Hotel Chocolat Easter Workshop, Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
Treat the kids to a sticky-fingered, mouthwatering morning at Blenheim Palace with one of the many hour-long chocolate workshops, run by Hotel Chocolat, that take place in the Palace’s walled gardens (April 12-18).
The workshop will cover the history of cocoa and chocolate, before giving children the chance to decorate their own chocolate slab. Then families can take part in the traditional Easter Egg hunt (April 15-18), enjoy the fairground rides and Punch and Judy shows, and learn circus tricks in the Big Top.
Chocolate workshop £15 (booking essentials)blenheimpalace.com
Chocolate Tasting Evening, Edinburgh
Held at Coco Chocolatier, one of Scotland’s most innovative chocolate-makers, the Chocolate Connoisseur Evening offers a fascinating – and tasty – insight into the chocolate-making process. It begins with the chance to taste cocoa nibs and butter, and visitors learn the five sensory tests of what makes a superior chocolate bar, before finishing with a liquor and chocolate pairing.
Chocolate Connoisseur Evening costs £25, cocochocolatier.com. Coco Chocolatier is in the village of Queensberry, a short drive from the center of Edinburgh. Stay at the nearby Dakota, where sleek doubles cost from £69 room-only, dakotahotels.co.uk
Easter Chocolate Workshops, Trehafod, south Wales
Pair a visit to the Rhonda Mining Museum with a chocolate-themed workshop for the kids at the Chocolate House, which also has a cafe and shop on the site. It’s ideal for younger children (3+), who can get gloriously messy while decorating an Easter-themed lollipop, brownie and cookie, and teenagers will enjoy the Chocolate Tasting Session, which ends with a chocolate-themed quiz.
Workshops must be booked in advance, the tasting session can be arranged for a minimum of six people. Easter workshops £10, chocolate-house.co.uk. The Heritage Park Hotel is just a stone’s throw from the museum, with doubles from £70 room-only, heritageparkhotel.co.uk
The Chocolate Box Hotel, Bournemouth
Kick off a day by the seaside with a breakfast of chocolate pancakes at this themed B&B, a short walk from Bournemouth beach. Rooms are decorated in a palette of cocoas and creams, and come with a selection of handmade chocolates to dive into when you arrive. Gather up a group of friends to book a Chocadence package at the tasting bar, with brownies, cookies and pancakes, alongside strawberries and marshmallows to dip in milk and white chocolate fountains.
Doubles from £62 B&B, Chocadence packages from £26, thechocolateboxhotel.co.uk
York Chocolate Story
Explore 3,000 years of cocoa-themed history in a city that has been home to some of the UK’s most famous chocolate brands, including Terry’s and Rowntree’s. The guided experience includes a Story Zone, with lots of choco-facts and tales of York’s founding chocolate families, and a Factory Zone, which explores the process of converting the bean into bars. Visit between 14-18 April to experience the town’s Chocolate Festival (yorkfoodfestival.com), with hands-on opportunity demonstrations, workshops and plenty of to taste and buy.
£15.95/£13.50; yorkchocolatestory.com. Stay at the Guy Fawkes Inn, a charming pub with rooms in the shadow of the Minster (doubles from £170 room-only, guyfawkesinnyork.com
Chocolate Metropolis, Leeds
A delicious pairing from Hotel Chocolat, the “metropolis” combines a School of Chocolate, café and Hotel Chocolat store, selling all their chocolate goodies. The school offers a Bean to Bar Experience – a 90-minute workshop that the whole process of chocolate-making – with children’s chocolate workshops also on offer.
Bean to Bar £65, Kids’ Chocolate Workshops £20, hotelchocolat.com. Stay at the Malmaison, an easy walk away, with moodily chic bedrooms and a buzzing cocktail bar and bistro, from £89 room-only, malmaison.com
Chocolate Masterclass, Matlock, Derbyshire
For something more grown-up, this one-day course at Coghlans Cookery School at Stancliffe Hall is a full introduction to the art of chocolate cookery, taught by Simon Lilley. Ideal for those who want to understand the techniques involved, the day covers everything from tempering and molding chocolate to decorative cakes and transfers. The course includes lunch and recipe sheets and the next Masterclass is scheduled for 17 June.
The Chocolate Masterclass is £150, cookingexpert.co.uk. Then check into cozy Hodgkinson’s Hotel in Matlock Bath, where double rooms start from £105 B&B, hodgkinsons-hotel.co.uk.
Chocolate Ecstasy Tour, London
Discover some of London’s most lip-smacking chocolatiers on this three-hour walking tour around Mayfair and Soho, that combines insights into the chocolate-making process with visits and tastings at several shops. The tour begins with a hot chocolate and brief introduction, before heading out with your guide to discover both the history of the area and its most chocolatey treats. At least four shops are included, all with tastings, along with the chance to buy at discounted prices.
Tours can only be booked privately, for groups from 2-8, with half- and full-day tours available. From £240 for up to five people (£48 for each additional person)chocolateecstasytours.com
Children’s Chocolate Factory, Hawkshead, Lake District
An ideal wet-weather activity on a Lakeland break, the Factory offers 45-minute workshops for children, leaving parents to enjoy a quiet coffee (or hot chocolate) in the cafe – although adults can join in if they wish. Kids get the chance to make chocolate animals, a personalized bar and marshmallows.
Workshops £17, chocolatefactoryhawkshead.co.uk. Stay at Lakes Lodges, two-bedroom lodge from £875 per week, lakeslodges.com
Cadbury World, Birmingham
The ultimate chocolate-themed day out, Cadbury World several different zones, which can be explored on a self-guided tour. Experiences include a dip into the Aztec jungle to discover the history of cocoa, a 4D cinema complete with motion seats that plunge viewers into bowls of liquid chocolate and whiz them along a Crunchie rollercoaster, hands-on workshops to create your own chocs, and the Bournville Experience, exploring Cadbury’s long history.
Tickets from £19.95/£14.75 (under-4s free), cadburyworld.co.uk. The Belfry Hotel offers a one-night Cadbury World package, including accommodation in a family roombreakfast and tickets, from £189, thebelfry.com.