Europeans created the first chocolate bar in 1847, Henry Nestlé was born in Switzerland and the Belgians invented pralines. No wonder Europe’s the preferred continent for chocolate foragers.
1. Turin, Italy
The concept of Nutella originates from this city. The first ever hot chocolate was served in a Turin café. And if you're after the annual Cioccola-Tò chocolate festival, you'll only find it in Turin. Basically, Turin is chocolate. Taking place every November in the city’s Piazza San Carlo, the festival mixes molten hot chocolate with free-flowing samples. From competitions to chocolate workshops, the entire event is free.
CHOC tip: Coffee more your thing? Bicerin is also native to Turin: Espresso, drinking chocolate and hot milk.
2. Jungfraujoch, Switzerland
At the Lindt Chocolate Heaven store in Jungfraujoch, you really are in cloud nine. 3454 metres above sea level, it’s the highest chocolate shop in Europe. Boasting every flavour of Lindt you could possibly imagine, there are slabs of every shape, buckets of Lindor balls and walls lined with shiny ‘eat me now’ bars. And nothing tastes better than Swiss chocolate consumed on a beautiful Swiss mountain.
CHOC tip: Get there by taking the cogwheel train from Interlaken to Jungfraujoch. Better known as the ‘Top of Europe’ the fresh air is as almost as delicious as the chocolate. Almost.
3. Rome, Italy
A former chocolate factory (and the oldest in Rome) ‘SAID dal 1923’ is a restaurant in the San Lorenzo area of the city. This modern Italian eatery now serves top-notch dishes, many of which are infused with cocoa. From chocolate ravioli to eggplant and chocolate sauce, it sounds like a disaster, but it’s very much divine.
CHOC tip: Find it at Via Tiburtina, 135, 00185, Rome.
4. Brussels, Belgium
The home of pralines, Brussels has a long history of quality handmade chocolate. The city’s main square, the Grand Place, is home to four revered chocolate shops. Godiva, Galler, Leonidas and Neuhaus, who claim to be the original creators of the praline. Press your nose against each window display and marvel at the decadence.
CHOC tip: Bruges is also a chocoholic's dream township. Especially along Katelijnestraat, with its half dozen fancy chocolatiers.
5. Bournemouth, UK
Brace yourself chocolate lovers. In Bournemouth you’ll find The Chocolate Boutique Hotel. With 15 chocolate-themed rooms, it’s the non-stop complimentary chocolate that we’re really here for. As well as your bedroom, there’s free chocolate dished out at the bar. Which is also where you can sip on the hotel’s chocolate cocktail. Or maybe you’re more interested in the chocolate fondue fountain? Or a chocolate workshop...
CHOC tip: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So tuck into the hotels’ signature pancakes. Chocolate ones, obviously.