chocolate Pina Coladas and other exotic chocolate-inspired Caribbean cocktails.

And in between all that chocolate tasting, you'll be able to discover the beautiful island of Grenada, its friendly people and pristine natural environment, and luxuriate in cocoa-infused island life.