York Chocolate Festival 2014: A tasty guide

16 Apr 2014 @ 10.23 pm
| Entertainment, Food & drink
Chocs away…
Chocs away…

The city centre streets will be filled with the delicious smell of chocolate this weekend as York Chocolate Festival opens its doors.

The festival – which runs from Friday, April 18 to Monday, April 21 – has established itself as a welcome addition to York’s venerable confectionery and chocolate industry. Back in 1781 the city boasted eight confectioners for its 17,000 inhabitants.

Thousands have worked for the sweet dynasties of Rowntree’s, Terry’s and Craven’s, and even today Nestlé York still produces six million KitKats a day.

Plenty to celebrate then – so what’s on at this year’s festival? Every sweet treat is listed in our What’s On guide. And here are a few highlights.

The sweet city

Chocolate Market

The Chocolate Market on Parliament Street houses a variety of chocolate-related stalls from hand-made designer chocolate shoes, chocolate vodka, fudge, truffles and many more mouth-watering (and cavity-creating) products. Open Friday – Monday, 10am – 5.30pm.

The Little Chocolate Factory

Also on Parliament Street, the Little Chocolate Factory provides the opportunity to create your own chocolate Easter Egg along with the chocolate team fromYork Cocoa House. This is available for the duration of the festival, 11am – 4.30pm.

Chocolate Information and Demonstration Centre, St Sampson’s Square

This is the hub of the festival, offering a wide range of child-friendly and informative chocolate demonstrations and workshops.

Take up the Smartie Challenge – put your dexterity to the test and attempt to smash the world record for the fastest time to sort 30 coloured Smarties using only chopsticks.

The current Guinness World Record stands at an incredible 31.5 seconds and is held by Yinger Guan of China.

York’s Chocolate Story

The attraction in King’s Square is an entertaining and informative guided tour through York’s most famous chocolate-making families and their finest creations.

Visit York’s Chocolate Story and begin to discover the important role which York has played in how we enjoy chocolate in the UK today.

Open throughout the festival it is £7.95 – £9.95 per person or £29.50 for a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children), 10am – 6.30pm (last tour 5pm).

Other eggs-cursions

Life in a Chocolate Factory

Enjoy an afternoon chocolate cream tea at the Dean Court Hotel in the company of the Rowntree factory “Sweethearts”.

Hear about their lives and the unique era, during which they produced the city’s iconic brands of chocolates and sweets. Monday April 21, from 2.30pm.

Lord Mayor’s Easter Egg Hunt

Join the Lord Mayor in this festive city-wide Easter Egg Hunt, starting at the Mansion House Saturday April 19, 10am – 1pm.

A Victorian Easter

Experience an Easter with a twist this spring with the Castle Museum, so bring the whole family along to discover what Easter traditions still exist today – and perhaps find a certain cottontail bunny to help you along the way. Running until Monday April 21, from 10am – 4pm.

Curious combinations

The new food trend for 2014 is chocolate and cheese. Seriously.

Some of York’s chocolate lovers have been combining chocolate with surprising flavours for a long time.

They might not be quite as crazy at you think when you consider that chocolate (or cocoa) is not naturally sweet or creamy at all.

Make sure you try something different this year and sample a chocolate cheese or indulge in a special menu with the chefs at Meltons Too.

It has a full on chocolate menu from Friday, April 18 until Monday, April 21 (non-chocolate alternatives are available).