In a seemingly inconspicuous building on a main Nottingham bus route in the city centre, is the chocoholics dream Chocolate Utopia.... (The clue is in the name!) It's a cafe, chocolate shop and chocolate factory all rolled into one. I've been lucky enough to have two trips there over the years once for their lovely hot chocolate many moons ago and more recently for a chocolate tasting session.
The first thing you notice when you enter the premises is the gorgeous aroma and of the chocolate filled cabinets.
When the chocolate tasting started we were offered a non-alcoholic beverage of our choice were given a chocolate menu to decide on a chocolate to accompany the drink. Then once everyone had arrived and were comfortable the owners introduced themselves and explained the history of their business and got pictures, examples and samples out to demonstrate how chocolate is made.
As they explained this process we passed around a sample of a cocoa bean pod, crunched a smaller cocoa bean and sampled cocoa nibs and cocoa butter. Then we moved on to how chocolate is manufactured and we tried chocolate buttons with various levels of coco solids in them.
After we had tried these we had a little breather to stretch our legs then we went down stairs to see where the magic happens. (Or the place the chocolate is made to non-chocoholics!) We gazed on the chocolate making machinery and were brought our choice of melted milk or dark chocolate in chocolate cups. Then they brought out strawberries that had been dipped in milk chocolate and had then set. These were lovely, I had a couple of them.
Once we were ready we ascended the stairs and had a quick breather before we were brought yet more chocolates to try! There was a variety from liquers to dark chocolates to truffles. There were exotic flavours such as a thai food inspired chocolate and more conventional ones like milk chocolate truffles. We were even asked to try their works in progress such as the cheese chocolate which featured mature cheddar and dark chocolate.
There was lots of chocolates to sample and thankfully the owners gave us an option to save some of it and take it home with us in a doggy bag later. We also had the option to take a few of the chocolate covered strawberries home with us which we were happy to do.
As we were leaving I tried to take a group photograph and one of the owners came out of the shop and kindly offered to take the picture for us.
It was a great night and I would recommend a visit to Chocolate Utopia to any chocoholic.