.

It was a brisk Victorian winter morning but I made the most of it and headed along the Yarra River and up to Flinders Stree… I recognised the need behind the Melbournians as they darted to and from the trams. I noticed though after I followed this trend as my nose and ears won out to the idea of warmth what I was really missing out on… You can’t get this same feeling in the north of Australia!

I hopped off the tram and quickly seeked refuge in a cafe cavern to a revitalising cup of a long titled exotic sounding brew of warm coffee. This is the city which ushered in the Espresso Age, there is no doubt about it. I sat and marvelled at the cup before me and the beautiful streets of inner city Melbourne.

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I savoured the cool morning air once more and started on my merry way, planning my next stop.

There is something else I love probably even more than a coffee and although roughly the same colour, I find it a little darker, sweeter and more seductive in nature…

It was time- I had somehow found myself at the ideal cafe again but this time what I had in front of me wasn’t a coffee. The chocolate cafe, selling chocolate hot or cold, dark or white, made with cocoa butter by a skilled chef, is becoming entrenched in the proud Melbourne dining scene.

At these gourmet chocolate cafes, traditional staples such as rocky road, chocolate slice or eclair are almost shunned, treated with the same disdain a coffee connoisseur would dish out to McDonald’s drip filter.

Instead, you have chocolate with no additives like vegetable oil or artificial flavours but a high (70 per cent and above) cocoa content that enhances the chocolate’s flavour and is better for you because you need less to conquer the craving. Evidently.

I thought I should   investigate  this more for my readers- so here goes- if you’re ever in Melbourne, try the chocolate!

Haigh’s Chocolates in Collins Street’s historic The Block Arcade was one of Melbourne’s first, crafting chocolate as early as 1915. A chilli-tinged Belgian Hot Chocolate from KoKo Black is like drinking a cloud with a bolt of lightning in the tail. While it is not so “boutique”, a milk Chocolat is still a massive step from any chocolate drink you get at an ordinary shop. But far be it for me to list them all and ruin your own spirit of discovery. Try a vegan, preservative-free dark or white chocolate and let these great mixtures touch your tongue and dissolve in your mouth. These are drinks made to remember.

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