6 of the best festive chocolates from Lancashire and the Lake District
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Fantastic flavours and marvellous morsels from the county’s best master chocolatiers
Choc Amor, Mawdesley
Paul and Jacqui Williams' treats have won awards that place their chocs as some of the best in the world. Their carefully created products, made in their shop at Cedar Farm in Mawdesley, are enjoyed by people across the globe - most recently they have started exporting to Japan.
They have launched Christmas Pudding chocolates, fuelled by their love of the festive dessert. It's a glorious blend of their single origin Columbian chocolate with plump, juicy fruit, brandy notes with port and spices. If pud isn't for you there is also Merry Cherry, a dark chocolate with black cherry and a boozy hint of kirsch and spice.
Rivington Chocolates, Horwich
What do you get if you cross a building surveyor and a nurse? Some of the best chocolates in Lancashire. Christine and Chris Thomasson use the finest sustainable ingredients - including a good show of other local produce - to create their luxury treats.
Choose from dark chocolate lemon curd truffles, honeycomb dipped in milk or dark chocolate and other tempting flavours. They sell online as well as at various farmers' markets and large food events and have been awarded accolades, including a Great Taste Award.
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Bowland Chocolate Company at Vanilla Angel, Slaidburn
When Angela Anderton's husband, David, bought her a day-long chocolate-making course at the prestigious and award-winning Slattery in Manchester, he didn't know it would spark a new business. Angela, a former civil servant, now creates exquisite chocolates in Slaidburn and sells at the Vanilla Angel shop.
Flavours include chai tea mixes, Malibu rum with coconut, champagne truffles, and cherry Bourbon. There are also decadent concoctions like amaretto with marzipan hailing from Lubeck, Germany, and coffee from Ecuador or Colombia.
Grasmere Chocolate Cottage
It's not just gingerbread that has a worldwide following. Richard and Angela Barker, who run this wonderful business, have attracted customers from all over the world, eager to try their handmade chocolates.
After many years teaching, they took a new direction and now use the finest Belgian chocolate. They make everything by hand on the premises and the pair use local landmarks as the inspiration for names of some of their chocolates.
Beech's Fine Chocolates, Preston
This popular family-run company have been producing traditional British chocolates from a factory in Preston since 1920.
They know their Columbians from their Belgians and sell everything from the most delicious gourmet packs of cacao truffles and milk chocolate covered honeycomb to a Christmas selection of continental chocolates.
Wallings Farm, Garstang
Truffles, pralines and moulded chocolates fill the displays at this working farm. Made with Belgian chocolate as well as local cream, fruit extracts and fine liqueurs, there is something for every palate - the Christmas pudding truffle is a particular hit. There is also a new vegan range of truffles.
Try coffee and cake at the café on this working farm or get a peek of alpacas and rare breed animals.