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“Great, knowledgable, fun and I have a tree !!”

The Tree to Bar Experience at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat
Ranked #1 of 1 Food & Drink in Soufriere
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Unique to the Rabot Estate, the Tree to Bar Experience is an exclusive opportunity for guests to get up close and personal with everything to do with growing cocoa and culminates with creating their own chocolate! Guests start off with a walk through the estate groves, selecting ripe cocoa pods to cut from the tree, and ends with a hands-on trip to the Boucan kitchens where our chef will help guests make their own chocolate bar from beans that they have roasted themselves. The tour includes all the stages in between – from the seedling nursery and fermenting room,to the sun-drying station, grinding, mixing and lots of tasting!
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great, knowledgable, fun and I have a tree !!”
Reviewed June 4, 2013 via mobile

Loved this our group of six had great fun - !
Amazing tour and my own tree and chocolate bar ! Fab worth 5 stars !
Cuthbert is fabulous - from the welsh crew x

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank samdill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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146 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Evesham
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Rodney Bay to Tree to Bar to Ledara”
Reviewed February 19, 2013

We booked the Hotel Chocolat Tree to Bar tour for a Thursday. As it started at 9:00 we hired a car from Costless Rent-a-Car in Rodney Bay the night before for US$85 including licence and CDW and set off at 6:30 to avoid the rush hour in Castries. Arrived at 8:00 and had breakfast with the hotel guests for US$25. Superb scrambled eggs and top quality service.

The first part of the tour explained everything you need to know about growing the cocoa tree and producing, fermenting and drying the pods. You then graft a variety cutting onto a base rootstock and label it as yours. If biology and agronomy is not your thing then don't do this part of the tour. The second part teaches you how to make chocolate from the raw ingredients by hand. It is an arduous process that will not suit anyone with arthritic joints as it involves grinding a granite pestle & mortar for 30 minutes to produce the chocolate. However the end result is your own production and whilst it is coarse and gritty due to lack of efficient grinding it will be the best chocolate you will ever make.

We had planned to take lunch at the Ledara Resort opposite Hotel Chocolate, but were not feeling hungry so just took a drink in the bar overlooking the two Pitons and Jalousie Beach. It is the best view on the island and should not be missed.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Bluenose1812
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Little Rock, Arkansas
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Grafting”
Reviewed February 6, 2013

We grafted our own cocoa tree, the ground raw chocolate mass and cocoa butter into chocolate. Great fun but a lot of work. Certainly worth the effort !

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank docandboop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warrenton
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Must Do Experience”
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Our guide was knowledgeable and engaging, providing us with everything you could want to know. The opportunity to graft our own trees and then create our own chocolate bar was interesting and fun. I can't say that it wasn't hard work, but I'm so glad we took the opportunity to participate at the estate.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank jwalkerr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warlingham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
280 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Excellent, if expensive, morning experience”
Reviewed January 18, 2013

We spent 3 hours doing the 9am "Tree to Bean" followed by the 10:30 am "Bean to Bar" experience and would recommend doing both (hence "Tree to Bar"). In Jan 2013 the total price for the two is 80 US Dollars per person.
Excellent, knowledgeable, guides. Firstly, an agronomist for the "tree to bean" session and then a chef for the "Bean to Bar" session - both eloquent native St Lucians. The agronomist had spent his early career working on Banana Planations, the chef had trained with Hotel Chocolat in the UK. They were very patient in answering questions and clearly knew a lot more than the info they had prepared. We enjoyed learning about different types of cocoa beans, grafting a new tree and making our own bar of chocolate of 65% cocoa solids!
I recommend staying for lunch afterwards so you can sample cuisine which uses Chocolate and Cocoa in innovative ways. We arranged for our taxi to pick us up at 2pm which worked perfectly. The food was delicious!
Our experience was totally different from the person who rated it "poor" so I wonder if it depends a lot on who your guides are. However, if she paid $65 that may be some time ago!
We decided we would not like to stay at the Hotel Chocolat because midges are practically a protected species there as they are crucial for cross-pollination of the cocoa trees.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Jo T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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