Gum Leaf and Wild Honey, Dreamtime Harvest, Orange and Almond, Honeycomb and Lavender are just a taste of the variety of flavoured chocolates that you can indulge in at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery. If your preference is truffles then make sure you don’t miss classics such as the Grand Marnier or Italian Amaretto; or for something slightly different delight in modern favourites such as Apple Cider: a delectable morsel of milk chocolate ganache with local cider and fresh apple puree encased in milk chocolate. All of these chocolates are life changing, however my pick for a sunny day like today: take the time to reward your taste buds with one of the 24 flavours of artisan ice cream or gelato. Made with the freshest natural ingredients and no preservatives or artificial flavours, the ice cream is slow churned and produced in small batches daily to ensure taste is optimum.
Today, Saturday 17th September sees the Grand Opening of the Chocolaterie. You can sense the excitement as the car park begins to fill with a steady stream of curious visitors.
Inside, Sue greets you with the largest smile and invites taste testing of milk, white and dark drops. There’s only one catch – no cups, bowls or pockets can be filled, no matter how sneaky you are. The only solution is to keep stopping by the counter and replenishing the supply in your hand. Allow a moment to take in your surroundings. Firstly, the taste! The smooth texture as the drops melt in your mouth. The chocolate is sweet and can be described as a moment of bliss. There is a slight waft of chocolate in the air, which is just enough to keep you alert to the amount of cocoa in the room. Gazing across the showroom is a visual delight – bright coloured boxes mixed with artist designed packaging is intriguing until my eyes settle on the truffle showcase. Pristine truffles of all shapes and sizes glisten in the light; they are a true reflection of an artistic masterpiece.
On one side of the showroom you can see into the factory and watch a production line of nougat being coated with white chocolate. The opposite side of the room houses a café with extensive menu covering everything from savoury snacks to dense chocolate desserts and anything in-between. Everything you can see is made on-site by in-house chocolatiers using premium ingredients. Varieties such as the Coastal Bush Tucker range challenge you out of your comfort zone to indulge in milk chocolate infused with wild herbs, mountain pepper and eucalyptus, along with other edible native plant and flower varieties. Not to worry, classic favourites such as peanut brittle, chocolate coated honeycomb plus fruit and nuts all can be found on the shelves.
After a couple of laps of the shop I settle on a block of Milk Chocolate and one of Honeycomb and Lavender; a Garden Harvest variety. At the checkout smiling widely, Lexie asks of my experience here today. I have no hesitation of singing their praises – from the largest variety of chocolates, truffles and gifts to tasting the best ice cream of my life, the Chocolaterie will no doubt be winning hearts across the Geelong and Surf Coast regions.
For some the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery is a diabetic disaster, but for a chocoholic, life doesn’t get any sweeter.
The great news is that the Chocolaterie is open every day (except Christmas Day) from 9am – 5pm and located at 1200 Great Ocean Road, Bellbrae, so there is plenty of opportunities to visit. For me, I can see my second, third, fourth and even fifth visit coming in the not too distant future. See you there!