Daytrip to Geneva

“There are four basic food groups: 
Milk chocolate
Dark chocolate
White chocolate
& Chocolate truffles”
~ seen at the All Chocolate Kitchen

On Wednesday I visited Geneva, IL for the Geneva Chocolate Tour. I’ve know founder Valerie Beck since my first Chocolate and Champagne Tour in 2010. I took my mom on the French Market Chocolate Tour in July 2010.

Chocolate and Champagne Tourguides at Chicago Chocolate Tours

My first Chocolate tour

Having a Groupon to spend I opted for a day trip this time. I wish I had done so sooner!

Geneva is a lovely town with numerous boutiques, antique shops and eateries in a lovely downtown area. Many shops are housed in converted mansions. I walked the Third Street area for a bit and had lunch at a nice diner.

Geneva Illinois collage by Maike's Marvels

Then I discovered chocolate raspberry tea at The Berry House’s Coffee Drop Shop. YUM! (For my Dutch friends, there wasn’t any licorice in the store).

Coffee Drop Shop Geneva IL

After a bit more boutique browsing it was time to gather for the tour, which started at Graham’s Chocolates. Founded 24 years ago, Graham’s likes to demonstrate chocolatey freshness with an open kitchen, so we watched as cookies were being dipped in dark chocolate to become a groom’s tuxedos.

A family-business, the founder’s daughter served us chocolate with seasalt caramels and a lovely nutty praline.

Graham's chocolate samples

On our way to the next stop we learned that brownies were invented for the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 by Bertha Palmer, who wanted to serve something to visitors at Palmer House. 27 million people were given a brownie at that time. We sampled A Moveable Feast’s deeply fudgey brownies, one of Oprah Winfrey’s “Favorite Things”. The store had other chocolate goodies too.

a moveable feast Geneva IL

After another history lesson we entered the All Chocolate Kitchen, Geneva’s newest chocolate addition. Chef Roby has been on the Food Network Challenge and after designing kitchens for the Hyatt Hotels he decided to build one for himself. In addition to the fascinating chocolate and sugar-blown sculptures, the store offers truffles, gelato and beverages. I couldn’t resist the truffles here.

All Chocolate Kitchen, Geneva IL

We then marched on to Preservation Bread and Wine (I like those food groups too!) where we sampled a delicious chocolate espresso tart.

Preservation Bread and Wine

Our last stop was Graham’s 318, the coffee shop founded by the chocolatier we visited at the beginning of our tour. Here we had a lovely hot cocoa made from dark chocolate shavings with a marshmallow garnish. This heat helped me stay warm during the freight train windiness as I waited for my ride home.

Graham's 318 coffeehouse

I plan to revisit Geneva for some holiday shopping. Now that I remember how restorative it is to get away from the daily task list I’ll take a day trip once a month going forward, if not an overnight trip. There are so many lovely towns and parks to visit within a two-hour radius of Chicago.

What is your favorite getaway from your daily grind?

 “Anything is good if it is made of chocolate”
~ seen at the All Chocolate Kitchen

 Praline pincushion at Designers Desk Geneva

Chocolate praline pincushion at Designers Desk

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