The Highland Chocolatier sits on the banks of the River Tay, in a beautiful little village called Grandtully. Run by award-winning chocolatier Iain Burnett and his family this little hidden gem opened in 2006, and is now a 4 star attraction. It’s easy to see why.
Iain uses single origin cocoa from the island of Sao Tome in the South Atlantic, adding no preservatives or artificial additives, and adding only a carefully selected range of basic ingredients including fresh Scottish cream from a single herd of cows to produce a delicious, velvety smooth truffle. Having trained under master chocolatiers of the Belgium, Swiss and French schools he has perfected his technique over 3 years, made over 120 adjustments and now produces velvet truffles, fresh cream truffles and pralines which have won awards many times over.
The village of Grandtully is just a short drive from Pitlochry making it ideal for an afternoon of deliciousness. There is a small multi media exhibition, free of charge, explaining the history of cocoa, the process in which the chocolate is made and why there is such a difference between proper gourmet chocolate and the usual mass produced fair.
You can also watch Iain and his small team of chefs working their magic in their chocolate kitchen, pouring, chilling, dipping, cutting, molding, I dare you to resist a taste after watching them, I know I couldn’t.
If you take one of their guided tours the guide will explain the process while you watch. They start at £8.95 for a mini tour, or it’s £14.95 for a taste tour, or £45 for a connoisseur tour.
There is also a chocolatey themed gift shop and an area selling vintage styled home wares and of course the chocolates are for sale too in all shapes and sizes, bars, boxes, bags, and you can also buy them individually.
While we were there we got to taste these magnificent nuggets of yumminess –
Firstly we just had to taste the award-winning cocoa covered velvet truffle, which was delicious and a world away from anything I have tasted before, it’s hard to describe how beautifully smooth the truffle was, and suffice to say, I had to have more.
Next was the Lime Truffle – tangy crushed limes in a white truffle with a hint of chilli. The lime complimented the truffle perfectly and the chilli was just enough.
And I had to try their newest creation, designed to celebrate the year of the homecoming – White raspberry and heather honey truffle, and this was definitely my favourite. So delicately flavoured.
It’s not hard to see why these chocolates are so popular, and why British Airways are now serving them in first class, or why they have just won the coveted Scottish food and drink excellence product of the year for their entire range! Yes, they really are that good!
There is also a lovely little café adjoining the chocolate shop selling coffees, cakes and homemade soup amongst other things, and you can buy an espresso shot of thick hot chocolate truffle ganache- Heaven in Grandtully! Oh a wee note – check out the fab witches hanging from the roof of the café!
To find out more about The Highland Chocolatier and where to get your hands on the chocolate have a look here - https://www.highlandchocolatier.com