Friday, 5 June 2015

Grenada; Island Paradise - part 2

Grenada is an island paradise that I was invited to visit and to blog about upon my return home. The southern tip of the island lies along the line 12oN of the Equator offering it a pretty stable climate averaging around 23oC/80oF year long making it a perfect place to grow chocolate!
I was there, along with Mr R and a group of journalists and bloggers for The 2nd Annual Grenada Chocolate Festival. Chocolate Festival host hotel, True Blue Bay Resort was the setting for the opening of the 2nd annual Grenada Chocolate Festival. Last year was such a success that Mexican born Magdalena Fielden and her British husband Russ repeated the event which although mostly based at True Blue Bay Resort also had events taking place at other locations on the island.
The opening ceremony was attended by Grenada's dignitaries such as Grenada Governor  General Daime Cecile La Grenade, Hon Minister of Culture Mrs Brenda Hood and Minister of Implementation Hon Mrs Alexzandra Otway-Noel as Magdalena welcomed everyone and declared the 2nd annual Grenada Chocolate Festival open!
The events included Yoga Chocolate Meditation Session, not my cup of chocolate; 

True Blue Bay have a micro brewery on the premises and they had a chocolate beer especially made for the festival.  Mr R really liked it but he is a beer drinker.  I tasted it and the chocolate flavour was subtle and inviting - you sort of looked for the bowl of chocolate!
Healthy Benefits of Chocolate Hands on Workshop where we got to meet and listen to Ana Rita Garcia Lascurain who had travelled from the MUCHO-Chocolate Museum in Mexico City to share her passion and immense knowledge of chocolate with us and getting some of the audience to participate (yup, you guessed it I did help!);
A chance for the energetic and fit to participate in a Chocolate Hash. I thought this was food but in fact it is a run high into the rain forest and back and you get to eat chocolate at the end.  I didn’t feel this was for me so Mr R and I chilled out at the pool and the bar – that’s a surprise!

One of the highlights of the Chocolate Festival was a day at Belmont Estate with a bean to bar tour, fantastic chocolate lunch and cocoa & chocolate tasting worship.  Belmont Estate grows the cocoa beans that The Grenada Chocolate Company turn into fine grade chocolate which is available to buy at select retailers in the UK!  Belmont Estate and The Grenada Chocolate Company will be talked about further in a future post – there is too much to fit in here.
Dinner at the renowned Calabash Hotel, one of the luxury hotels on the island, whose restaurant menu was designed and is overlooked by Chef Gary Rhodes.  Director Adele Garbutt, daughter of the owner of Calabash Hotel treated us to unique island food and great hospitality.
The final day of our first week (most of the group were only staying one week but Mr R, myself and one other blogger were staying for a second week) we had a chocolate tasting conducted by Mexican expert Chocolatier Ana Rita Garcia Lascurain, learning how to eat chocolate and appreciate it as it is meant to be appreciated. None of this unwrap the Mars bar and eat it in three bites stuff!

We made our own lunch under the guidance of the well known Grenadian chefs, Esther and Omega and sat down together to eat our Curried Chicken Stew with Chocolate.  Delicious and really interesting as you wouldn’t necessarily know it contained chocolate just that it was an intriguing flavour.
Then with the sun overhead we waved goodbye to the members of our group who were heading home, went to the bar Doggy Dock and planned to have a pizza for supper.  We had eaten more in the first week than normal and were full to the gills!
Already I had unique experiences but it was to be next week that would change my life – keep an eye out for the blog post of my day as a chocolate farmer and a visit to a local primary school.
I was a guest of the Grenada Tourist Authority.  As usual all opinions and photos are my own or taken by Mr R unless otherwise stated.


  1. What a fantastic trip! Loved reading all about the cocoa production.

    1. It was so interesting - and we learned so much about spices and chocolate

  2. What an amazing trip, so many things to do and delicious sounding food. GG

    1. There are some really exceptional restaurants on the island but the street food is equally great.

  3. What a gorgeous place to visit Heidi.

  4. It is truly an island paradise - really didn't want to come home!