The Stratford Chocolate Trail – More Reasons to Visit Stratford, Ontario 安大略的史特拉福打造出夢幻巧克力之旅，這一波衝啦！
Stratford Chocolate Trail 2020 / 安大略史特拉福夢幻巧克力節
Stratford, Ontario, has been beloved by Canadians for various reasons. It is the home of the world-renowned Stratford Festival, North America’s largest classical repertory theatre company. The Festival produces both Shakespeare and contemporary plays, which have celebrated starring talents like Sir Alec Guinness, Sir Alan Bates, Sir Peter Ustinov, Dame Maggie Smith, James Mason, Christopher Walken, William Shatner, Sarah Polley, Megan Follows, Paul Gross, Christopher Plummer, Al Waxman, Brent Carver, and Colm Feore.
As a teenager, Thomas Alva Edison lived at the Albion Hotel in Stratford while working at Grand Trunk Railway. The Albion Hotel was renamed Edison’s Inn, and one can sleep in Room #1, where Edison resided back in 1863.
Justin Bieber fans can Follow Bieber’s Steps / 小賈斯汀迷可以跟著偶像的步伐探險:
Justin Bieber, one of the world’s bestselling musical artists, was raised in Stratford. The Stratford Tourism Alliance has created a fun “Bieber-iffic map” to follow his steps to stardom:
Stratford also has something exceptional for chocolate fans: The Stratford Chocolate Trail!
Offered year-round, this self-guided tour for $30.00 (plus HST) lets one choose 6 (out of 17) of Stratford’s best purveyors of everything chocolate. At each stop, one gets to sample a special treat and discover the tasty jewels of Stratford.
Following the Chocolate Trail was very easy, thanks to the map provided by the Stratford Tourism Alliance. We drove in from Toronto, and it took only 1.5 hours to get there. The stops are, for the most part, within walking distance of each other downtown.
We began at Rocky Mountain Chocolate (10 Downie St.), and our eyes lit up. They are known for their hand-dipped apples (candy and caramel), frozen chocolate-dipped bananas, fudge, gelato, and of course, chocolate! There are 16 unique Softcore Caramel flavours available. With our voucher, we got to sample their milk chocolate theatre masks (an homage to the Stratford Festival), and they were really delicious.
Next, we headed over to Rheo Thompson Candies (55 Albert St.) They have been in Stratford for over 40 years and offer over 100 different kinds of chocolates. Our voucher gave us a chance to sample any four of their caramels, creams, barks, and specialty chocolates (all made with either 45% cocoa or 60% cocoa chocolate). It was hard to pick which ones to try. But one thing was sure: We had to try one of their best-selling mint smoothies. (available in dark and milk chocolate) . They tasted so excellent. We were quite tempted to try their mint smoothie ice cream or their chocolate covered beer marshmallows, but we had to save room for the rest of the treats along the trail.
It was a lot of fun walking the streets of downtown Stratford, on a beautiful day, while keeping an eye for the next stops on the trail. We entered MacLeods Scottish Shop (80 Ontario St.) and found ourselves immersed in all things Scottish. The Orkney fudge came in unique flavours like malt whiskey, vanilla, and stem ginger. .We received a box of pure butter shortbread with Belgian chocolate chunks made in the Scottish Highlands for the trail. Just perfect with tea or even on their own.
As we walked along Ontario St., we came across Small-Mart General Mercantile (119 Ontario St.), which had all things retro. Caveman Cola, Camel Balls Bubble Gum, Pop Rocks, and Sugar Babies are just a few of the candies that brought us back in time. They offered 2 retro chocolate/candy bars as part of the trail.
We then popped into Bradshaws(129 Ontario St.), which carries various kitchen and dining ware. Their contribution to the trail is a jar of Stonewall kitchen dark chocolate sea salt caramel sauce.
Treasures (151 Ontario St.) carries a variety of products from local and Canadian artisans. Their offering for the trail is a 110m jar of creamed cocoa honey.
Walking along York St., we headed first to Olive Your Favourite ( 21 York St.), which carries a variety of Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Aged Balsamic Vinegars. They allow one to sample their olive oils before buying. We tasted their Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar (which is their offering for the trail), and it was so tasty. Perfect with a salad or with drizzled on fruit.
Distinctly Tea (18 York St.) has a wide variety of teas to meet all of us tea lovers’ needs. Their beautiful Polish Pottery makes a great addition to one’s home as well. As part of the trail, we chose between Chocolate Rooibos, Yerba Mate, or Black Tea.
We finished up the trail at Buzz Stop ( 17 York St.), which is the first gourmet coffee shop in Stratford. We received 1/4lb of Bavarian Chocolate Coffee, and it smelled so wonderful.
Some of the other stops on the 2020 Chocolate Trail are: Black Angus Bakery and Catering (443 Erie St), Black Swan Brewing Co. (144 Downie St.), Boar’s Head Pub (161 Ontario St), Junction 56 Distillery (45 Cambria St.), To Bean or Not to Bean (285-8 Lorne Ave), Totally Spoke’d (29 Ontario St.), The British Touch (2210 Huron Rd. W. in Shakespeare) and Village Craft & Candle( 158 Queen St. E. in St. Marys).
Locations for tickets purchase to The Chocolate Trail tour / 史特拉福打造出夢幻巧克力之旅購票資訊：
Address: 47 Downie St. (Monday to Saturday -9am-12:30pm and 1:30pm-5pm)
129 Ontario St. (Sunday 11am-5pm);
MacLeods Scottish Shop:
80 Ontario St. (Sunday 11am-4pm);
119 Ontario St. (Sunday 11am-5pm).