The vibrant city of Manchester is not only known for its rich history and cultural scene but also for its thriving chocolate industry, which has given rise to the renowned Manchester chocolate scene. Alongside popular Manchester restaurants and cafes, the city’s chocolate scene stands out as a significant attraction.
A guide to the Manchester chocolate scene unveils the fascinating journey of this delectable treat in the city. With the help of local historians, chocolate enthusiasts, and cafe owners, this guide covers everything from the best chocolate shops, Manchester restaurants, and tasting experiences to artisan chocolate making workshops and chocolate-themed events.
And speaking of tasting experiences, “Sixes Manchester” offers a unique twist on chocolate delights. Their Deep Fried Snickers Sundae — a perfect blend of deep-fried Snickers, salted caramel ice cream, and toffee sauce, with an optional sprinkle of candied bacon — is a must-try. Not to mention their Warm Cookie Dough Skillet, a serving of chocolate chip cookie dough paired with ice cream. Such innovative takes on chocolate treats elevate Manchester’s chocolate reputation even further.
Indulge in the history, flavors, and innovations of chocolate in Manchester while exploring the various chocolate-inspired activities and treats the city has to offer. This guide will delve into the effects of chocolate on our mood, the history of chocolate in England, famous chocolate brands in Manchester, and the health benefits of dark chocolate.
Whether you’re a chocolate lover, a foodie exploring Manchester restaurants, or simply curious about Manchester’s chocolate and cafe scene, this guide is a must-read. Get ready to embark on a journey of chocolate delights in the captivating city of Manchester.
The History of Chocolate in Manchester
The history of chocolate in Manchester dates back to the 19th century. The factories of Cadbury and Terry, which were established during this period, played a significant role in shaping Manchester’s chocolate scene. These factories, and now one of Manchester’s attractions, produced a wide variety of delicious chocolates, pleasing the people of Manchester and beyond.
During World War II, chocolate production in Manchester faced challenges due to rationing and limited resources. After the war, the industry experienced a revival. Manchester’s chocolate manufacturers continued to produce high-quality chocolates with advancements in technology and innovative techniques.
Today, Manchester has a thriving chocolate scene with a rich heritage that has influenced local chocolatiers. These independent artisans draw inspiration from the city’s history, infusing their creations with unique flavors and artistic designs.
When exploring Manchester’s chocolate scene, do not forget to try iconic local specialties such as Manchester tart-infused chocolate or a chocolate bar inspired by the city’s music scene. For true chocolate enthusiasts, consider taking a guided chocolate tour to learn more about the history of chocolate in manchester and indulge in Manchester’s delicious chocolate offerings.
The Best Chocolate Shops in Manchester
When it comes to finding the best chocolate shops in Manchester, you won’t be disappointed. Indulge in the finest chocolates at these exceptional establishments:
- Slattery: Renowned for its exquisite handmade chocolates, Slattery uses only the finest ingredients to create a wide range of delectable treats.
- Dormouse Chocolates: This small-batch chocolate maker takes pride in its bean-to-bar philosophy. They painstakingly source cocoa beans and produce unique and flavorful chocolates.
- Pierre Marcolini: Offering beautifully crafted chocolates with innovative and irresistible flavor combinations, Pierre Marcolini is a luxury chocolate shop.
- Bonbon Chocolate Boutique: Tucked away in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, this cozy shop is a hidden gem. Its visually stunning handmade chocolates are equally delicious.
- Solkiki Chocolatemaker: Specializing in vegan and ethically sourced chocolates, Solkiki is dedicated to sustainability. Explore their innovative flavors.
These chocolate shops in Manchester offer a tempting variety of options that will satisfy any chocolate lover’s cravings. From classic flavors to daring combinations, they display exceptional craftsmanship in creating the finest chocolates.
Chocolate Tasting Experiences in Manchester
Manchester offers a plethora of experiences for chocolate enthusiasts, and one of the most immersive and delightful among them is “The Chocolate Factory” experience. Here’s a glimpse into what it offers:
The Chocolate Factory Experience The Chocolate Factory is not just a place but an interactive candy-themed journey where your sweetest dreams come to life. As you step into this world, you’ll be greeted with:
- Enchanted Forest: Begin your adventure in a magical forest where stones transform into chocolate and lollipops sprout from bushes. As you navigate through gingerbread houses, you can collect edible seeds and even attempt to grow your very own chocolate tree.
- Cloudland: Elevate your senses in Cloudland. Here, you can capture memories with candy-themed backdrops, taste chocolates with 100% cocoa, and even flavored varieties. Don’t miss the Cupcake Room, which boasts mini trampolines, disco music, and vibrant neon lights.
- Ball Pit – Mixing Room: Dive into a world of fun in the Mixing Room. This giant ball pit is filled with surprises and is a reminder that the ingredients for the perfect chocolate don’t mix themselves!
- Chocolate Town: A bustling hub of activities awaits you in Chocolate Town. You can snap pictures at the Shop, enjoy the swings at the Park, play arcade games to win candy prizes, and even relax at a cafe.
The experience is designed to last between 45 minutes to an hour and is located next to Marks & Spencers at The Trafford Centre, Stretford, Manchester M17 8AA. It’s especially recommended for families with kids aged between 0 to 12.
For those eager to embark on this chocolatey adventure, tickets are currently on sale. So, if you’re ready to dive into a world where every corner offers a sweet surprise, book your tickets now and let the magic unfold.
Apart from The Chocolate Factory, Manchester also boasts other chocolate-making workshops and classes, such as those offered at the Malmaison Hotel and ClassBento, ensuring that there’s something for every chocolate aficionado in the city.
Artisan Chocolate Making Workshops in Manchester
Manchester is a centre for artisan chocolate making workshops. These workshops offer enthusiasts the opportunity to learn the art of crafting handmade chocolates. Participants in these workshops actively engage in the chocolate-making process, from tempering and moulding to decorating and packaging. Skilled chocolatiers lead the workshops, sharing their expertise and guiding attendees through each step.
During these workshops, participants learn about different types of chocolates, including dark, milk, and white chocolate. They also learn about the various cocoa percentages and how they affect the flavour and texture of the final product. Participants are introduced to a range of fillings and flavours, such as nuts, fruits, and spices, that can be added to create unique chocolates.
The duration of these workshops varies from a few hours to full-day sessions. Some workshops are designed for beginners, while others cater to more advanced chocolatiers. Participants can choose a workshop based on their skill level and desired expertise.
Attending an artisan chocolate making workshop in Manchester offers a unique and engaging experience for individuals passionate about the craft. These workshops provide the perfect platform to immerse yourself in the world of artisan chocolate making, whether you want to improve your skills or simply enjoy a fun and educational activity.
Chocolate-themed Events and Festivals in Manchester
Manchester, a city known for its rich history and vibrant culture, also boasts an exciting chocolate scene. This enthusiasm for chocolate extends to various events and festivals dedicated to the delectable treat. One such notable event is hosted on Eventbrite, a platform where locals and visitors alike can discover chocolate-themed happenings in the city. Whether you’re a resident or just passing through, Manchester’s chocolate festivals promise an experience that will pique your interest.
One of the highlights in the Manchester chocolate calendar is the Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival. Celebrated with joyful indulgence, this festival is not just about chocolates but also incorporates local farmers’ markets, harvest festivals, and other events like flea and Sunday markets. It’s a testament to how the city integrates chocolate into its broader cultural and community events.
Another intriguing event is The Chocolate Factory which offers a theatrical candy-themed experience. Here, attendees can step into a world where their sweetest dreams come true. The event invites participants to explore a variety of colorful rooms, making it a fun day out for both children and adults.
These events, among others listed on platforms like Eventbrite, showcase Manchester’s dedication to celebrating chocolate in all its forms. From tasting experiences to workshops and theatrical events, the city offers a range of activities for every chocolate enthusiast.
If you’re keen on attending any of these events, it’s advisable to check their respective websites or platforms for the latest dates, ticket prices, and other relevant details.
Chocolate Afternoon Tea in Manchester
In the heart of Manchester’s Ancoats neighborhood, a place renowned not just in Manchester but globally for its cool vibe, lies a unique establishment that combines the allure of chocolates with the tradition of afternoon tea: Cocoa Cabana. This chocolatier, tearoom, and cocktail bar is a haven for those with a sweet tooth and a penchant for luxury.
Open every day from 10 am, Cocoa Cabana Ancoats offers a range of experiences. Whether you’re looking to share a brunch with colleagues, indulge in a chocolate afternoon tea with family, or enjoy cocktails with friends by night, this place has got you covered. Their afternoon teas are among the most sought-after in Manchester, offering a delightful blend of traditional tea elements with a chocolate twist.
What sets Cocoa Cabana apart is its commitment to quality and authenticity. All their cakes and bakes are crafted in-house, using ethically and locally sourced ingredients. Their homemade brownies and cakes are especially popular, best enjoyed with their expertly brewed coffee or their signature hot chocolates.
For those on the go, Cocoa Cabana also offers a takeaway option, allowing patrons to enjoy their delicious offerings anywhere. Their location in Ancoats is at 7 Murray St, and they operate every day from 8 am to 6 pm.
If you’re a chocolate enthusiast and find yourself in Manchester, a visit to Cocoa Cabana is a must. Not only will you be treated to some of the finest chocolates and desserts, but you’ll also get to experience the rich tradition of afternoon tea with a delightful chocolatey twist.
Chocolate-inspired Spas and Treatments in Manchester
In Manchester, you can find a variety of chocolate-inspired spas and treatments that cater to chocolate enthusiasts. These luxurious experiences are designed to provide relaxation and immerse you in the wonderful world of chocolate.
One of the highlights is the chocolate massages offered at these spas. During this treatment, warm melted chocolate is delicately applied to your body. Not only does it feel amazing, but the antioxidant properties of chocolate also nourish your skin, leaving it irresistibly soft and refreshed.
If you’re looking to indulge in some chocolate goodness for your face, then the chocolate facial is perfect for you. Creams and masks infused with chocolate are gently applied, allowing the natural minerals and vitamins in chocolate to hydrate and nourish your skin. The result is a radiant, glowing complexion.
For a truly luxurious experience, try the chocolate body wrap. Your entire body will be coated in a decadent mixture of chocolate, providing detoxification and exfoliation for your skin. This treatment will leave your skin feeling incredibly smooth and rejuvenated.
If you’re in the mood for some pampering, a chocolate bath is the way to go. Immerse yourself in a warm bath enriched with cocoa butter and essential oils. This indulgent experience not only moisturizes your skin but also promotes deep relaxation.
Don’t forget about your feet! Treat them to a chocolate pedicure, where they will be soaked in a foot bath infused with chocolate, and then exfoliated with a chocolate scrub. The result? Silky, smooth feet that will make you feel like you’re walking on clouds.
These chocolate-inspired spas and treatments in Manchester are dedicated to enhancing your overall well-being. Whether you need some pampering or are seeking a unique experience, these treatments will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. So go ahead, indulge yourself in the world of chocolate and treat yourself to a sweet escape in Manchester.
Please keep in mind that availability and specific treatments may vary, so it’s always best to check with the spas for more information and make reservations in advance.
How Does Chocolate Affect Our Mood?
Chocolate has a profound impact on our mood, and it is fascinating to understand how exactly it influences our brain chemistry, leading to pleasurable sensations and a general sense of well-being. There are numerous ways in which chocolate can affect our emotional state:
1. Chocolate contains natural substances, namely phenylethylamine (PEA) and serotonin, both of which have mood-enhancing properties. PEA is known to promote happiness and excitement, while serotonin helps regulate mood and elicits feelings of well-being.
2. The consumption of chocolate triggers the release of endorphins, which act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. Endorphins induce a state of euphoria, effectively reducing stress levels.
3. Chocolate contains small amounts of caffeine, which can enhance alertness and uplift mood. It is worth noting that the caffeine content in chocolate is lower compared to that found in coffee or energy drinks, so it does not lead to feelings of jitteriness or anxiety.
4. Partaking in chocolate can also be seen as a form of self-care, providing a source of comfort and bringing about a sense of relaxation and contentment.
5. It is important to recognize that the effects of chocolate on mood can vary. While many individuals experience a noticeable boost in their emotional well-being after consuming chocolate, others might not experience significant changes.
Understanding the intricate relationship between chocolate and our mood can help us appreciate the powerful impact this indulgence can have on our overall mental state.
What Is the History of Chocolate in England?
The history of chocolate in England dates back to the 17th century when the first chocolate shops appeared in London. Spanish royalty introduced it to the English court, and it quickly gained popularity among the aristocracy. Initially, chocolate was consumed as a hot beverage flavoured with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
During the 18th century, chocolate became more affordable and accessible to the middle class. The Industrial Revolution brought advancements in chocolate manufacturing, making production and distribution easier. Chocolate bars, as we know them today, started to emerge during this time.
In the 19th century, the Cadbury and Fry families revolutionised the chocolate industry with their innovations in manufacturing techniques. Cadbury introduced boxed chocolates and popularised Easter eggs, while Fry developed the first moulded chocolate bar.
In the early 20th century, renowned chocolate brands like Cadbury, Fry’s, and Rowntree’s dominated the market in England. These brands introduced iconic chocolate products such as Cadbury Dairy Milk and KitKat.
Throughout history, chocolate has evolved from a luxury item enjoyed by the elite to a beloved treat enjoyed by people from all walks of life. Today, England has a thriving chocolate scene with artisan chocolate makers, specialty chocolate shops, and chocolate-themed events.
True story: In 1824, John Cadbury opened his first chocolate shop in Birmingham, England. He mainly sold cocoa and drinking chocolate to cater to the growing demand. Little did he know that his small shop would eventually become one of the most famous and successful chocolate brands in the world. Cadbury’s dedication to quality and innovation paved the way for the rich history of chocolate in England.
What Are Some Famous Chocolate Brands in Manchester?
Manchester, a city renowned for its rich cultural heritage, also takes pride in its exquisite chocolate offerings. Here are some of the most celebrated chocolate brands and chocolatiers in Manchester:
- Slattery: A legendary name in Manchester, Slattery is not just a chocolate shop but also a dining room where patrons can indulge in rich chocolates, cakes, and more. They even offer a challenging chocolate feast that only a few have managed to conquer.
- Cocoa Cabana: With outlets in both Ancoats and West Didsbury, Cocoa Cabana offers a delightful range of artisan chocolates, hot chocolate flavors, cakes, milkshakes, and even chocolate cocktails.
- Cocoa Tree: Situated in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Cocoa Tree is a haven for those seeking gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan-friendly chocolates. They offer a range of chocolates from colorful artistic creations to rich truffles.
- Black Milk: Known for its vast dessert offerings, Black Milk provides chocolates in various forms, from being drizzled over waffles to creamy hot chocolates.
- Sam Joseph: A regular at Altrincham Market, Sam Joseph specializes in handmade chocolates, truffles, and chocolate bars. They also offer ice creams, gelato, tarts, and an array of truffles.
- Dormouse Chocolates: An award-winning brand, Dormouse Chocolates was named the Indie Food Producer of the Year at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards 2022. They offer rich cocoa chocolate bars and have a unique Bean to Door Club subscription for chocolate enthusiasts.
What Are the Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate?
Dark chocolate offers numerous health benefits. So, what are the health benefits of dark chocolate? It is abundant in antioxidants that protect the body against damage caused by free radicals and reduce inflammation. This can decrease the likelihood of chronic illnesses such as heart disease.
Consuming dark chocolate in moderation improves heart health by lowering blood pressure, reducing LDL cholesterol levels, and enhancing blood circulation. It also enhances brain function as it contains flavonoids that improve cognitive abilities, memory, focus, and concentration. The consumption of dark chocolate stimulates the release of endorphins in the brain, improving mood and fostering feelings of happiness and pleasure.
Furthermore, dark chocolate is beneficial for skin health as it defends against damage from UV rays, improves hydration and elasticity, and reduces the visibility of wrinkles. Additionally, dark chocolate acts as a source of essential minerals like magnesium, iron, and copper, which support various bodily functions.
It is important to consume dark chocolate in moderation and choose dark chocolate that has a high cocoa content (70% or higher). Avoid dark chocolate that contains high amounts of sugar and saturated fats to maximize the health benefits.
Historical Landmarks in the Manchester Chocolate Scene
Manchester has numerous historical landmarks associated with chocolate. The city’s affinity for chocolate is evident in these noteworthy places that have had a long-lasting impact on the chocolate scene in Manchester.
1. The Cadbury factory, located in Bournville, Birmingham, played a significant role in the history of chocolate in England. Although not situated in Manchester itself, Manchester has had a strong presence in the city for many years. Established in the 19th century, the factory introduced various techniques for chocolate making and popularized brands such as Dairy Milk and Flake. If you are wondering if there are any historical landmarks related to chocolate in Manchester, the Cadbury factory is an important part of the city’s chocolate heritage.
2. The former site of Fry’s Chocolate Factory on Union Street in Manchester holds great historical importance in the city’s chocolate heritage. Fry’s was one of the first companies to develop solid chocolate bars, revolutionizing the chocolate industry. While the factory is no longer operational, the building stands as a testament to Manchester’s chocolate legacy. As you explore the city and its chocolate past, make sure to visit this historical landmark associated with chocolate in Manchester.
3. Kendal’s Chocolate House on Deansgate is another notable landmark. Dating back to the 1800s, this historic building served as a popular chocolate shop in Manchester, offering a variety of delightful chocolates and confections that attracted both locals and visitors. When it comes to historical landmarks related to chocolate in Manchester, Kendal’s Chocolate House is a must-visit.
These historical landmarks serve as a reminder of Manchester’s deep connection to chocolate. They represent the city’s contribution to the chocolate industry and its enduring love for this delightful treat. If you are a chocolate enthusiast visiting Manchester, exploring these historical sites is a must to catch a glimpse of the city’s chocolate-filled past.