There are some invitations you simply cannot say ‘no’ to. For us it was the invitation to visit the Chocolate Trail in Stratford. We accepted right away especially because chocolate was involved. We also agreed to invitation because we LOVE the town of Stratford. It is a small, picturesque town with lots of charm, character and, as we learned first-hand, chocolate! Here is a quick recap of our first visit to Stratford. Tony is still upset about his stolen french fries! Watch the video to see what happened.
We wanted to remember just exactly how ‘sweet’ our second visit was so we filmed a vlog:
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Stratford, located in Southwestern Ontario, is approximately an 1.5 – 2 hour drive from Toronto.
Cost & Availability
Passes for the Chocolate Trail can be purchased online or in person at the Stratford Tourism office and cost $30 + HST per person.
The Chocolate Trail is open year round and passes are valid for 1 week from the date of purchase. The passes make for great gifts too!
The Chocolate Trail is simply a self-guided food tour so if you love go-at-you-own-pace tours then you love this one. Each pass also includes 6 vouchers for use at any of the 27 participating locations. Vouchers are later exchanged at a participating location for a special sweet treat made with…you guessed it…chocolate!
The first thing you’ll need to do once you pick up your pass and map is plan your route. Most participating locations are within walking distance of one another with a few locations further away so select your 6 stops wisely if you do not have a car.
If staying for a weekend or longer its possible to visit all 27 locations however the passes provide 6 vouchers.
Our visit to Stratford was a day-trip and here’s a quick recap of how we spent the day.
We arrived at the Stratford Tourism Office at 10AM to pick up our passes and a map. Once we had our passes in hand we popped over to Revel around the corner for a mochaccino. As you can see from the video it was a very cold day so the hot mochaccino gave us the perfect amount of warmth we needed.
We then drove to Junction 56 distillery and although we arrived a few minutes after 11 the tour had not started yet. We got lucky in that the tour consisted of just another couple and us. Our tour guide, Leah McGuire, then took us into the distillery and gave us both a tour as well as a detailed explanation of the ingredients and distillation process. Leah did an amazing job in explaining the differences in how vodka, gin and moonshine are distilled including the flavouring process. We then headed over to the tasting bar where we able to sample the product (this was our favourite part of the tour!). Our Chocolate Trail passes included a voucher for a small bottle of chocolate liquer to take home.
We were really hungry following our distillery tour and found out that a new diner, Planet Diner, had opened 2 weeks prior, so we just had to check it out. Planet Diner’s menu has a unique feature in that majority of its menu items are vegan and vegetarian. There are however a few options for meat-eaters. The Diner serves a brunch menu on weekends until 3PM so we ordered a couple of brunch items for our lunch.
Following our delicious brunch we noticed that our sweet tooth was reactivated so we chose Black Angus Bakery as for some dessert. The Bakery has just about any baked good one would want. They have fresh bread, pastries, squares, cakes and so much more on display and for sale. We redeemed one voucher for our Chocolate Trail treat which was a package of 8 assorted squares. Those squares were so fresh and delicious we had to stop ourselves from eating all of them on the spot.
From the Bakery we headed back towards City Hall and spotted our next stop Chocolate Barr’s. The Barr’s are a husband & wife combo who have been operating the business for over 15 years. Derek Barr is the chocolatier who enjoys working in the open-concept production facility to personally craft various chocolates and candies by hand, whereas his wife Jacqueline manages the retail shop and other business affair. We were fortunate to speak with Derek and immediately noticed his passion and dedication to his craft. We traded in another voucher and left with a box of 3 handmade truffles.
We headed to Rheo Thompson Candies next to try their famous and signature item a mint smoothie. It’s not what you think if you’re expecting to drink it out of a cup with a straw. It’s a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, with a smooth mint-flavoured filling. They’re so good, and while filming our vlog, Tony couldn’t wait to try them that he just broke into the box of mint smoothies on camera while a member of the staff was describing the taste and texture.
We then continued on to our last chocolate shop visit of the day at The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. A soon as we walked in we immediately noticed chocolates and candies we did not see at other shops in town like candy apples, gummi worms, chocolate dipped cheescake and so much more. We now understood the expression “kid in a candy store” because that’s exactly how we felt!
After all the walking we did we decided to made our last and final stop on the Chocolate Trail a place where we could sit and relax. We decided to grab a pint of the specially crafted Porter with cacao nibs from Black Swan Brewery. Black Swan in a local microbrewery with a small retail store front and bar so we were able to sit back, relax and try not to think about how much chocolate we had just eaten.
So there you have it. That’s our recap of the places we visited during our trip along the Chocolate Trail. If you’re headed to the area soon we’ve got our recommendations already lined up for you.
3 Things You Must Try!!!
Here’s a list of our recommendations from a few of the stops we made.
1. Revel – The Mochaccino. The only thing as good as the mochaccino is one of the donut du jour’s however you’ll need to act fast as they typically sell out by mid-morning especially on weekends.
2. Rheo Thompson Candies – Mint Smoothies. This is after all their specialty and best-seller. The best part is once you’ve eaten them all you can order more online.
3. Chocolate Barr’s Candies – Dark Chocolate Cluster. This sweet-treat made of nuts, caramel and chocolate is melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
We thoroughly enjoyed our ‘sweet’ stroll through Stratford and hopefully burned off as many calories as we consumed.
If you’re looking for a fun, relaxed and special way to enjoy Stratford with a friend or family member we highly recommend the Chocolate Trail. We guarantee that it’s the best value and way to satisfy your sweet tooth in Stratford!
Our visit on the Chocolate Trail and to Planet Diner was sponsored by Visit Stratford however all opinions, recommendations & reviews are our own.
Have any photos or videos of your visit that you would like to share with us? Send them over to @LetsDiscoverON.