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And now the whole country, indeed, the whole world, seemed suddenly to be caught up in a mad chocolate-buying spree, everybody searching frantically for those precious remaining tickets.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
This year marks the tenth anniversary of Tim Burton's film adaptation of the wonderful, wacky Roald Dahl novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Driven by this and an unwavering love for the delectable treat, we decided to host our very own chocolate making event for some of our favourite bloggers. Not that we needed an excuse to get elbow deep in the good stuff. The bloggers arrived at Copthorne Hotel Manchester and were greeted with wine and canapés, shortly after which they took part in a masterclass like no other.
After a successful evening of chocolate crafting (and chocolate devouring), we got to thinking about the UK's very own chocolate factories. As Roald Dahl so shrewdly observed, we're a nation of chocoholics. So just where can the addicts amongst us go to indulge our cravings? Without further ado, and in no particular order, we give you:
The UK's best chocolate experiences
Hotel Chocolat, London, Leeds, Manchester, Aberdeen, Edinburgh
Hotel Chocolat are renowned for their luxury taste in chocolate and world famous for their scrumptious products. But the chocolate heaven doesn't have to stop at purchasing their goods. Hotel Chocolat actually run loads of great tasting and making events, such as their 'Bean to Bar Experiences', in which you learn how to make chocolate entirely from scratch.
Cadbury World, Birmingham
Cadbury world does what it says on the tin. Go for a full day of exploring, where you'll learn about everything from how they make the chocolate to how they advertise. They even have that gorilla on site.
Antes Chocolate Factory, Warving
Antes Chocolate Factory is great for kids and adults alike. They offer chocolate workshops for everything from birthday parties to hen parties, and use only the very best Belgium chocolate.
The Chocolate Boutique Hotel, Bournemouth
This one takes chocolate-loving to a new level. Set in a grade II listed building, the Chocolate Boutique Hotel is one of a kind (literally), with chocolate themed rooms that all come with their very own Augustus Gloop style choccy fountain. Yes, this place actually exists.
Davenport's Chocolates Studio, Gateshead
One of the UK's best chocolatier's, Jane Williams, brings an innovative approach to taste, texture and style in all of her chocolates. Luckily for us, she's kind enough to give the public access to her studio to get an insight into how she crafts her perfect products.
Chocolate Ecstasy Tours, London, Brighton
Chocolate Ecstasy Tours take small groups of people to various locations to indulge in chocolatey treats. Go on a gentle walk for around a mile, and fill your boots with some of the Britain's most delicious truffles, caramels and pralines. Bliss.
The Chocolate Show, London
Taking place at Olympia National Hall, The Chocolate Show forms the grand finale of Chocolate Week each year. Yes, you heard correctly, Chocolate Week. Visitors of the show are indulged in some of the world's finest chocolate treats, and can even witness a chocolate fashion show, take part in chocolate workshops, and basically get downright chocolatey in every which way.
Ok, that's enough. It's time to raid the emergency chocolate stash.