{Sweet Adventure} York's Chocolate Story...

Musique: Willy Wonka - Pure Imagination

Happy Monday dolls! Some weeks ago when I was on holiday, I ventured back to the part of England where I used to live (a post more on that soon). While I was there, I had the pleasure of visiting York's Chocolate Story, a marvellously entertaining and informative place, that guides you through the history of York's most famous chocolate-making families and their wonderful creations. From the moment you walk in you are greeted with scrumptious aromas and delights of chocolate. My oldest daughter and I decided to take the tour and learn more about the story of chocolate.

(note. I have let bits & pieces out of the story, because if I said everything, there wouldn't be any reason to go. Please don't feel like you must read every word, browsing is just fine with me. It's more for those who enjoy a bit of history}


The Chocolate Story is spread over three levels or three zones as they were called, Story Zone, Factory Zone & Indulgence Zone. Each level is filled with exciting information and history in learning how chocolate took over the world as we know it today. You also got to enjoy chocolate at at each zone...which was marvellous. My daughter Saffron giggled with happiness every time the chocolate went around & said, 'Mum, this is the coolest place ever'!

First stop is the Story Zone, this is where you learn the origins of chocolate. Beginning thousands of years ago in the rainforests of Central America, where ancient tribes discovered the power of the cocoa bean (oh I know it's power, ha). Here is where we got to try our first treat of chocolate, to taste just how these tribes would have had it. And it wasn't so nice, haha. It was more like very watered down chocolate with a bit of a spicy taste. But, we downed it and enjoyed the learning experience any way. We learned how chocolate was discovered by explorers & eventually ending up all around the world from York.







 {images via}

Continuing we went through to the 18th century, where it was embraced by York's great Quaker families, who opened their own chocolate shops and cocoa houses. Over the next 300 years, the Tuke, Rowntree, Terry and Craven families made the city of York, world famous for it's chocolate and sweets. We also had the pleasure of tasting some of their efforts as well. Que more happy laughter from Saffron in between mouthfuls of chocolate bites. There was a cool interactive wall of all the founders, and the guide would 'talk' to them. It felt a bit like being in Hogwarts. 

{Via}

We learned all about the people that worked in the factories. They were expected to complete lots and lots of chocolates a day. But, I can tell you, these ladies were such pros, how they could intricately wrap the sweets or apply the toppings so quickly was phenomenal. It really made you appreciate their hard work. Even though, things are done by machines these days, our tour guide explained that many of these ladies were still able to do their jobs super fast even when they had long since retired. I immediately thought of the I Love Lucy episode in the chocolate factory & how she was eventually unable to keep up, something tells me it wouldn't have happened to these ladies, they wanted their jobs too much. Now we know what makes Orange Smarties so special as well, compared to the others ;) (only one with an actual flavour, the rest taste all the same)


Our next stop was to the Factory Zone, here we learned how a cocoa bean is transformed into luscious chocolate in the virtual chocolate factory. We also learned about the history of some of York's most iconic brands of chocolate. But, what Saffron & I enjoyed the most was learning how to properly taste chocolate, it was a bit like wine tasting, but with chocolate of course! What you did was pinch your nose shut, place the chocolate on your tongue, don't bite it, just let it sit there for a few moments and then let your nose go and taste the chocolate. You were meant to taste different things, like a nutty taste.... Me, I just tasted chocolate, hahaha! No, seriously, I did taste a slightly nutty aroma taste to the chocolate, so it was quite interesting to learn. 



After this, we ventured over the the chocolate making station to create & decorate our very own chocolate treats to take with us. We also got to watch a chocolate making demonstration from one of their skilled chocolatiers in the kitchen. Which was awesome, he was really good. Pleasant to watch, made us all laugh as well, which was super. He talked about how a chocolate making case is never cleaned after making chocolates, because it makes the next batch of chocolates taste even better because of the oils and residues that are left behind. He made these shiny green looking chocolates - they looked like scarabs, but they were so gorgeous and the inside tasted of passion fruit. I could have had seconds..thirds...fourths and so on ;-) After the tour was finished & we got our creations, we were able to go and enjoy the last zone....



The Indulgence Zone...here in this sweet cafe, you're able to put your new found chocolate knowledge to the test with a selection of chocolate drinks and delights in the Chocolate Bar Cafe & shop. That is if you wish to after all the chocolate you have tasted already. My daughter and I were stuffed after all the chocolate and decided to just look around at everything instead of having more chocolate. But, I could see plenty of people lining up and sitting to enjoy the hot hot chocolates, milkshakes and many other treats, the aroma was amazing. If you want to see the menu, click here!
My experience of this place was top notch, I would go again and again. The staff were genuine and so friendly and always eager to answer any questions you may have had. You could tell everyone there loved their job and wanted you to enjoy yourself. The knowledge & fun memories you leave with, was very much worth the price to take the tour. It's a definite must stop for anyone who has a love for chocolate. I kept thinking the whole time I was there, that my friend Kim from A Very Sweet Blog would LOVE this place. I hope I get to take her there one day :)) So, if you're ever in York and in need of something to do. Venture into the Chocolate Story for a wonderfully sweet time. 

Have a great day dolls
xoxoxoxox


My Rating - 5 out of 5 hearts Sizzling Heart. 


And an extra special top rating of 'Atomic Heart' for the staff. 



York's Chocolate Story
King's Square, York
YO1 7LD
Tel. 0845 498 9411
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Blog 





Other Random Pictures I took while I was on the tour



{Some Early Looks of the Kit Kat bar. Created in 1935 by Rowntree}



{This tin of chocolate survived the 'war to end all wars', the First World War. It is one of a batch that was sent to the troops by King George V in 1915. The underside of the tin has a striking plate for matches & a slide open compartment that was once filled with picture postcards of York. The troops would send these postcards home & keep replies in the empty compartment}



{This tin of chocolate survived the Boer War. It is one of the many sent by Queen Victoria to front line troops & was filled with chocolate supplied by Rowntree's, Fry's and Cadbury's. Many of the men who received the chocolate would store personal items in the empty tins, which sadly for some came to serve as a memorial for their final days in battle}



{This tin (a bit hard to see, but my camera was playing up) of cocoa was found in the tent of Scott of the Antarctica, when he died. Over a hundred years ago, the staff at Rountree's clubbed together money to help him pay for vital equipment for his expedition, moved by their efforts, he visited the workers in York & gave lectures & lantern shows, he left with armfuls of cocoa. The explorer made it to the South Pole, but died in his tent on the way back. When a rescue party discovered his remains eight months later, this tin of cocoa was with him as well as a touching diary entry that declared, what his men looked forward to most was drinking hot Rowntree's cocoa.}


I hope you enjoyed this Chocolate Story!!





45 comments

  1. Wow that looks like such a fun trip! And so fascinating where chocolate came from. And also what it's turned in to.
    Thanks for sharing, doll! xx

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  2. Hey Kizzy, what a fab place - I adore chocolate (never ate it until I met my chocoholic Mr. - I blame him;-)
    I love the lolly you 2 made, cute. Happy happy week doll,
    Ax

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  3. Ahh I would love to go there :D Not only that I love chocolate but those old chocolate memoirs seem really fascinating. I'm glad that you enjoyed :)
    have a great week Hun :) xxx

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  4. Oh chocolate!!! :-) This place sounds so fab, thanks for the tip. I've been to York quite a few times, but had never heard of it - I seem to always end up at Betty's ;-) I will definitely try to visit next time I'm up there. Have a lovely start to the week xo

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  5. wowwww this place is Amazing, I love chocolate!!! This is wonderland!! have a great monday!
    Don't Call Me Fashion Blogger
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  6. That's very interesting, I adore chocolate Kizzy!

    Ciao
    Nicky

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  7. I think I have to agree with your daughter here - this seems like the coolest place ever!!! :D Reading this just before lunchtime wasn't such a good idea. I'm hungry and this made me want to stuff my whole face with chocolates! Haha! Good thing I have some of it in my bag... :) xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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    1. it was, different than I thought it would be. I loved it. Haha..sorry, I hope you enjoy the chocolate ;-) xoxoxoxoxxoxoxo

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  8. Wow - I would love to go on a York chocolate tour. It is interesting how one should properly taste chocolate though I bet I would just taste chocolate too!


    xoxo,
    Chic 'n Cheap Living

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  9. my husband would be in heaven! and somehow i think i would have been like lucy + ethel in that episode...not being able to keep up with all the chocolates coming off the conveyor belt and having to stuff my face with them! not a bad thing though;)

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    1. Yes :) I would have stuffed my face too, haha :))

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  10. It's fun to learn about the history of places like this, I love the images and I'm sure your daughter enjoyed as well. :) have a wonderful week doll. /Madison xxoo

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  11. This is an awesome story - Something i would like to visit
    Love your pics of the surviving chocolate thins
    Real interesting

    Ariane x

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  12. I love those Kit Kat pictures! And OMG a chocolate making station? I would totally indulge!

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  13. mm it looks delicious! Such a fun trip.
    xoxo Aimee
    Bows&Beau-ties

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  14. Great place to be! Adore choco ;D
    http://theladyvintage.blogspot.fr/

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  15. Love those pics doll, they are wonderful :)) My favorites!!

    New Post up...
    ❤ StylishByNature.com

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  16. I LOVE CHOCOLATE!!!! great place!! nice post!!!!
    Have a good week, dear Kizzy!!! my g+ for your post!!!:)))

    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

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  17. Kizzy, I have got to go to this place! It is Ah-MAZING!!! I'm so glad you and Saffron got there to see it all. You could spend the entire day there! I love the interactive displays they have. That is so cool. It truly pulls you into the story, history and experience. I didn't know there was a proper way to taste chocolate. I would've never guessed that. I looked at the menu. Girl, they have chocolate poured on waffles and a chocolate breakfast. I would just die!!! HAHAHAHAHA You took excellent pictures. I wasn't aware Kit Kat had been around that long. It's amazing how chocolate has evolved. I really enjoyed this post. Thank you so much! I hope one day we can go. ((hug))

    I haven't been blogging much, because my mom had a really bad fall while out the other day. Nothing is broken, but she's bruised and hurting really bad. So I've been taking care of her. Some other things have come up to. When it rains it pours. I'll be ok, but I might not be around a lot this week on the blog. I'll try to post wed and fri. Love you girl. Thanks so much for the shout out. ((hug))
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    Replies
    1. I hope your mom feels better soon doll & you too. Am always here if you need. I send you both all my love!! ((hugs))

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  18. Wow!!!! We love chocolate!!!
    Kisses
    Francy&Stef
    Chic With The Least
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  19. Oh wow, what a fun day! Almost as good as Charlie and the Chocolate factory! Would love to visit a chocolate factory too, I was once at the Lindt & Sprüngli factory when I was a child, but sadly I couldn't enter anything expect the museum, because I was too small. Have a wonderful week my dearest <3

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  20. I always love to visit factories. And although I'm not really into chocolate, I would totally still go to this factory--maybe enjoy a kit kat or two.

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  21. This chocolate story was perfect to start off the week! Glad you got to enjoy this with your oldest girl.

    Have a fab week Kizzy!
    Rowena @ rolala loves

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  22. This place looks amazing Doll, like the kind of thing I would adore to see as well, and to taste! Once again I now can't get the title song out of my head, this place looks a little like Willie Wonkas factory too!

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    Replies
    1. Haha. I love the song :)) You would love this place, it was awesome :))

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  23. Wow! What a sweet post! Dear doll, I love chocolate ... I really am addicted to it! I enjoyed this little excursion without moving me out of my chair ... hehe.

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  24. This place sounds delicious and dreamy like Charlie & The Chocolate Factory! I know I would love it, and I do remember the I Love Lucy episode with the conveyor belt chocolates. So funny! =Jess L

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  25. Such a yummy post!!! Lucky you to have been at such a great chocolate place!! BTW, love the new design on the blog! Hope you are having a wonderful day!
    -Jyoti
    Style-Delights Blog

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  26. Kizzy, This sounds absolutely delightful and a must see for me if I'm ever visiting! There is always an interesting "science" behind this sort of thing.. it's kind of like a fine wine/grape or coffee/bean. There are connoisseurs for everything. I would definitely be craving (I am craving it just reading this!!) after the tour;)

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    1. It was so much fun, I loved it. I hope you do get to go one day :)) I enjoyed it!!

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  27. Oh what a fun post! Thanks for taking us along on your tour of the chocolate factory. I would LOVE to go there. It sounds so interesting. Now I know just how to taste test chocolate although I wasn't too far off. I just didn't pinch my nose. Lol! I am so glad you & Saffron (love her name!) had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us. Much affection doll....

    Debra@stylewisebydebra.com

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  28. wow this place sounds so interesting and fun!! all the chocolate looks so delicious! and i love that you also get to learn about the history of the chocolate too :D

    katslovefashion.blogspot.com

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  29. Great stoty, is always so interesting to know something new| Chocolate is my favourite food hahahahah xx

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  30. Hello hun. how r u? Long time right, sorry. miss u!!
    Omg!! LOVE CHOCALATE, and btw, nice pictures!

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  31. Sounds like a great place!! The chocolate looks so delicious and
    I love the history and stories behind it :) Loved reading this!
    Have a wonderful week Doll


    LOVE BODIL,
    PurePreciousPerfection.com

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  32. What a wonderful sounding place. You get to visit some of the most interesting places.

    Tracy @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights
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  33. Hi beautiful Kizzy!!!!
    OK- you had me at chocolate!!!! I love it!!!!
    What a cool, fun experience!!!!!
    This was very cool!!!!!
    Hope you're having a great week!!!
    Hugs,
    Shannon

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  34. When you previously talked about this trip, I thought the scenario would be a small shop filled with all sort of goodies, not Willie Wonka's haven! That must have been so interesting! Now I feel I should taste a really good selection of chocolates! Lots of love Kizzy. I know I told you already, but your girls' name are so beautiful!!
    Love
    Coco et La vie en rose
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  35. I would like to go on a York chocolate store. It is so interesting that in York city have nice for fair-trade chocolate place. Definitely those old chocolate seem really fascinating.

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