Indulge your sweet tooth and prepare your palate for an assault of flavour with a Sydney Chocolate Walking Tour, running from 10:00am each Saturday. Visiting six different emporiums of chocolate throughout the city, your tastebuds are in for a real treat as you sample a wide variety of the sumptuous sugary stuff. The Tour lasts for approximately three hours, finishing at around 1:00pm, so by hiring a vehicle from East Coast Car Rentals, you can lose yourself in a world of chocolate in the morning, taking the rest of the afternoon to explore the dynamic city of Sydney at your own leisure.
Golden Ticket not required
For a reasonable price of just $39, you can summon your inner Charlie Bucket and set about a comprehensive jaunt of Sydney's leading chocolate makers – you won't need a Golden Ticket. Though we cannot promise you'll spot any Oompa-Loompas, you'll meet some of the city's finest Willy Wonka equivalents and can sample a selection of their sumptuous wares. The Everlasting Gobstopper, unfortunately, will not be making an appearance, but a broad diversity of chocolates certainly will – you'll never have realised that so many different varieties existed, from delectable darks, magnificent milks and wonderful whites.
On the Sydney Chocolate Walking Tour, you'll meet a bunch of interesting people (though hopefully not Veruca Salt) that share the same passion for chocolate as you do, including your hosts Claudia, Lexa and Stephanie. These ladies are experienced tour guides, real chocolate connoisseurs and they are full of interesting chocolate facts and anecdotes, so if you have a pressing question regarding all things sweet, just give them a yell. They are on hand to teach you all about the fascinating, yet mysterious history of chocolate.
Each of the the six different venues visited on the tour has its own distinctive aroma that will linger long in your nostrils – the smell of melted chocolate must be among the most pleasant you can experience. The Tour includes a sit-down coffee and dessert break at the halfway point, though as you'll be chomping chocolate throughout the morning, how much room for dessert you'll have is another matter!
Aside from simply tasting the many kinds of chocolate, you'll learn precisely how it is crafted. From its origins as a cocoa bean from the cacao tree, through the traditional processes of chocolate-making as well as some newer methods, you'll discover every step as that humble bean makes its way from the rainforests to melting into a beautiful spread on your tongue. Additionally, you'll develop an understanding how to appreciate and taste chocolate with the wisdom and expertise of an aficionado. It's tantamount to be able to differentiate between the subtle characteristics of two fine glasses of red, almost an art form in itself. Find out how to tell a decent chocolate from one of lesser quality, using sight, smell and feel – just as you would a wine.
Different chocolates have different 'Cacao Percentages', which is a general guide to certain flavour intensities. The numbers found on most premium chocolate brands will have a Cacao Percentage and vary according to milder or deeper chocolate flavour.
Walk it off
The Chocolate Walking Tour will see you ambling through Sydney's elegant Hyde Park, Sydney's oldest. Aside from the acres of exemplary green lawns, mature trees offering respite from the sun and ample sitting spots when you need a rest, Hyde Park is home to the ornate Archibald Fountain, the centrepiece found carved in ancient mythology, such as the bronze Apollo and his myriad of animals. You'll also come across the ANZAC Memorial and the Pool of Reflection.
As evident from its name, the Chocolate Walking Tour features a fair whack of walking, but it isn't especially strenuous. We do, however, recommend that those on the tour are of average mobility as it can get a little tiring for some, though that could be down to the amount of chocolate consumed!