THEY say woman rated chocolate higher than sex in a recent survey (Women’s Health Mag) giving a whole new meaning to the saying “I’ll have what she’s having”. The humble cocoa bean clearly isn’t just a pretty face!
So where best to experience this love affair with the converted cocoa bean? A chocolate factory, of course, and there are plenty around Melbourne that must be on your hit-list. Try these.
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery
35 Old Healesville Road, Yarra Glen
Head out Old Healesville Road in the Yarra Valley and you’ll stumble across this gem at which free tastings are in abundance. Best of all it’s only an hour from Melbourne’s CBD and set amidst one of the state’s premier wine regions. The bonus? Ice creamery as well! Skilled European chocolatiers craft more than 200 varieties of chocolates, there’s a cool cafe inside and the kids can run off all that extra energy on the games area and expansive lawn.
Pink Lady Chocolates
13 Hume Street, Huntingdale
Since 1938 this icon of the chocolate world has been hand blending “exceptional ingredients” to perfect their “superfine chocolates”. Pink Lady chocolates are renowned for going hand in hand with a night out at the theatre way back in the day and their reputation for premium products still stands strong today. From handmade cream truffles to twist selections to their famous tablets and hearts, a drive to Huntingdale is well worth it to snap up some bargains.
Phillip Island Chocolate Factory
930 Phillip Island Road, Newhaven
It’s a cruisy 90-minute drive from the Melbourne CBD, but one well worth it. Phillip Island Chocolate Factory is one like no other: beautiful milk chocolates blended to perfection, a great little tour – Panny’s Amazing World of Chocolate for about $15 and loads of fun games and interactive features including a gorgeous chocolate fountain and chocolate making line where you can whip up a chocky treat in your own special way. There is more chocolate than you can imagine including other treats such as a choc dipped bananas, ginger, honey and amazing rocky road. Pannys café sells the most amazing meals, drinks and snacks, all with a chocolate theme.
The Chocolate Garden
55 Hallam Road, Hampton Park
Head east for the hills and you’ll stumble upon beautiful Dandenong Chocolate Factory now known as The Chocolate Garden. The family owned business has been servicing Melbourne clients with scrumptious chocolate treats for the past 30 years. They have a large range of personalised gifts including chocolate bouquets, hampers, and wedding, baby, birthday and occasion bonbonnieres.
11 Strathalbyn Street, Kew East
A shop rather than a choc factory, pronounced sho-KO-la-tl, this is the Aztec word for chocolate and for more than 10 years Christos Partsiogloui and family have served up Belgium-style chocolate truffles filled with beautiful combinations including balsamic strawberry at their chocolate cafes. Bon Bons, blocks, bars and even healthy options are all the rage here and keep locals and visitors coming back for more.