Before I travel anywhere I spend some time with Google and Trip Advisor looking up the best places to get hot chocolate, truffles, macarons, cupcakes and anything else that sounds tasty.
When I did that for London I came across the Chocolate Ecstasy tour run by Jennifer Earle, one of just seven members of the Grand Jury for the International Chocolate Awards. (That means she knows what she’s talking about.) I did the three-hour walking tour around Chelsea but there are full day options as well.
You absolutely get your money’s worth of chocolate on the tour. I was up to my eyeballs after just the three hours and might have gone into shock if I’d eaten any more chocolate, and I never thought I would ever be able to say that given my incredibly high chocolate tolerance.
Now, you can go to Harrods and buy a bunch of chocolates or plot your own route from shop to shop, but there are definite advantages to doing the tour.
For one thing, you get lots and lots of samples, and that will encourage you to try flavors you wouldn’t normally buy for yourself.. Tobacco chocolate, anyone? Or a fois gras and chocolate macaron? Go for it!
Having a guide means you get to learn a lot about each of the shops and the chocolatiers and chefs who run them. You’ll also learn about the chocolate making process and how to properly taste chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.
And finally, if you’re travelling, walking tours are a nice way to meet new people and see areas that you might not hit in your normal sightseeing rounds. Just keep your fingers crossed for dry weather.