Everyone needs a little sweet indulgence from time to time. Or, overindulgence perhaps. Enter the Chocolate Bar at The Langham Boston Hotel, an annual display of decadence that Bostonians can practically set their watches by. The ten month-long event kicks into high gear in September, runs through the bitter winter and on through the earliest parts of summer. But it’s not about knowing when the Chocolate Bar is happening, it’s about getting a reservation. The sweets-focused event only happens on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. inside The Langham Boston Hotel at the beautiful Café Fleuri. The all-you-can-indulge-in buffet is a dream for anyone with a sweet tooth, featuring all things chocolate from cupcakes and pudding to truffles and ice cream. Chocoholics can begin their afternoon with a sampling of small, dreamy portions of creatively (and artfully) designed confections, including petit fours, cookies, brownies, whoopie pies and mousse. Every sweet bite imaginable is on enormous, beautifully presented displays here, which fills the entire brightly lit dining room. There are even occasional healthy samplings of fruit to balance out the sugar overload. Just be sure to enjoy the chocolate paradise at a slow pace, so as not fill up too quickly from the rich assortment. Once you’ve got your bearings back, satisfy the secondary craving with a chocolate crêpe or chocolate crème brûlée over a hot cup of coffee – or, if you can, some hot chocolate – then head over to the fondue station. There’s fruit and marshmallows for dipping, or you can splurge further at the heavenly chocolate fountain nearby. That is, if you can stomach any more. Little kids will love the cotton candy display and ice cream bar, while their parents may prefer the decadently rich Langham chocolate croissant bread pudding and a variety of dessert-themed adult beverages. Discerning adults may also partake of six or seven dessert-themed alcoholic beverages. And if you can’t make it to the richly priced Chocolate bar, which runs $42 for adults and $29 for children aged five to twelve, Café Fleuri also hosts a weekly Sunday brunch where 20 to 30 of the chocolate confections are also enjoyed. Just don’t expect the grandeur of Saturday’s Chocolate Bar bacchanalia.Read More
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Winter is definitely here. The icy temperatures and the snow filled sidewalks are here, and the residents of Boston are bundling up, flinging on scarves, lacing up boots and securing hats to ensure their outsides are warm and snug against the brutal temps. Sometimes though, just layering on those woolen pieces doesn’t quite do the trick and there is only one thing that will help shake that chill off: hot cocoa. There is just something about a big steaming mug of liquid chocolate that truly warms the body from the inside out. Of course, if you’re going to indulge in the delicious drink, you want the good stuff. You don’t want some powder from a pouch hastily stirred into hot water you can make that at home! You want something rich and decadent, something that lets you know that you’re getting something special. The Boston area has some fantastic options to check out, all over the city, that have unique and fantastic variations of hot chocolate. First on everyone’s lips when looking for recommendations is L.A. Burdick’s, with locations in Harvard Square and Back Bay. I stopped in during a bit of Christmas shopping, looking for a pick me up, a treat for the hard “work” I was enduring amid the crowded streets. L.A. Burdicks is a bit of a sanctuary. Entering their shops is like taking a step back in time, into a long forgotten chocolate shop where the chocolate is imported from France and Switzerland, and the confections are made by hand in small batches to ensure quality with every bite, or, in my case, sip. I opted for a Madagascar Hot Chocolate featuring a dark chocolate base enhanced with notes of orange and vanilla. This was the thickest, richest hot chocolate I have ever tasted. Each sip awarded me with a true chocolate blast, which would satisfy any chocoholic’s desires. The Thinking Cup, with locations in the North End and on Tremont Street with views of Boston Common, is an independent coffee shop with coffees, teas, sandwiches and pastries to make the cast of Friends jealous. As one of my favorite spots to relax with a cup of joe and hunker into some writing, I had high hopes for their hot chocolate. I was not disappointed. Their French style offering, featuring 64% Tainori Valhrona Drinking Chocolate, is exactly what I was looking for, chocolaty, but highly drinkable allowing me to savor every sip of the creamy drink. Every sip brought me back to winter days of my childhood where a day of snowman building was rewarded with a delicious cup of hot chocolate. The Thinking Cup delightfully combines our childhood memories with our more adult palates and creates a perfect marriage. Max Brenner is an international chain that won a place in the hearts of the city of Boston when for weeks they offered all proceeds of the sale of their famous hot chocolate to marathon victims. Max Brenner’s specializes in all things chocolate, and has incredible seven different types of hot chocolate at all times on their menu. Each can be made with either white chocolate, milk chocolate or dark chocolate making it simple to customize your drink exactly as you want it. Their unique creations feature a Mexican style boasting red chili, nutmeg and cinnamon for the ultimate in “warming” techniques, their Marshmallow is the ultimate in nostalgia as they melt gooey marshmallows right into your mug and their Salted Caramel creates the perfect decadence of sweet caramel, rich chocolate and salt to enhance it all. No matter where the icy wind blows you this year, the Boston area has you covered to warm up with hot chocolate. So dig out those mittens and scarves, bundle up and then find your favorite spot to warm up over a steaming hot mug of cocoa.Read More
Like any food, the best ice cream is all a matter of personal taste and preference. Luckily, Boston offers plenty of options to explore, which means lots of tasty trials to learn what flavors suit you best. With a dozen stores in and around Boston, J.P. Licks might just be the ice cream shop that Bostonians think of first when they’re craving a scoop of the sweet stuff. The 30-year-plus company, which began in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, has a fiercely loyal clientele, who swear by their fresh ingredients and proprietary formula. During the summer, patrons can grab a scoop of delicious fresh peach ice cream, but they won’t find the seasonal flavor on the menu in, say, December. That’s okay, though, because tempting options like pumpkin custard or cranberry orange sorbet take its place when the weather changes. J.P. Licks also offers frozen yogurt at their locations, makes an assortment of ice cream cakes and pies, and even roasts their own coffee beans. Emack & Bolio’s is another local creation, which began as a small operation in 1975 and has since turned into a sizeable franchise, with a dozen shops in Massachusetts, including four in Boston proper. The original owners claim to have invented the flavored cone in 1980 -- cones covered with cookie pieces or sugary cereals, or dipped in chocolate and rolled in any number of candies, nuts, or other sweets. Creating your own unique ice cream and cone combination is half the fun of getting ice cream at your local Emack & Bolio’s. Another Boston ice cream institution is Ron’s Gourmet Ice Cream and 20th Century Bowling. This Hyde Park neighborhood spot has been churning out homemade ice cream since 1974, serving it up as people line up to bowl a few rounds of candlepin. As you can imagine, the joint ice cream parlor and bowling alley is popular with families and large birthday parties. In addition to ice cream, homemade ice cream cakes are also available, which makes any celebration at Ron’s that much easier to plan. Of course, there’s any number of large chain ice cream and yogurt shops to be found in Boston. But this city takes pride in their history, even when it comes to decades old ice cream parlors, and it’s always a treat to eat the same flavors, at the same shop, as your family did a generation ago.Read More
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Many people described the Cookies & Cream as Love.
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