The 2nd Winelands Chocolate Festival is getting ready for lift off. A wonderful opportunity for those who woke up too late to attend last year to taste and see that it is very, very good! We are in T-minus countdown days now and I am excited! All over the country chocolatiers and patissieres are zealously and ardously conjuring up magic…edible magic! Soon they will all be gathering together at Blaauwklippen Wine Estate to start setting up their exhibition spots, displaying their divine wares for prying eyes to ogle, sticky hands reaching out to take and eager mouths to try. A brief closing of the eyes as you savour the divine velvety smoothness on your tongue, the flavours overwhelming your taste buds and a sigh as you swallow and it leaves you wanting more. Wallets will be opened and cash will exchange hands to get some of the beautiful stuff into our shopping bags. Yes, bring a shopping bag or backpack, if the sun is shining brightly bring a cooler bag with ice packs for all that precious chocolate you’re going to have sitting in the hot boot of your car (see? I learnt from last year!), bring your wallets, sign up for Snapscan, bring a little pack of wet wipes…wear comfy shoes and clothing (layers are good as it can get quite warm out there in winter), and come hungry….. you’re going to need all of that to enjoy the experience awaiting you.
Chocolate is LOVE- made edible! I love that saying! And it is true. Chocolate, the real deal not the cheap imitation stuff, leaves you with a feeling of euphoria similar to that delightful first flush of being in love! Chocolate is healthy for us in so many ways dear Chocoholics, so aren’t we incredibly blessed here in this magnificent Cape we live in to be able to experience first hand the most amazing chocolate adventure ever? If you missed it last year believe me you do NOT want to miss the amazing Winelands Chocolate Festival again this year! Last year was a delicious blast…a sweet memory lingering still even a year later…one of those memories that leave you with a longing for more. And soon I will be getting my more and I cannot wait! At the Winelands Chocolate Festival you can fulfill every chocolate desire….well, almost haha! There will be an abundance of it – in fact 30 different chocolate exhibitors represented….chocolate and more chocolate, MCC bubbles, delicious wines, tea tastings and pairings, brandy tasting and pairing, the most fabulous food from pop up restaurants and food trucks, oh yes, for us BANTERS even some guilt free pleasure too thank goodness, fashion shows, jewellery….and did I mention chocolate? Demos, pairings, playing with it, eating it, drinking it, getting educated about it, you get the picture! Allow me the pleasure of leading you down another magical chocolate path to Blaauwklippen Wine Estate, where the Winelands Chocolate Festival is being held this year, and tell you more about it.
This year the festival is offering a bigger and better line-up than the first one, as good as that was. They certainly raised the bar right out of the starting blocks and it was a runaway success, much bigger than anticipated. So this year they have bigger space and a bigger, much better festival planned for everyone.
Let us start with the most important among us….the littlies! Parents need not feel that they cannot attend because they have a young family. Everyone is well catered for! There is a special area with 3 (age appropriate) jumping castles, an obstacle course, a gradual slide, a trampoline and various other play objects. This is in an area with lots of seating for moms and Dads nearby to watch over them while they play.
There will also be free screenings of the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the MCC Courtyard
There will also be a life-like Cocoa Plantation at the festival. Here, you will be able to follow the road from bean to bar so to speak – find out how real cocoa pods are harvested off the trees and processed into this amazing thing called chocolate that we can’t get enough of.
CHOCOLATE DEMOS – Manor House both Saturday and Sunday (R50 per person per demo. However, Abigail’s ‘chef’s table’ demo is R150)
10am Dimo Simatos the Lindt Chef
12.30 Abigail Donnelly – Taste Food editor – Watch Taste food editor Abi Donnelly create a savoury chocolate ‘Chef’s table’ at 12.30pm
2.00 Alice Toich – ‘The Playful Baker’
TUTORED TASTINGS – IN THE Manor House both Saturday and Sunday (R35)
10am Mingwei Tsai – tea expert Mingwei will offer tastings of his favourite teas – from Earl Grey to Lapsang Souzhsong – paired with von Geusau chocolates!
12.30 Nikki Friedman – MCC Master Class – join Nikki MD of Môreson Wine Estate and find out what makes Cap Classique so special – tasting as you go!
2.00 Danie Pretorius / Dr Winnie Bowman- Sat / Sun – SA Brandy foundation– theme – ‘The craft of SA Brandy’. (Top brandies paired with von Geusau chocolate.
You get to see a chocolate emporium where all seven rooms in the main building will be filled with the heady aromas of chocolate from the chocolatiers and confectioners and will also include an exact replica of a Victorian Kitchen where visitors will be given a glimpse of how Victorians prepared their chocolate. Walk through a life-like Cacao Plantation and enjoy brandy and chocolate tastings in the Spirit Room. There is also a Decorative Cake competition and you can see all the amazing creativity and skill on display)
AN INVITATION TO AN EXLUSIVE LINDT TEA (my absolute favourite event from last year!)
This exclusive event will be held in a beautiful enclosed area on the Manor House verandah overlooking the Praline and Patisserie Garden. The cost is R250 per person (this cost is inclusive of your entry to the show). Guests will receive a complimentary glass of MCC and a generous selection of Lindt’s finest haute patisserie made by the Lindt chefs, chocolate truffles and tea or coffee. This lavish affair takes place at 10am and again at 3pm on Saturday and Sunday. Early booking is essential. For the first half hour of the Lindt Chocolate Tea, LINDT chef, Dimo Simatos will entertain you with interesting chocolate ideas before the fashion show starts and you will have prime seats as the models walk past your tables! The fashion shows are about ½ hour long.
BREAKING NEWS: Both morning Lindt Chocolate Tea events are SOLD OUT! Hurry to book for the remaining seats during the afternoon sessions!
STEPHANO FASHION SHOW
The Stephano Fashion House will host a stunning fashion show at 11:30am and 3:30pm on both days of the festival. Visitors can feast their eyes on high-quality designs produced by creative genius, Stephan Olivier. Stephan is also a lecturer at the Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion Design in Stellenbosch. He describes his style as elegant and ethereal. He is constantly developing and refining his styling, and for the show this year, he has drawn inspiration from mint, rose and white and dark chocolate. The morning show will include Stephan’s smart-wear range and the afternoon collection will showcase his special occasion wear. The pleasure of enjoying beautifully made chocolate product will be echoed in these beautiful garments. This show is free and not to be missed!
The latest range of clothing from the Durbanville-based fashion house, FOUND will also be showcased along with jewelry by Zuyda van Duyk and Jacomien Labuschagne. These items will be on sale after the show.
METHODE CAP CLASSIQUE (MCC) COURTYARD
With ample seating, this area will offer welcome respite to adults while they relish some of the best MCCs, oysters and snacks. Here they will be entertained by the Lindt “Pop up shop” where a chef will create delicious Lindor balls in front of the crowd who gets to taste them as well! This is also where you will find screenings of that famous well-loved movie, Chocolat, as well as Charlie and the Chocolate Factorie (for kids and adults.) The movie screenings are free.
THE GOURMET FOOD AND WINE AREA
Food trucks and pop up restaurant stands selling gourmet eats and savoury choices to fill hungry tummies and an array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be on sale in this area, including wine, MCC, craft beer, gin cocktails, coffee, hot chocolate, milk shakes and juices. This is also where the kiddies play area with a jumping castle jungle gym etc. are (weather permitting) and organised games. It is all about having fun.
THE PATISSERIE GARDEN will be well worth a visist as it will be filled with good stuff. This area will offer ample seating space and live classical music from 1pm – 5pm Saturday (Mischa) and 1pm – 4pm Sunday (Newton and Maria). There will be patisserie, confectionery and even banting, sugar- free, vegan etc stands with delicious chocolate items of every kind.
The Winelands Chocolate Festival at Blaauklippen is not to be missed. Visitors can not only taste and enjoy good quality chocolate, but also learn more about its history and production. With the many new artisanal chocolatiers on board this year, the festival promises a complete chocolate experience.
WIN WIN WIN
Enter and win a set of double tickets for yourself and a chocolate loving partner to the Winelands Chocolate Festival.
All you have to do is to pop over to my facebook page, like the page then like and share the pinned post for this blog entry (publicly and tagging browniegirl blog page so I can see it) . Commenting on facebook is optional.
For a bonus entry RT this tweet
Come back here when you are done and let me know in the comments section below that you have entered.
The winner will be drawn randomly and announced on Wednesday 17th August. Only Cape Town residents (or if you will be visiting in the Western Cape at the time) may enter. No transport, accommodation or other costs will be covered by this prize.
You’ve got to be in it to win it!
UPDATE: This competition is now closed. The winner of the tickets is Zelmarie Beselaar. Congratulations Zelmarie and thank you to everyone who entered.
Tickets are available online at Webtickets or at the door. Book to avoid disappointment!
Adults: R120 – includes a wine glass, a festival bag and a chocolate, plus 2 magazines
6yrs and under – Free
Chocolate Afternoon Tea: R250 – includes entry to the rest of the festival
Adult Demos 50 mins – R50
Tutored Tastings 50 mins – R35
Jumping Castle and jungle Gym Play Area – Free entry for age appropriate children
Disclaimer: All information and photographs provided by Winelands Chocolate Festival and Wired Communications. Personal opinions my own.