Take a Bite out of These 5 Chocolate Destinations in Victoria
Posted by Courtney Gallert on Monday, February 5, 2018
Truffles and brownies and desserts, oh my! From Easter bunnies and eggs wrapped in brightly-coloured foils, to caramel-filled hearts and novelty-shaped boxes of Valentine’s Day; the first half of every year provides plenty of justification for indulging in a favourite sweet treat. But whoever said you need an occasion to delight in chocolate? Be it to sample the artisan wares of a regional chocolatier, or to get you through your 3pm sugar craving; chocolate is always on the cards – especially if you’re looking to match your love of the sweet stuff with an upcoming getaway.
Here, we round-up five of the best chocolatey go-tos in Victoria. Make it your mission to savour the goods of all five, or pick just one to add to your itinerary next time you plan a boutique escape. Either way, it is almost guaranteed that you won’t leave empty-handed.
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery, Yarra Valley
Be warned: it is all too easy to lapse into a chocolate-induced coma following a visit to Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery. Situated on 40 acres of rolling hills and orchards, this chocolate wonderland offers free tastings of their handcrafted delicacies. Have a coffee and cake in the comfortable all-day café, or enjoy an ice cream outside while you take in the Valley’s stunning views. For a hands-on experience, book a Chocolate Discovery class to learn about (and taste) a variety of European chocolates. And while you’re in the Yarra Valley, be sure to check out some of the award-winning wineries and restaurants nearby for a completely indulgent getaway.
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery
Image: Yarra Valley Chocolaterie, Facebook
Bright Chocolate, High Country
A getaway to Victoria’s High Country is on the travel wish-list for many, and a visit to Bright Chocolate may just be reason enough for chocoholics to hightail it to this alpine region. Bright Chocolate follows the bean-to-bar process, allowing them to make small batches of craft chocolate. The bean-to-bar technique is a six-step method, covering everything from fermentation and the roasting of the beans, to the tempering and moulding of the molten chocolate. Bright Chocolate’s bars have notched up several awards, and the range features five single origin chocolates – from Tanzania, Madagascar, Ecuador, Dominican Republic and Trinidad. Be sure to taste all five to find your favourite. The goodness of the humble cocoa bean has also been used to create a line of hand creams and body scrubs.
8/3 Riverside Avenue, Bright
Open 10am to 5pm, Monday to Sunday
Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, Melbourne
Chances are you will smell the delights of Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio in South Yarra before you even lay eyes on the treat-filled glass cabinets inside. The brainchild of Darren Purchese, the Sweet Studio has grown to become one of a Melbournian chocolate-lovers’ favourite haunts. One wall of the studio is lined with Purchese’s creations: inventive takes on the classic wagon wheel, caramel-covered chocolate pops, and individually-wrapped chocolate bars sprinkled with freeze-dried fruit, toasted peanuts and pretzels. Then there are the desserts and cakes in the cabinets. The smaller treats are perfect for enjoying at one of the tables outside, or ask for a couple to take away.
Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio
647 Chapel Street, South Yarra
Open 8.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday; 10am to 6pm on Sundays
Image: Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, Facebook
Phillip Island Chocolate Factory, Phillip Island
A trip to Phillip Island shouldn’t be limited to watery pursuits – mainly beach days, and nights watching penguins waddle ashore. Another must-do is an excursion to the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory. Don’t just seek out the Factory with the intention of nibbling on some chocolate though (which, of course, you can still do), because visitors are also provided a learning experience; gaining insight into the history, evolution and technique of chocolate-making. You can also create your own take-home chocolate bar. Plus the Willy Wonka vibes are super strong, courtesy of the enormous chocolate waterfall. Expect chocolate artwork, interactive chocolate displays and a cracking chocolate shop, too. Entry into the cafe and retail space is free, however entry into Panny's Amazing World of Chocolate is ticketed.
Phillip Island Chocolate Factory
930 Phillip Island Road, Newhaven
Open 10am to 5.30pm, Monday to Sunday
Moorabool Valley Chocolate, Geelong and the Bellarine
The humble hot chocolate gets a makeover at Moorabool Valley Chocolate, where it has been transformed into a multicultural indulgence. With variations from Spain and Mexico, a mug of steaming hot chocolate is the perfect way to start your discovery of this chocolatier’s wares. Diehard chocolate-coveters may even choose to pair their drink with matched truffles. Once your mug is drained of its last dregs, move over to one of the Chocolate Classes (bookings required in advance) where visitors can brush up on their own chocolate-making skills. Time your visit just before Easter to learn the art of painting eggs and bunnies, or try your hand at decorating chocolate bars. An all-day café has breakfast and lunch offerings for those reluctant to get their hands dirty.
Moorabool Valley Chocolate
320 Ballarat Road, Batesford
Open 10am to 5pm, Wednesday to Saturday; 11am to 5pm on Sundays
Need something to work off all that chocolatey indulgence? Check out some of Australia's best walks to get your body moving and your heart pumping.