Thursday, April 25, 2013
The Burlington Ontario Chocolate Trail
Burlington is a city that has many wonderful things to offer. Restaurants, shows, lakes and shopping – it’s no wonder so many have fallen in love with it. While I knew that Burlington offered a variety of activities, I was shocked to find out that they also offered a Chocolate Trail. For a self-proclaimed chocoholic like myself, I have to admit that upon hearing the news, I almost broke into song and dance.
Reaching across the entire city, this trail has vendors inviting you to taste their sinfully sweet desserts. It’s a tour that can fill an entire day. Eating chocolate all day long? I felt like I had just won Willy Wonka’s golden ticket.
My friend and sweet tooth sidekick, Ashley joined me on this delicious venture.
Our first stop of the day was Sweetness Bakery located in downtown Burlington. A nut-free bakery, this little slice of heaven specializes in cupcakes, custom cakes and other baked goods. They even have Food Trucks that can be spotted about town on a regular basis. Who needs an ice cream truck when you can chase cupcakes instead?
While at SB, Ashley and I sampled their Brownie Explosion cupcake. This cupcake will Change. Your. Life. Not only is it a delicious chocolate cupcake with beautifully whipped chocolate icing on top (which has also been infused into the center of the cupcake), but it’s also topped with a chunk of brownie drizzled in chocolate sauce. If that doesn’t make you drool, the sheer size of it will. When being presented with this chocolate delight, Ashley and I both had our eyes widen and stomachs growl. Because this dessert is large in terms of height, it did take us a minute to figure out how to even take the first bite. After deciding there was no lady-like manner to accomplish this task, we simply cut one in half and dove in. I’d be lying if I said chocolate wasn’t covering our faces.
After parting ways with Sweetness Bakery and seriously craving the world’s tallest glass of milk, we stopped in next at Blair Lancaster Spa for their chocolate pedicure treatment. Having never heard of a chocolate pedicure in my life, I have to say that my interest was peaked.
First off, for those that have never been to Blair Lancaster Spa, let me tell you, you’re in for a treat. This cozy spa is extremely inviting to walk into. After picking out our pedicure nail polish from a mass selection, we were asked to sit down in shiatsu massage chairs while warm neck wraps were prepped for us. In between my chair and Ashley’s, chocolate treats awaited us as well as chocolate chai tea. Yummy. From there, our feet were soaked in a fabulous bubble bath infused with chocolate herbs to help detox our bodies. Once relaxed and exfoliated, our legs and feet were given a luxurious massage. Let me tell you, after that, I never wanted to leave. Ever. From there, our feet were groomed and our selections of hot red and pink were painted on our toes. The entire process took an hour and a half and was heavenly from start to finish.
Having forgotten to bring appropriate footwear after the pedicure, Ashley and I waddled our way over to Red Canoe Bistro in spa flip-flops to grab a bite to eat and taste the dessert offered as part of the chocolate trail. A cozy and intimate restaurant, Red Canoe Bistro was the perfect place to retreat to on the rainy day we were having. Treated to rich, indulgent main courses (gourmet mac n’ cheese anyone?), the dessert equally matched. We were served chocolate espresso brownie. Rich, moist and topped with a berry – it was the perfect sinfully sweet dessert. I’m pretty sure each bite taken induced an eyes widening, ‘can you believe how good this is?’ look at each other. Everything in Red Canoe is made fresh to order also, making everything we ate taste that much better. The service was also extremely personable and quick – always a bonus in any restaurant. This place is a must visit if you’ve never been.
Next on the agenda was Cupid’s Cupcakes, a boutique that takes pride in using no
Following our cupcake sampling, we were off to Mrs. B’s Gifthouse – one of my favourites of the day. When walking through the front door, you’re not only welcomed by the incredibly delightful staff, but are instantly carried away by the warm, gooey scents of chocolate and fresh biscotti baking in the back. Ushered to the back, we were shown the famous biscotti – what the store is known for. Explaining I hadn’t been a fan of biscotti in past because of it’s hard texture, Mr. B immediately said that I must try theirs. It was sensational. Not only did it taste delicious, but it was soft, chocolate coated and melted in my mouth. Heaven. I’d never tried one like that before! Theirs are always made fresh daily and have a faithful following in the community. Those that stop in for fresh biscotti everyday also get a cup of coffee on the house. It’s the perfect pairing! My delight with this boutique didn’t stop there. In addition to the fresh baked goods, candies and gift baskets are also made to order. The candy, I had to sample. Fresh licorice dipped in milk chocolate and sprinkled with caramel. It’s as good as it’s sounds. Marshmallow lollipops and other novel ideas for kids are also scattered throughout the store. The gift baskets too are something to marvel at. Beautifully wrapped and custom filled with goodies from the store, let me tell you, they are the perfect gift. This store is a must-visit.
The last stop on our chocolate trail was Christy’s Gourmet Gifts. Originally mentioned inBurlington Gift Guide, this tasty stop is sure to get your taste buds going. While the store offers such sweets at wine and beer brittle (hello!), we sampled the chocolate brittle while in their store. A family run business, they often create gift baskets and treats for corporate clientele. While the wine and beer brittle is out of this world, the chocolate brittle was just as delicious. The homemade recipe melts in your mouth. Literally. When having it, the Lays slogan of, “Bet you can’t just have one” comes to mind.
The Burlington Chocolate Trail was everything I was hoping for and more. Ashley and I had a fabulous time touring some of the delicious spots this trail has to offer and recommend highly that you try it also. All that is required of this fabulous day is a deep love of chocolate and a life-sized glass of milk.
For more information see www.burlingtonchocolatetrail.ca. The trail features five artisan food producers with a wide variety of chocolate treats; three chocolatiers making amazing creations; two restaurants featuring decadent desserts and two spas where you can relax with a luxurious chocolate treatment.
Christie is an International Image Consultant, Editor, and expert shopper that helps women find their own signature style. She is the Editorin-Chief for FashionTranslated.com. She and her company, Personal Power Image http://www.personalpowerimage.com) are regularly featured in the media and press such as CosmoTV, Chatelaine Magaine, Huffington Post, Lucky Magazine, and more. Having delivered hundreds of lectures and interviews across North America on style and fashion, and seen even more closets -- she is the go to fashion and style expert.