Chocolate Hotel Easter Workshop, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
Treat the kids to a mouth-watering and appetizing morning at Blenheim Palace with one of the many hour-long chocolate workshops, organized by Hotel Chocolat, which take place in the palace’s walled gardens (April 12-18).
The workshop will address the history of cocoa and chocolate, before offering children the opportunity to decorate their own chocolate plate. Afterwards, families can take part in the traditional Easter egg hunt (April 15-18), enjoy fairground rides and Punch and Judy shows, and learn circus tricks under the big top.
Chocolate workshop £15 (reservation required), www.blenheimpalace.com
Chocolate tasting evening, Edinburgh
Hosted at Coco Chocolatier, one of Scotland’s most innovative chocolatiers, the Chocolate Connoisseurs’ Night offers fascinating – and tasty – insight into the chocolate-making process. It starts with the chance to taste cocoa nibs and butter, and visitors learn the five sensory tests of what makes a superior chocolate bar, before ending with a liquor and chocolate pairing.
The Chocolate Connoisseurs Evening is £25, cocochocolatier.com. Coco Chocolatier is in the village of Queensberry, a short drive from the center of Edinburgh. Stay at the nearby Dakota, where stylish double rooms cost from £69 room-only, dakotahotels.co.uk
Easter Chocolate Workshops, Trehafod, South Wales
Combine a visit to the Rhondda Mining Museum with a chocolate-themed workshop for kids at the Chocolate House, which also has a cafe and shop on site. It’s ideal for young children (3 and up), who can get gloriously messy decorating an Easter-themed lollipop, brownie and cookie, and teenagers will enjoy the chocolate tasting session, which ends with a quiz on the subject of chocolate.
Workshops should be Reserved in advance, the tasting session can be organized for a minimum of six people. Easter workshops £10, chocolaterie.fr. The Heritage Park Hotel is a stone’s throw from the museum, with double rooms from £70 room-only, heritageparkhotel.co.uk
The Chocolate Box Hotel, Bournemouth
Start a day by the sea with a breakfast of chocolate pancakes at this themed B&B, a short walk from Bournemouth beach. Rooms are decorated in a palette of cocoas and creams, and come with a selection of handmade chocolates to dip into upon arrival. Gather a group of friends to book a Chocadence package at the tasting bar, complete with brownies, cookies and pancakes, plus strawberries and marshmallows to dip in milk and white chocolate fountains.
Doubles from £62 B&B, Chocadence packages from £26, thechocolateboxhotel.co.uk
History of York Chocolate
Explore 3,000 years of cocoa-themed history in a town that has been home to some of the UK’s most famous chocolate brands, including Terry’s and Rowntree’s. The guided experience includes a history area, with many facts and stories about York’s founding chocolates, and a factory area, which explores the process of converting the bean into bars. Visit April 14-18 to experience the city’s chocolate festival (www.yorkfoodfestival.com), with hands-on demonstrations, workshops and plenty of opportunities to taste and buy.
£15.95/£13.50; yorkchocolatestory.com. Stay at the Guy Fawkes Inn, a lovely pub with rooms in the shadow of the cathedral (double from £170 room only, guyfawkesinnyork.com
Chocolate Metropolis, Leeds
A delicious deal from Hotel Chocolat, the ‘metropolis’ combines a chocolate school, café and Hôtel Chocolat store, selling all of their chocolate products. The school offers a Bean to Bar experience – a 90-minute workshop that encompasses the entire chocolate-making process – with children’s chocolate workshops also offered.
Bean to Bar £65, Kids Chocolate Workshops £20, hotelchocolat.com. Stay at Malmaison, a stone’s throw away, with soberly chic rooms and a lively cocktail bar and bistro, from £89 room only, malmaison.com
Chocolate Masterclass, Matlock, Derbyshire
For something more adult, this one-day course at Coghlans Cookery School in Stancliffe Hall is a comprehensive introduction to the art of chocolate cooking, taught by Simon Lilley. Ideal for those who want to understand the techniques involved, the day covers everything from tempering and molding chocolate to decorating cakes and transfers. The course includes lunch and recipe cards and the next Masterclass is scheduled for June 17.
The Chocolate Masterclass is £150, cuisineexpert.fr. Then check into the comfortable Hodgkinson’s Hotel in Matlock Bath, where double rooms start from £105 B&B, hodgkinsons-hotel.co.uk.
Chocolate Ecstasy Tour, London
Discover some of London’s most mouth-watering chocolatiers on this 3-hour walking tour around Mayfair and Soho, which combines insight into the chocolate-making process with visits and tastings at several shops. The tour begins with hot chocolate and a brief introduction, before setting off with your guide to learn about both the area’s history and its most chocolatey treats. At least four shops are included, all with tastings, as well as the opportunity to buy at reduced prices.
Tours can only be booked privately, for groups of 2-8 people, with half-day and full-day tours available. From £240 for up to five people (£48 for each additional person), chocolatecstasytours.com
Children’s Chocolate Factory, Hawkshead, Lake District
The perfect rainy-weather activity on a Lakeland break, the factory offers 45-minute workshops for kids, leaving parents to enjoy a leisurely coffee (or hot chocolate) in the cafe – although adults can join in on their own. they wish. Children have the chance to make chocolate animals, a personalized bar and marshmallows.
Workshops £17, chocolateriehawkshead.co.uk. Stay at Lakes Lodges, two bedroom lodge from £875 per week, lakeslodges.com
Cadbury World, Birmingham
The ultimate chocolate-themed day out, Cadbury World encompasses several different areas, which can be explored on a self-guided tour. Experiences include a dip in the Aztec jungle to learn about the history of cocoa, a 4D cinema with moving seats that immerse viewers in bowls of liquid chocolate and propel them along a Crunchie roller coaster, hands-on workshops for create your own shocks, and the Bournville Experience, exploring Cadbury’s long history.
Tickets from £19.95/£14.75 (less than4s free), cadburyworld.co.uk. The Belfry Hotel offers an overnight Cadbury World package, including accommodation in a family roombreakfast and tickets, from £189, thebelfry.com.