A few weekends ago, Mike and I ventured to the lovely town of Stratford, Ontario to see “Kiss me Kate.” The Stratford Shakespeare Festival produces world-renowned theatre, but what I didn’t know was that Stratford is also an ideal destination for chocolate lovers. When I heard about the “Stratford Chocolate Trail”, I thought it sounded like heaven, and like Halloween for big kids! The trail consists of 16 stops, including three chocolate shops and various restaurants and shops with chocolate specialities. The “Choco-Pass” costs $20 and entitles you to visit 8 of the 16 stops for a chocolate tasting.
With only an hour to spare before the show, we got a pass (to share), a map and a big bag for the goodies and set off down the trail. Lucky for us, most of the stops were close to each other on the main street of Stratford (Ontario St.).
Our first stop was Chocolate Barr's Candies where we picked two chic truffles: a Lavender and an Ice wine truffle. Both of the truffles had quite strong flavourings, but the chocolate itself still tasted smooth and rich.
The next stop on the street was Bradshaw's -- a lovely kitchen accessories store-- where we received a plastic wine tumbler with Brix dark chocolate. The chocolate was supposed to be paired with wine at another stop on the trail, but alas, we had no time to relax with a glass of wine. We were on a chocolate sampling mission, after all!
We continued on our hurried pace and stopped at Kitchen Connaisseur where we received a small jar of chocolate mocha cooking sauce. The shop had a beautiful variety of cooking sauces, spices and specialty foods. Hopefully I will make it back there sometime to grab a jar of their famous Curry and Cream sauce.
With little time to spare before the show, we headed to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. I had visited their stores before, so I knew to expect wonderful homemade fudge. I picked a half pound piece of chocolate nut flavoured fudge out of the many flavours, such as Grand Marnier, Oreo, Maple Walnut and Mint Chocolate. By this point, my bag was getting heavy with chocolate goods, so we decided to save the last few tickets for after the show.
After the show, we went for dinner at Simple Fish and Chips (no chocolate specialities here, but just classic fish and chips). The owners pride themselves on their sustainable fish and unique batter flavours, such as lemon pepper, lime chilli, whole wheat and Cajun. I ordered Mussels in a tomato wine broth with a side of popcorn shrimp.
For dessert, we used one of the last tickets for a huge slice of chocolate mousse cheesecake at Let them Eat Cake. We had to take the cake to-go because of its enormous size, but it made a great midnight snack. Unfortunately, because of time restrictions, we only visited 6 out of 8 stops, but I still came away with more chocolate than I will need for awhile. Check out our stash of chocolate goodies:
To purchase a Chocolate Trail pass, visit http://www.welcometostratford.com/chocolatetrail/index.html or a Stratford Tourism Alliance office.