Love and romance take center stage each February for Valentine’s Day. And for most of us, nothing goes better with love than chocolate. It started more than 1500 years ago with the Maya and Aztec cultures. Believing the cocoa bean was an aphrodisiac, the Aztec ruler, Montezuma, allegedly drank several cups of a strong and dark chocolate drink known as “xocoatl” before visiting his harem to give him stamina. Maybe that’s not really love, but you get the point. Spark a bit of romance in your life with one of these chocolate experiences.
Fassbender & Rausch
Berlin is home to the world’s largest chocolate shop, Fassbender & Rausch. A chocolate lover’s dream, this elegant shop offers over 200 varieties of fresh filled chocolates and truffles. At Fassbender & Rausch chocolate meets art with displays of chocolate sculptures of the Berlin TV Tower, the Brandenburg Gate, Titanic and more.
And for romance, check out the charming café upstairs overlooking Gendarmenmarkt serving hot chocolate, hand-crafted mini-tortes and other decadent cocoa creations. The chocolate experience continues in the evening with a four course dinner and a cabaret at the Chocolate Restaurant.
Sometimes you happen upon a chocolate shop that is unspeakably charming and that’s exactly what I found in Norway. There it stood at the water’s edge, a little brown converted boathouse – its rooftop sprouting grass – set against the dramatic backdrop of the Geirangerfjord. The sign read “Chocolate with a View.” They weren’t kidding.
Geiranger Sjokolade produces decadent chocolates from local raw ingredients inspired by the Norwegian fjords and mountains and it’s not hard to find inspiration, just look out the window. Inside the delicious aroma of chocolate permeates the air. A spattering of three or four wooden tables and a nook with comfy sofas invite you and your sweetie to cuddle up with a cup of hot cocoa while you sample uniquely Norwegian flavors like chocolates filled with brown cheese, Arctic berries and Aquavit – Norway’s liquid spirit treasure. The tasty chocolates, warm cocoa and incredible views should be enough to inspire a bit of romance. If not you can always keep an eye out for a Viking.
Adoratio Organic Chocolate
In Germany’s state of Saxon Switzerland find romance along the lovely Painter’s Way trail where table-top mountains and narrow gorges give way to breathtaking views of the Elbe River below. This is the place where painters of yesteryear sought inspiration for their masterpieces. And amid all of this natural grandeur you will fine the absolutely charming Adoratio Chocolates.
This organic chocolate factory takes its inspiration from nature hand crafting extraordinary chocolates with all natural ingredients. Indulge in all the decadent chocolates in the adorable chocolate café surrounded by historical advertising. Or enjoy the chocolate delicacies on the sunny terrace with views of Thürmsdorf castle with its beautiful park. Seriously, what could be better sipping a cup of hot chocolate looking at a castle?
The Hotel Hershey
If there ever was a destination that encouraged traveling for chocolate it’s the Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pennsylvania.. Every day Hershey offers chocolate themed dining, adventure parks, romantic lodging, chocolate spa treatments and chocolate cocktails. In February the chocolate decadence is even more intense when the entire town celebrates Chocolate-Covered February.
The jeweler at the Hotel Hershey carries an exclusive line of Le Vian Chocolate Diamonds found exclusively in the Argyle mine of Western Australia. Try pairing indulgent chocolate body wraps, chocolate martinis and a chocolate diamond. Romance is guaranteed.
What’s your favorite romantic chocolate destination?