Very soon, you’ll be fed up with turkey, well over pudding and snort at the very thought of a fat smoking ham. Then what? We’ll tell you what. Chocolate, tea and coffee. No, not the leftovers from the sad office hamper you “won”. We mean the good stuff. The REALLY, REALLY good stuff. Over there. In Europe.
You’ll be waltzing in the street after a buzz of coffee on the Vienna card hop-on-hop-off tour. This card gives you discounted entry to many of the city’s highlights, such as Schonbrunn Palace as well as coffee and cake in the traditional Cafe Schwarzenberg. Keep up the cake theme by staying at the famous Hotel Sacher, where you can buy up big on chocolate Sacher products. For example, a slice of the 175-year-old tradition of Sachertorte; thin slices of chocolate cake coated by hand with premum-quality apricot jam, topped with chocolate icing and served with unsweetened whipped cream. We already feel bloated, but we love it!
If you firmly believe such treasure belongs on the inside, then perhaps a chocolate tour of Brussels is more your cup of cocoa. This really is like a Willy Wonka tour for grown ups. Your guide shows you the Brussels sights and takes you to amazing chocolate shops, before finishing with a tasting hosted by a master Chocolatier and a session of chocolate making. And just when you feel the sugar high plummeting, boost yourself on homemade pastries and afternoon tea at the Hilton Hotel Brussels.
Shhhh don’t tell the cows! Switzerland may produce some of the world’s finest chocolate, but the Swiss also love coffee, and you can find out more at The Caferama coffee museum in Zuoz. Ponder over a brew about how coffee is cultivated, exported, roasted and made into lattes, flat whites and espressos with exhibits to enlighten you, such as photographs of antique coffee mills. Stay in nearby St Moritz at the Swiss Q Hotel Hauser, where we defy you to resist the confiserie homemade chocolate and famous Engadine Nusstorte.
Fact is, you don’t have to cross the channel to satiate that candy tooth. You can get dainty with some doilies at a London Afternoon Tea in Grosvenor House, a real-life Mayfair manor. Gorge on a selection of finger sandwiches, plain and raisin buttermilk scones with Devonshire clotted cream and Cornish strawberry jam. Or if you do want a taste of Europe without leaving home, a selection of cream puffs and French pastries with your choice of tea adds a touch of je ne sais quoi. But don’t let your tastebuds have all the fun! Slip into a chocolate massage at the CityPoint Club nearby the Threadneedles Hotel and imagine the silky feeling of 100% warm chocolate and cocoa butter massaged into your body. Devilish.