Ahhhhh, Mmmmm, hot chocolate – oh yes, we’re calling all chocolate lovers as we at Luxury Gold love it as much as you! It’s one of life’s simple pleasures that is also the ultimate indulgence, with a velvety smooth taste and decadent aroma that conjures up feelings of warmth, comfort and a sense of belonging (with just a dash of naughtiness on the side).
Whether you daydream of sipping a thick, creamy hot chocolate at breakfast in a cafe in Florence, Italy, as you watch this enchanting, artistic city come to life, or picture yourself clutching a mug of deep dark velvet as you watch the sun set in Bordeaux, France……take a moment now to picture yourself discovering some of the world’s best recipes as you enjoy an exclusive travel experience with us.
As specialists in luxury guided travel, we at Luxury Gold believe that everyone deserves a treat. So here is a short guide to where you can savor the world’s best hot chocolate, and which fabulous journeys from our collection can take you there. Read on and let your imagination and your senses run wild…
A Short History
Originating in Mexico, hot chocolate has been a popular drink for thousands of years. First created by the Maya around 1500 BC, it was known as xocoatl and consisted of cacao beans, water and a little spice. Introduced into Europe in the 1500s by Spanish conquistadors, following their expedition to present-day Mexico and the Aztec civilization, hot chocolate soon became a favored exotic beverage around the continent, with its forms and recipes undergoing multiple changes. Hot chocolate was first introduced to North America as early as the 17th century by the Dutch, with its popularity increasing as it began to be sold by colonists around 1755.
Something for every palate
Be it light and frothy and aromatic with lashings of milk or deeply dark and so thick you can stand a spoon in it, there is a hot chocolate recipe to match every palate and moment so let yourself be led by the traditions of your dream travel destination. Choose to add mountains of whipped cream, a dash of spice, jazz it up with a shot of expresso or try the delicate touch of rosemary with wine…and that’s just the start. Of course, nowadays amongst all the indulgence, there are also many healthy ways to enjoy hot chocolate including vegan, unsweetened, and recipes using spices that have health benefits such as cinnamon, cardamon, ginger and turmeric. Whatever your preference, sampling hot chocolate on your travels is always a new delight and will leave you with intense, and happy memories.
Every moment with Luxury Gold is designed to delight and our luxury guided tours take in amazing locations and offer off-the-beaten-track experiences where a hot chocolate is just the ticket. Here are some of the best:
New Mexico – back to hot chocolate’s roots
Given its origins, it is no surprise that New Mexico USA boasts some of the best hot chocolate in the world so it’s our first place to start. You can visit on our Resorts and Ranches of Colorado & New Mexico luxury guided tour, a stunning journey that explores the very best of the West, starting in Denver and travelling down through Colorado Springs and onto Santa Fe in New Mexico. Here you can find the Kakawa Chocolate House, founded in 2005, with the name Kakawa deriving from an Olmec word meaning chocolate or cacao. Here you can enjoy a journey through history that delights the palate as they specialize in hot chocolate recipes created from traditional sources, ranging from pre-Columbian to colonial American to contemporary sources. For the brave there is a Chili Elixir, made with spicy chilies, or history lovers can sip the Jefferson Elixir, inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s own recipe.
Poland‘s change of heart
When first introduced to Poland in the 18th Century, chocolate was somewhat controversial. Many did not like its bitter taste and felt it was better used for animals. However, opinions began to change when it was served hot, with added cane sugar, cinnamon and anise – simply delicious! Curious travelers can learn all about the country’s hot chocolate history at the E. Wendel Hot Chocolate Lounge in Krakow, one of the grand cities on our Harmony of Central Europe luxury guided tour, a voyage of Europe’s grandeur that also takes in Prague, Vienna, Budapest, and Warsaw. Dating back to 1851, E. Wedel is the oldest Polish brand of chocolate and has created a refined brand of drinking chocolates served in “chocolate lounges” across Poland. You can sit back and sample from selections such as bitter, slightly bitter, milk, double milk, white, and choose from a range of intriguing flavors including raspberries in wine, and caramel with sea salt.
For the French, traditional hot chocolate is deep, dark and unreservedly glorious and is the perfect travel companion when on our Ultimate Southern France luxury guided tour. Sip a decadent cup at breakfast as you watch the streets spring to life in Marseille, savor hot chocolate on a lazy brunch with fresh croissants as you relax in the countryside of Provence or enjoy an afternoon’s treat after exploring the sights of Bordeaux. In the early 1600s when Anne of Austria came to marry King Louis XIII of France, she brought hot chocolate in her suitcases. Bordeaux, where she got married, embraced this exotic new ingredient and it became embedded in the traditions of the region. One particular Bordeaux favorite is The Moremont Tea House – discover its unique and intoxicating recipe and get the VIP treatment as your chosen beverage is prepared with the same luxury ritual as if you were the royal princess herself.
Think Italy, think thick, creamy and delicious! You’ll be pleased to hear that the Italians consider hot chocolate an important part of their gastronomic history so you are in for a treat at every turn. One of the best and most historical places to relish a cup and get the full VIP experience is Caffé Rivoire in Florence. Founded in 1872 when Enrico Rivoire, chocolatier of the Savoy royal family, opened up shop, they still use the same traditional secret recipe today and serve hot chocolate almost as rich and dense as chocolate pudding. You can savor mouth-watering recipes at every stop on our Ultimate Italy luxury guided tour, which takes you on an exclusive voyage through some of the most intoxicating and beautiful Italian cities including Florence, Naples, Capri and Rome.
And of course…..Switzerland
To speak of anything chocolate and not mention Switzerland is like talking about Butch Cassidy without the Sundance Kid, they just go together, making it a must-see destination for chocolate lovers. So not surprisingly there are many great places to indulge in hot chocolate in this sublime Alpine nation. The Swiss often take their hot chocolate with cinnamon and, of course, Swiss chocolate, with some of the most delectable establishments being found in the northern city of Zurich. The first destination on our Majestic Switzerland luxury guided tour, when exploring Zurich take a moment to visit the centuries-old Café Schober, located in the picturesque Old Town. Famed for its rich, creamy recipes, they melt chocolate into whole milk for a sublime and decadent treat. Savor yours with a mountain of fresh whipped cream, or with a shot of espresso as you explore this captivating city.
So if your mouth is now watering and you’re inspired to follow your passion for hot chocolate, why not make yourself a cup and sit down to browse through our fantastic collection of luxury guided tours now available for 2022 and beyond. With every tour featuring exclusive hotels and unforgettable VIP experiences, where will your chocolate passion take you next?
For more information on the following luxury guided tours please follow these links. :
- Resorts and Ranches of Colorado & New Mexico
- Harmony of Central Europe
- Ultimate Southern France
- Ultimate Italy
- Majestic Switzerland
And you can view the full collection here at luxurygold.com