The first of its kind in Scotland, ‘The Chocolatarium’, which has opened in the capital’s Old Town, will offer locals and tourists alike the chance to learn everything they need to know about the world’s favourite treat.
Founded by chocolate expert Jenny McLay and located just off the Royal Mile on Cranston Street, The Chocolatarium offers guests an interactive ‘Tour of Chocolate’ which takes visitors on a fascinating journey; covering the history of chocolate, how it’s made (with the opportunity to make and take away your own chocolate bar) and of course, a tasting session.
Visitors can sample a whole array of craft chocolates (half of which originate from Scotland) through to ‘Raise Trade’ chocolates from Columbia and Madagascar.
There’s an array of innovative and exciting flavours from camel milk chocolate (known for its health benefits), haggis, gin & tonic and super-strong chilli through to good old-fashioned favourites like milk, mint, and salted caramel chocolate - all available for trying.
Owner Jenny explained that there will also be plenty of vegan and milk-free options too for those with specific dietary requirements, making the experience accessible to all, she said: “I first saw cacao trees while living in Ecuador over a decade ago and I’ve been fascinated by the story of chocolate ever since.
"I wanted to bring the best of all the chocolate museums and tours in Europe and South America to Edinburgh, so locals as well as tourists can experience the magic of chocolate-making for themselves here in Scotland.
Jenny added that she wants visitors to get a real sense of the "whole chocolate experience", with seeing and touching a real cacao fruit, smelling roasting beans, and making their own personalised bar - for which they have moulds including Nessie, Edinburgh Castle and Greyfriars Bobby - all part of the adventure.
She said “As a city, Edinburgh will now join the likes of Hamburg, Brussels and Barcelona which can boast having a visitor attraction dedicated purely to the world’s favourite treat – chocolate.
"And with us Scots being renowned for having a sweet tooth and the UK being the third biggest chocolate-consuming country in the world, we hope The Chocolatarium proves a very popular place.
“Scotland has got a brilliant range of chocolate makers that many people won’t have heard about yet. Therefore, we also want to shine a light on the innovation coming out of the Scottish craft chocolate industry.”
• Tickets for the Tour of Chocolate are priced at £16 for adults and £12 children (min. age 8), it lasts one hour and 15 mins and can be booked online at www.chocolatarium.co.uk