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How-? What-? Splutter! As a chocolate and coffee fiend, I fail to see how I could have missed this festival three years in a row. The Festival of Coffee and Chocolate sponsored by Merlo Coffee runs from the 29th to 31st of July at Portside Wharf in Hamilton.
The festival on 29 of July will also showcase the best of Portside's renowned restaurateurs as they put together an inspired menu for the Death By Chocolate Longest Dinner. You can see the participating restaurants and their special menus here. Bookings are required.
If you're not after a formal sit down event, preferring to mosey along relishing tasty bite sizes morsels of chocolate-y and coffee goodness, the Sunday programme will be perfect for you. The programme is not yet finalised but the lovely marketing team at Merlo gave me a sneak preview. Masterclass and demonstration sessions include:
Cocktail Masterclass' Learn to create coffee-inspired cocktails
Darrell Lea Cooking Class' Discover the art of creating Darrell Lea's family favourite peanut brittle
Chocolate and Winter Warmers' Match great wines, fortifieds and spirits with chocolate.
Also, watch out for five cascading chocolate fountains at the Theobroma marquee as well as roving cupcake ladies on stilts. I'm not exactly sure what to expect from a roving cupcake lady but I'm hoping for a Strawberry Shortcake style street performer on stilts, juggling cupcakes, throwing the occassional cupcake to open mouthed audience members.
As for stallholders, Merlo coffee will of course have a strong presence. Also presenting will be Cannolis, Mayfield Chocolates, Cake Star, Bittersweet; The Chocolate Boutique, Red Dog Coffee Traders, Seatonfire Chilli Chocolate, Efudge, White Mischief and many others.
The Chocolate High Tea on the 29th costs $70 per ticket and can be booked by contacting B.Lovell@makeawish.org.au.