Posts Tagged With: Angelina

Best Vacations for Chocolate Lovers

As a chocolate lover this article drew me in immediately. All rights belong to Fodor’s. To view the original article click here. I’ve only been to one of the places listed below and that is Angelina. I’ve also done a chocolate tour in Seattle, which I’m surprised wasn’t on the list.

Best vacations for chocolate lovers

Fodor's

By Dana McMahan November 26, 2013 8:19 PM
Photo by Elina Manninen/Dreamstime.com

Vacations are a chance to indulge—and what better way to truly treat yourself than with chocolate? You can even plan an entire trip around pure, cacao-infused bliss. Whether it’s hot chocolate worthy of an overnight flight, edible chocolate museum tickets, or the chance to immerse yourself in a chocolate-centric hotel, there’s a world of chocolate delights waiting, and we’ve got 10 sweet places you shouldn’t miss.

VESTRI
Florence, Italy

What’s better than Italy? How about an Italian Chocolate Valley? This area of northern Tuscany is known for its dedication to pure chocolate (no added vegetable oils). For a taste of paradise in Florence, visit the tiny Vestri boutique for some of the finest chocolate imaginable. And strongly consider the dark chocolate and Sicilian orange gelato.

Expect crowds, but the luxurious Turin chocolates at Venchi are worth the wait. And if hitting the shops isn’t enough, plan a visit for next spring’s handmade chocolate fair for tastings, workshops, and lots more.

Where to Stay: Calling the historical Golden Tower homes comes with a nice perk: an on-site Chocolate Bar serving up more than two dozen varieties of chocolate.

Photo by summer park

ANGELINA
Paris, France

You’ll never look at hot chocolate the same after you partake of the impossibly thick chocolat chaud at this opulent Angelina on Rue Rivoli. Your pitcher is served with a side of freshly whipped cream. Ceremoniously pour the molten chocolate into your little cup and raise a toast to Paris—and chocolate.

If you prefer your chocolate in bite-sized quantities, head to the laboratory of Jacques Jenin where shopping for chocolate is akin to buying jewelry. Select each piece from the display case and have it be oh-so-carefully removed by white-gloved staff.

Where to Stay: Ensconce yourself at the decadent Mandarin Oriental, where you’ll also find the Cake Shop, home to executive pastry chef Thierry Mathieu’s chocolate treats.

Photo Courtesy of Maison Cailler Elina Manninen/Dreamstime.com

SWISS CHOCOLATE TRAIN
Montreux and Broc, Switzerland

For an experience as magical as visiting Willy Wonka’s factory, visit Montreux and board the Swiss Chocolate Train, a 1915 “Belle Epoque” Pullman car, for a round trip journey to Nestlé’s Maison Cailler factory in Broc, where you’ll take a tour and taste the creamy milk chocolate. Bonus: you’ll also visit the Gruyères cheese factory. Or develop your chocolate tasting skills with the tour at Confiserie Poyet in Vevey.

Where to Stay: Sleep where milk chocolate was born, in Vevey. And do it in grand style at the Grand Hotel du Lac.

Photo by Oh-Barcelona.com

MUSEU DE LA XOCOLATA
Barcelona, Spain

Your tickets are edible. Need we say more? The Museu de la Xocolata will educate you about how Spanish conquerors brought chocolate to Europe from South America—and its inevitable spread. Imagine—what if nobody ever thought to add sugar to cocoa? Take part in one of nearly 20 of the museum’s activities, many of which are family friendly. Revel in the delicious chocolate tastings, sample wine and chocolate pairings, or even paint with chocolate! Ready to swap hot chocolate for haute chocolat? Try one of bubo’s fanciful creations. Or go old school at Pasteleria Escribawhere word hasit Ferran Adrià’s favorite chocolate croissants can be found.

Where to StayHotel Principal can guide chocolate-lovers to a cornucopia of chocolate shops.

Photo by Alexi Ueltzen

MAST BROTHERS CHOCOLATE
New York City

Sourcing their cacao from small farms in Ecuador, Madagascar, and Venezuela, Mast Brothers Chocolate creates delicious chocolate confections from scratch at their Brooklyn artisanal chocolate factory. And it’s all chocolate all the time at Jacques Torres’ (also known as Mr. Chocolate) stores. Chocolate in every expression your heart desires can be yours thanks to this French chocolatier. For chocolate lovers who also enjoy macarons, check out Richart Design et Chocolat. The luxurious shop has married the two with the devilishly tempting chocomacs.

Where to Stay: Walking distance from Richart in the heart of Times Square is the Muse Hotel.

Photo by Julien Millet

LE SALON DU CHOCOLAT
Paris, France

Any excuse will do to visit Paris, but the annual chocolate extravaganza, Le Salon Du Chocolat, the world’s largest show dedicated to chocolate, is as good as it gets. All under one roof, you can inundate your senses with all things chocolate—plus meet some of the world’s top chocolatiers and sample their wares. For a more intimate experience, join the small group (and surprisingly affordable!) visit to Gerard Mulot’s workshop with Meeting the French or splurge on a private, docent-led chocolate walk with Context.

Where to Stay: The Cadran Hotel aims to please “chocolate addicts” with its in-house chocolate bar.

Photo by Borya/Flickr

PLACE DU GRAND SABLON
Brussels, Belgium

Boutiques ringing the lovely Place du Grand Sablon and its side streets lie in wait for the traveler in need of a chocolate fix. Here in the heart of chocolate nirvana, Belgium, pick from among the likes of WittamerPierre Marcolini and Frederic Blondeel and create your own chocolate-tasting tour—just be sure to try the pralines as well.Choco-nerds can geek out with the history and exhibits at the Musée du Cacao et du Chocolat while home cooks will want to try their hand making pralines at the Planète Chocolat workshops. And if you just can’t get enough join this weeklong chocolate tour of Belgium.

Where to Stay: Plant yourself in the midst of “chocolate heaven” as fans have dubbed the square, and make NH Hotel du Grand Sablon your home base.

See all of Fodor’s 10 vacations for the chocolate lovers

Advertisements
Categories: Food, Mish Mash, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Let Them Eat Cake and Walk 4 Miles

July 29 2012

We had breakfast at the hotel again. It was so delicious. I had my fill of croissants, mini baguettes, brioche, sugar rolls, and cheese. I asked them for ice this morning because I was getting sick of room temperature water. What a difference! Paris needs to learn about air conditioning and ice.

We took the metro to the Invalides stop where we purchased tickets for a train to Versailles. We didn’t have to wait long before the train arrived. The train wound up being packed! Unfortunately we chose seats that were facing the wrong direction. So we rode backwards. The train was stuffy and riding backwards was making me sick. We passed Paris’ copy/version of the Statue of Liberty. I took a really bad picture of it because I wasn’t expecting to see it. The train ride to Versailles was about an hour long.

My mom and I crossed the street and she stopped at a Starbucks to use the ladies room. Then we walked about four blocks to the chateau. I knew it was huge but a new word needs to be invented for how big Versailles really is. It was an incredible sight to see. We passed a guy dressed as King Tut which was super random and funny. We saw two enormous lines. I knew one was for ticket holders and one was for people with tickets. I got on line and sent my mom to make sure we got on the right line. We had. I had purchased an all access pass online for a lot of money (either 25E or 50E a piece-I think). The line moved very slowly. I was glad we already had tickets or we would have had to wait on two lines. About an hour later we were in. At that point I needed to use the ladies room. Time to wait on another line. There was no paper in the bathroom and I only knew this because I overheard the ladies speaking in Spanish ahead of me. However, they had their own. When they were done and told me to go in next. In Spanish I turned to them and said but isn’t there no paper. Then they bust out laughing. I waited for a stall with paper. While I waited I watched several women walk into a mirror at the bottom of the stairs.

I met up with my mom who was not happy that an art exhibit was being displayed in some of the rooms in Versailles. The art was loud and ostentatious and took away from the beauty of Versailles. We waited for our headsets that were included in the price. The headset was like a walkie talkie and I didn’t like holding it up to my ear so I took out my headphones and plugged them in. They were worked beautifully. Versailles was packed, but the beauty and architecture of the place was incredible. The audio was very informative. I just couldn’t believe that I was walking around in Versailles. I had seen these rooms in movies, documentaries, and in books. I could feel the history around me. I easily could have closed my eyes and pictured King Louis XVI and his contemporaries around me. The Hall of Mirrors was exquisite. There was a random pair of giant high heels in the room. Another room contained a pink helicopter. It seriously was a strange art exhibit.

We saw a sign for Angelina. We have been trying to get to the one on Rue di Rivoli but kept missing it because they close early. So I was like lets do this! We don’t normally eat at places that are part of historical sites because of the cost, but you only live once. There was a short line. You had to tell them whether you wanted to go to the restaurant portion or the quick take out area. We chose the take out bakery area. My mom grabbed a table and I waited on the line for food. About 15 minutes later I emerged with a water bottle, their famous Mont Blanc, and a chocolate macalon (which is basically a long chocolate macaroon). Our deserts were delicious! Now we could say we ate at Versailles. The bathroom had the cutest sign (see the picture below). There was no toilet paper again.

Next we finished up the top level and went downstairs to the children’s bedrooms. Then we did the gift shop. I got postcards and a book. We returned our headsets and went out to the entrance of the gardens. We showed our tickets to prove that we had paid the gardens entrance fee. We went on a day where the fountains were on and music was playing. I wanted to take a hop on hop off tram to see all the sites, but my mom felt 10E a person was too much (even though I was going to pay for it). Hours later my feet would regret listening to her. THE GARDENS ARE MASSIVE! They are also beautiful. You are definitely transported to another time. We posed for pictures with the fountains and statues. Then we started our long walk to the Grand Trianon. About 30 minutes later we still weren’t there so we sat on the side of the road and ate some food from breakfast. We kept going and finally saw it.

The building has a pink hue to it. We showed our all inclusive ticket again. The interior looks a lot like the interior of the chateau, but with a little less gold. They had a lot of portraits out for us to see. It was commissioned by King Louis XIV and was residence to mistresses and many of the royal maidens. Next we walked to the restrooms which weren’t the best but they got the job done. There were bees so I was seriously freaked out. We walked further down the road and saw a sign for another Angelina. That sign made us completely miss the sign for the entrance to the Petit Trianon. So we never went in there, which meant I missed seeing the theater Marie had built. We kept walking to the Hamlet (about 3.5 miles from the beginning). We were beyond exhausted at this point. I felt I could collapse right there and then. We showed our tickets again and spent about 5 minutes walking around. It felt like a zoo and we were too tired to pay attention at this point. We walked back to the area outside of the Petit Trianon (again not realizing it). We waited for the tram and paid 5E to get back to the entrance of the gardens. As we started to drive away it started to rain. We walked back to the train in the pouring rain. We decided to stop at the McDonald’s to get out of the rain and to use the restroom. This was not your average McDonald’s. It was clean and modern looking. They also had a bakery. We bought a box of reasonably priced macaroons.

We boarded the train back into Paris and it was packed. My mom and I took a seat on the floor. We didn’t want to stand for an hour. We got off at Gare d’Austerlitz. Then we took two trains to get to the Moulin Rouge.

Categories: Europe, Family Vacation, Food, France, History, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.