On 31st December 2016 I flew out to Saint Lucia to see the New Year in with a bang! 2016 had not been the greatest year for me due to the passing of my amazing Dad so I was glad to see the back of it.
My dad was a 'Superfan' of Hotel Chocolat and was a member of their Tasting Club. Every time I would visit my Dad he would have some of these wonderful sweet delights for me to try. We were both confessed chocoholics.
When I was in Saint Lucia there were many things that reminded me of my Dad, including the local Rum! But most of all was the fact that Hotel Chocolat has a Chocolate Estate in Soufrei Saint Lucia where they grow the Cocoa which produces the chocolates sold by Hotel Chocolat. Therefore I made it my mission to go there.
During our visit to Saint Lucia we met many great people, we had a lovely driver - Kim who took us to the famous Saint Lucia Friday night street party 'Jump Up'. Kim was happy to take us out to Sourfrie for the day to Hotel Chocolat, along with other sites.
Kim and his amazing tour guide Quintina picked us up very early on the 10th January for our day trip to Sourfrie. On the way out of town we headed through the capital Castries where we made a stop off for delicious local Chocolate Tea and buns. The views along the way were incredible. Saint Lucia is a tropical paradise with so much natural beauty that every part of the journey was a true feast to the eyes! The only thing was the roads were like a narrow spiral up and down the mountains, which did not help for car sickness! There was even a fabulous shoe shaped rock.
We arrived at Hotel Chocolat where we waited at the restaurant for our tour guide. The view that we where faced was incredible, it featured lush green landscape and the famous Piton's, it was really breathtaking. We went on a tour of the Cocoa estate to see where the chocolate was grown and how it was cultivated and turned into the chocolates that we all enjoy eating so much. I 'grafted' a tree in my dads honour and call
ed it 'Del'. It is amazing to think that one day the Cocoa from Del may be used to make Hotel Chocolat Chocolates, he would have loved that!
On our departure we were in the restaurant enjoying the stunning view and I got talking to the lovely Judy who is the head of Customer Relations in Hotel Chocolat. I told her my story and the reason that I was at the Rabot Estate and then about my chocolate shoes. I said I would be honoured to make a pair featuring Hotel Chocolat, chocolates and she said that she would love to have a pair on display for their visitors to see at their restaurant on the estate and that she would share my story.
When I returned to the UK I spent many hours replicating the actual Hotel Chocolat, chocolates ( and lots of time eating them!) I was very pleased with finished result. I am happy to say that they did
reach Saint Lucia safely in time for Easter and are currently on display in the restaurant. Judy sent me a lovely picture of them with the Pitons in the background. I can't wait to return to Hotel Chocolat Rabot Estate in a few years to see the shoes and see how 'Del' is getting along!