Before we arrived on St. Lucia, we did a bit of research and picked out a few activities that we really wanted to do. As soon as we settled into our villa, we let Linus, our butler for the week, know what we planned to do. He then took our requests and booked all of our excursions. We didn’t have to do a thing. He organized all of the logistics (cars, times, etc.) so we could really enjoy our honeymoon.
Our first excursion was one we were both really looking forward to. We visited the Hotel Chocolat and got to see firsthand how chocolate is made!
Our tour group was small, maybe 10 individuals (I believe we were the youngest). The tour started in the hotel’s restaurant, Boucan, where we were given a brief history of the property. We then headed out to the plantation, which is conveniently located on the same grounds as the hotel. It was interesting to see the hotel, because it was one we were considering staying at. (Ultimately, I think we made the right lodging decision for us because, even though this hotel was incredible, it was very small with no direct beach access, which was a must for me!) However, the view of the Pitons from Boucan were incredible!
That’s Petit Piton (the smaller of the two Pitons). The reddish-brown buildings with the green roofs are actually another resort called Ladera, which is located right across the street from Hotel Chocolat. Ladera is located up high on the hill with incredible views of the Pitons and ocean. Our hotel was down at the foot of this mountain.
On the tour we learned everything about chocolate and how they harvest the pods. We even got to try our hands at picking a pod from the tree!
The beans, after they have fermented in vinegar, dry out in the hot sun (and let me tell you…the sun is hot!).
We got to try our hands at grafting some cocoa plants. (We were both a sweaty mess by this time and were super excited to stand in the shade, even if it was just for a few moments as we had our picture taken.)
The second part of the tour was my favorite. We actually got to make our own chocolate bar! The chocolate-making class was held on the porch of this little plantation house.
All of the ingredients to make chocolate (powdered sugar, cocoa butter, and cocoa beans)!
First you grind the cocoa beans. This was the hard part (at least for me…I’m not as strong as I thought I was and got tired pretty early on). Thankfully, I’m married and had a husband to take over when I needed a break (love him)!
After grinding the beans for what seemed like an eternity, they turned into liquid! No lie, it was like magic! Next you add the coca butter and powder sugar. The taste is a little bitter, but I didn’t care! It was chocolaty goodness and this chocoholic couldn’t get enough of it!
Finally we poured the liquid chocolate into molds and let them dry in the fridge for a bit. And that, folks, is how you make a chocolate bar!
I was ready to jump in the pool at this time.
For anyone visiting St. Lucia, I would highly recommend the “Tree to Bar” tour at the Hotel Chocolat! Research it ahead of time, because the tour is only on select days. If you’re in the Boston or New York area, the Hotel Chocolat has two stores where they sell candies and offer private tastings!
Do you plan to visit any interesting factories or farms on your honeymoon? If so, I’d love to hear about it!
Miss a honeymoon recap? Catch up on the Beanstalk honeymoon here:
- Boston/Delray Beach
- Wedding Date:
- October 2012
- Sundy House in Delray Beach, Florida