For anyone with a sweet tooth, this week is a perfect excuse to explore Northern Ireland’s chocolate heritage and tasty produce with National Chocolate Week taking place from 14 – 20 October.

Northern Ireland’s chocolate history is linked to renowned Botanist Hans Sloane from Killyleagh, County Down. It is said he invented drinking chocolate in 1687 and, in fact, his recipe was adopted as the original Cadbury’s Drinking Chocolate.

From special chocolate desserts to mouth-watering chocolate workshops, Northern Ireland is playing host to over 150 gastronomic events and experiences to tickle the taste buds during Taste the Island this Autumn.

Discover NI has provided a delicious list of chocolate goodness to inspire you this National Chocolate Week.

  • Chocolate Memories in Moneyreagh, County Down – Set in the rolling hills of Moneyreagh, children who are chocolate fans can enter the magical world of chocolate making at the Chocolate Memories factory! Learn how to make your own delicious treats and get creative decorating and wrapping your handmade chocolate. As a social enterprise, all profits are reinvested to develop further opportunities for people with autism. The Chocolate Memories team can tailor workshops to suit your group.


  • NearyNógs Chocolates, County Down – In recent years Northern Ireland has seen many talented artisan chocolate makers arrive on the scene, like the wonderful NearyNógs, based just outside Kilkeel in County Down. Northern Ireland’s first bean to bar chocolate makers, the Neary family source the finest single origin cocoa beans, stone grinding them to produce delicious award-winning chocolates of all kinds. You can taste for yourself at the magical Narnia Picnic in Rostrevor (17 November) with divine drinking chocolate. Groups of more than six can arrange tours of their chocolate factory too.

  • Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory, Belfast – Northern Ireland’s chocolate and sweet making renaissance began here in east Belfast. Working with their Aunt Sandra, who had spent a lifetime making sweets, brothers Jim and David Moore created their own workshop using traditional methods to make old fashioned chocolates and sweets. Their shop is a dream for nostalgic sweet lovers and you can arrange tours to see them at work.


  • James St South Tasting Menu Dessert, Belfast – Renowned chef Niall McKenna’s special tasting menu for the Taste the Island festivities includes a wickedly indulgent raspberry & dark chocolate clafoutis served with Clandeboye buttermilk ice cream. A must try for chocolate lovers!


  • Tribute to Hans – Co Couture, Belfast – Hans Sloane would have been proud. Deirdre McCanny made her name making premium handmade chocolates and winning a hatful of awards at her Co Couture shop in Belfast. You won’t be able to resist the tantalising selection of super premium fresh chocolate goodies in the basement artisan boutique. Drop in and surround your senses with the smell of proper chocolate. Buy some super-premium chocolate bonbons and bars or sample the truly spectacular hot chocolate. The ultimate in chocolate taste experiences.

For more details and to plan your Taste the Island trip, visit or follow #TasteTheIsland

Leave a Reply