Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Belmont Estate (better known as The Grenada Chocolate Factory)- I got the Golden Ticket

I've been to loads of places around the island and this place ranks in my top 5 all time favourites.  How often do you come across a raw chocolate factory?  Did I mention that they're all organic and give out chocolate and hot chocolate samples?  Score!


What you will find at the estate:
  • Cocoa Trees- you will have a chance to taste a cocoa bean straight from a cocoa pod.  How cool it that? The pulp surrounding the bean is super delicious and resembles the pulp of a lychee.  
  • Heritage Museum-  Vintage cameras, ledgers, typewriters, paintings, jewellery.
  • Cocoa processing facility- here you will watch an educational video on the processing of cocoa.  After the video, you will receive chocolate samples and hot chocolate samples (my favourite part of the tour).  After, a tour guide will guide you through the different processing stations (fermenting and drying of beans).  You will even have a chance to participate in the drying out of the beans by taking off your shoes and walking through them under the warm sun.
  • Petting farm- tortoises, monkeys, goats, parrots (super super cute).  They also have a bird, Rainbow, who knows how to talk!!  This bird will make you laugh for days.  I think I lost some weight from burning calories laughing. 
  • Arts and Crafts shop where you can buy cool souvenirs such as spices, clothes, decorations, jewellery. 
  • Cafe and chocolate shop- they carry a variety of fruity dark chocolates such as guava, soursop, cherry, mango, and so much more.  They also have truffles and chocolate bars. 
  • Restaurant- Buffet style, all you can eat. ~70EC/ person.  You have an option of omitting the soup and dessert but I don't recall the price difference.  I think it was around 40EC.   I had pumpkin soup, stewed eggplant, fried fish, stewed beef, stewed chicken, salad, and ice cream. Their juices are freshly squeezed.  Everything was amazing!!  The best local food by far.  
  • Nice, energetic, outgoing workers.  Probably the best customer service I've experienced in Grenada by far. 
  • A table full of local vegetables and fruit.  The tour guide will tell you the names and a few details of each.

Tips: 
*I highly suggest wearing pants to avoid being bitten by sand flies (also known as sand fleas, sand gnats, or chitras).  Every single person I know who has visited the Belmont Estate were once victims of these little punks (even if they used insect repellent).  They're found in the processing facility, and at the monkey area, ideal, damp places for the insects to thrive in. 
*Don't forget to wear sunscreen and sunglasses.  
*Don't forget to bring some money for some goodies!
*Don't forget to bring your camera!
*If you're prone to motion sickness, I highly suggest taking some pills before the bus ride (bumpy and winding).  Sitting in the front with the driver will drastically help decrease your chances of getting dizzy.  It helped me a lot!

Details:
*Getting there: From Saint George's University, take the Grand Anse bus and get off at Texaco.  Catch a #1 St. George's bus to the last stop (main bus terminal in town 2.50EC/person).  Transfer to a #6 bus to Grenville (6EC /person) and get off next to the police station (to the right of where #6 stops.. towards the parking lot full of #9 buses).  Transfer to a red bus #9 Hermitage (3EC/person) and request to be dropped off at The Belmont Estate. ~40min-1hr trip depending on traffic.


*Tour length (10EC or 4USD/ person): ~30min. view cocoa trees, processing facility-watch video, see fermenting and drying beans, see animals, sampling of chocolate and hot cocoa.  After the tour, you can walk around on your own, eat, and/or shop.  Allow 2-3hrs total for the whole trip.

*Opening Hours: Sunday to Friday 8am-4pm.
Open all public holidays except Christmas
Closed Saturdays

*Phone Number: +1 473 442 9524

*For more details, visit their website by clicking HERE.






For more pictures, please visit my album on Flickr by clicking HERE.

Rainbow the Talking Bird


what this bird can say- rainbow, the F word, polly want a cracker, happy birthday, bye. Also, it can meow like a cat and laugh hysterically.

3 comments:

  1. excellent job on the whole blog.. very helpful... I've been here for a week.. went to two waterfalls and spent some time wandering around with the driver ... he was very informative. been to the beach and to the St. George Uni .... now I am totally bored and looking for things to do. Wish had more people to explore with..... :(

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    1. Thanks so much Sabahamad! It's so great that you're taking advantage of the island's beauty and I hope you find other rad places to hang out at.

      Even two years wasn't enough for me to complete my Grenada bucket list hahah!

      Good luck!

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