Chocolate Week is running from the 13th - 19th October 2014, packed full of indulgent things to do. Here are iLoveMyGrub’s chocolatey highlights.
Tastings, bake-offs and chocolate-inspired menus. It's all happening during Chocolate Week, but where to go? Try this lot for starters, with our top picks from around the UK:
**1. Create your own chocolate bar**
(Selfridge's Food Hall, The Bullring, Mall East, Birmingham B5 4BP)
Mighty Fine, makers of chocolate from London's East End, bring their salted caramel, fresh fudge and chocolatey know-how to Birmingham. Come and create your own chocolate bar in just 7 minutes at Selfridge's Food Hall, from Chocolate Week through to Christmas.
**2. Chocolate afternoon tea**
(Liberty Cake Co. 137 The Rock, Bury, Lancashire, BL9 0ND)
Throughout the week, this town centre cakery will be offering a different chocolate bake special each day. Once you've had your fill of shopping, come and rest tired feet enjoying a limited edition Chocolate Afternoon Tea. Tea served from 11.30am-4.30pm, Tues-Sat, 11.30am-3.30pm Sun, book 24hrs in advance.
**3. Chocolatety menu**
(Four Seasons Hotel, St Fillans, Crieff, Perthshire, PH6 2NF, Scotland)
For the ultimate indulgent experience, sample Perthshire partridge with a puy lentil, choc and hazelnut dressing or baked goat's cheese with spiced chocolate-scented fruit chutney. Top it off with a warm chocolate and Bourbon nemesis and a glass of chilled chocolate vodka. Yum!
**4. Mexican-inspired chocolate menu!**
(The Bistro at Vaughn's Kitchen, 7 Little Brittox, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1AR)
In honour of the continent that gave 'dark gold' to the world, Vaughan's Kitchen at The Bistro in Devizes, will be serving an autumn Mexican menu, replete with Divine Chocolate-based dishes.
**5. Chocolate tasting afternoon**
(Dryslwyn Community Shop, Dryslwyn, SA32 8QX, South Wales)
At the heart of Carmarthenshire, this bustling community shop is hosting a chocolate-tasting afternoon. It's a hub of locally produced, Fairtrade, ethically sourced and environmentally conscious fare. Come along for an afternoon of chocolate munching and hot-chocolate sipping in the tearoom.
**6. Chocolate, gin and sausages**
(Sylvesters, 55-57 West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DB)
Coco Chocolate is teaming up with Sylvesters Restaurant to provide the ingredients for a stunning Chocolate Week menu. Starters include beetroot and white chocolate, whilst the gin & tonic and chocolate sauce dessert is a real speciality. If that's whet your appetite for chocolate-inspired flavour matches, butchers Crombie's of Edinburgh (on Broughton Street) are adding Coco's ingredients to goodies such as their chilli and chocolate sausages. Yes, really.
**7. Fairtrade chocolate bake off**
(Just Fairtrade, 36 Silver Street, Leicester, LE1 5ET)
Francis Quinn, The Great British Bake Off winner of 2013, will be judging this chocolatey bake off on Saturday 18th October 2014. Just Fairtrade offers customers the largest range of Fairtrade products in the Midlands, and during Chocolate Week, Divine Chocolate will be offering free samples and promotions.
**8. Chocolate fix for cyclists**
(The Cycle Hub, Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 1BU)
Cycle on down to The Cycle Hub, where Newcastle wheelies can chat over a range of homemade cakes and tasties, showcasing ingredients from Divine Chocolate.
**9. Chocolate treasure trail**
(The Community Shop at Flintham, Inholms Rd, Nottinghamshire, NG23 5LF)
The Community Shop at Flintham is hosting a Chocolate Treasure Trail. Follow clues around village landmarks, take your completed sheet back to the shop and receive a chocolatey prize for correct answers.
**10. Salted caramel chocolate brownies**
(My Coffee Stop, 34 High St, BA4 5AS)
Stop for chocolate treats at either of My Coffee Stop's two locations, Enfield Chase Station and Shepton Mallet High Street. There are delights to sample throughout Chocolate Week, including a special gluten-free salted caramel & Divine Chocolate brownie. This independent outlet is an award-winning, cosy base for a chat and a cuppa.
**11. Chocolatey coffee morning**
(Halstock Village Shop, Yeovil Rd, Bransford, BA22 9RU)
The community-led, volunteer-run Halstock shop is gaining a name for itself in the Bransford area, and they're baking up a storm for Chocolate Week. Keep out the autumn chill at the twice-weekly coffee mornings with Divine hot chocolates and homemade cakes.
**12. Willy Wonka workshop**
(York Cocoa House, 3 Blake St, York, YO1 8QJ)
This innovative chocolate emporium runs year-round chocolate-making workshops and events, from creating your own chocolate lollipop to tasting tours. During Chocolate Week you can pop along and make your own chocolate bar from 4pm on the 14th October. There's also a special Willy Wonka Workshop at 6.30pm, on the 16th, just in case you need another cocoa fix.
**13. The Chocolate Show**
(17th - 19th October, Olympia West, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London W14 8UX)
Of course London will be hosting a chocolate box-full of events, culminating in The Chocolate Show. All of chocolate London will be there, including the country's leading makers and purveyors. Highlights include demos in chocolate and pastry making from the likes of Paul A Young in the Chocolate Theatre, talks and tastings in the Tasting Room and hands-on workshops in the Chocolate Atelier. The cherry on top is the stunning, world-famous Chocolate Fashion Show, with couture outfits made from and/or inspired by the confectionery. A collaboration of UK's top chocolatiers and exciting fashion designers - watch they don't melt under the lights!
**14. ****Chocolate Ecstasy Tours**
Discover London and Brighton's best chocolate haunts with chocolate afficionado Jennifer Earle. During Chocolate Week, she'll be running tours in Mayfair on Monday 13th October, Friday 17th and Saturday 18th all at 10am, a Brighton tour on Saturday at 10am, and a Chelsea tour on Sunday 19th at 11.30am. Along with more chocolate to taste than you can probably handle, Jennifer's tours are also packed with fascinating facts including where to find the Queen's favourite chocolates, and how to get your paws on the best hot chocolate in town. Cocoa overload in the best possible way.
Catch all the news during Chocolate Week, minute by sweet-toothed minute at Facebook.com/chocolateweek
For Chocolate Week events, visit: www.chocolateweek.co.uk
- Running a chocolate-filled event during Chocolate Week? Let us know at @iLoveMyGrub and we'll do our best to re-Tweet!
**Written by:** Bryony Weaver