York is Britain’s home of chocolate where iconic names in the confectionery and chocolate industry such as Rowntree, Terry’s and Craven’s were born, many of which were started by Quaker entrepreneurs. Scarborough Quaker Joseph Rowntree set up his store at 28 Pavement in the city in the 1850s – one of his apprentices was Mr George Cadbury.
Chocolate and confectionery history in the city stretches even further back – there were 8 confectioners in York in 1781. Take a tour of former historic homes belonging to York’s famous confectionery families which are open to the public including Fairfax House and Goddards House and Gardens, former homes of Noel Terry, great grandson of Joseph Terry who founded Terry’s. Rowntrees Park was gifted to the city by Rowntree in 1921 as a memorial to fallen cocoa workers.
Today the city offers a delectable mix of chocolate delights including its own Chocolate Trail, a Chocolate Story attraction and Festival at Easter as well as a selection of the finest cocoa houses and luxury chocolate retail outlets! If you want to surround yourself with all things chocolate be it on an Easter break, family holiday or romantic getaway, York is where to head.
York’s Chocolate Story
Start your chocolate trail at the award-winning York’s Chocolate Story on King’s Square featuring three fascinating zones – The Story Zone, Factory Zone and Indulgence Zone. Your journey starts in the Story Zone where you will learn about the origins of chocolate in the Central American rainforests and the city’s greatest chocolate families responsible for producing iconic products such as Terry’s chocolate orange, Smarties and one of the world’s most popular chocolate products – the humble ‘Kit Kat’. The stories of factory workers and their memories also feature strongly in this zone.
The tour then moves on to the Factory Zone where you will discover the process of chocolate making, with ample opportunity for hands on interaction. Finally, in the Indulgence Zone sits the shop brimming with some of the country’s finest chocolates as well as unusual flavours and chocolate treats. The onsite Chocolate Bar cafe is famed for its hot chocolate!
York Cocoa House & Chocolate School
The sweetest of treats await the visitor in York’s delectable choice of cocoa houses and fine chocolate shops. Favourites include York Cocoa House on Blake Street run by passionate chocolatier and chocolate historian Sophie Jewett. The onsite shop sells their own range of delicious cakes, uniquely flavoured chocolates and truffles plus a range of some of Yorkshire’s best sweet treats. A cafe, chocolate school and regular events, workshops and taster sessions are also here.
Chocolatey services at the Cocoa House’s Chocolate School are pure inspiration for that perfect birthday party for all ages, that extra special Hen Party or just drop in to their Chocolate Workshop open daily where you are guaranteed to learn something new about chocolate, and even create a chocolate treat yourself.
More Sweet Treats
York’s historic shopping street The Shambles is where you will find popular Chocolate Heaven. Hotel Chocolat with its exquisite vintage chocolate selection sits on Coney Street. Stroll along to St Helen’s Square, location of the Terry’s Shop & Tea Room which sits adjacent to the former site of Terry’s original factory. Nearby Betty’s Tearoom on medieval Stonegate offers more sensational chocolate flavours, with a selection of new seasonal Easter creations featuring this year.
Where to stay
Chocolate breaks in York are a great all year round treat, not just for Easter! Choose from our extensive selection of the finest city centre B&B guest houses and apartments here on iknow yorkshire, right in the heart of the city centre mere minutes from the York Cocoa House, Chocolate Story and the many fine chocolate houses and tea rooms within the city walls. York is one of England’s best for stunning boutique guest houses, perfect for that romantic chocolate getaway in Britain’s Home of Chocolate.