As promised, here’s a recap of my trip to Colonial Williamsburg with American Heritage Chocolate!
I drove down on Thursday afternoon and got settled into the hotel. We stayed at the Williamsburg Lodge, which is the same place we stayed when Matt, Mazen and I took a trip here a few years ago! It was just as lovely on this visit.
I met up with the other bloggers on the trip for dinner that night. We walked to King’s Arms Tavern. The colonial town was already dressed up for Halloween!
We dined by candlelight and live music. I love how everything in Williamsburg is as historically accurate as possible – including the menu and the giant napkins you wear around your neck!
I ordered the prime rib for dinner, which isn’t in my usual list of entree favorites, but it seemed to fit the time. It was quite delicious, but I could only eat about 1/4 of the huge serving! Plus asparagus and a popover.
We had several desserts to choose from, and I went with Syllabub – layers of foam and frothed cream and some liquor on the bottom!! It was sooo good!
The next morning we met for an early breakfast at the Lodge restaurant. I had the following from the buffet –
And then we were off on a big chocolate history adventure!
Our first stop was Great Hopes Plantation. We spent about an hour exploring the working farm.
Nothing here is for show – the people there are actually doing the real work of an 18th century plantation. Oxen were pulling logs that they were sawing with an old fashioned saw for firewood.
I got to help out! I think my back could have handled about 10 minutes of this before breaking.
In the kitchen, women were making a venison stew that they would eat for lunch or dinner later that day.
We visited a house and garden where enslaved people would have lived and worked as well. A more sobering visit.
Plus the elaborate gardens on the property that provide produce for many of the Williamsburg restaurants.
We walked back into the town and our next stop was the Palace Kitchen.
Here we learned what the highest of society would have eaten, including a bit more about the American Heritage Chocolate.
This cacao pod would have been split and the contents dried until they fermented.
The cacao seeds would have been crushed on a metate like this one –
And blended with spices. I picked up notes of banana most of all!
The drinking chocolate was mostly for adults and served with meals in a kettle like this with a stick in the lid for keeping the fats mixed well. Since water was questionable, beer and chocolate were the preferred beverages. My favorites ; )
After the old fashioned kitchen we headed to a real one – The Cheese Shop – for lunch! We started with a cheese plate to share –
And I had the hot smoked salmon sandwich with special sauce and greens on pumpernickel bread. yum! We also shared a few cookie bars for dessert : )
Our next stop was the brand new Market House where you can buy all kinds of colonial goods.
Followed by the blacksmith and the tin shop!
And made a few friends along the way…
We continued our journey downtown to the R. Charlton Coffeehouse where we experienced a little of the colonial social scene. American Heritage Chocolate Drink a must!! It is so thick and rich but also a wee bit spicy as it goes down- love it!
The chocolate fun continued at the Taste Studio with Chef Anthony and Chef Rodney preparing sweet and savory selections with American Heritage Chocolate. The studio is new and has all the features of a gourmet cooking demo kitchen.
The chefs prepared a few dishes with the chocolate and gave us lots of info on the behind-the-scenes of Colonial Williamsburg’s kitchens.
Ever had chocolate aioli with pork and wine cherries!?
After a short rest period we rendezvoused in the Lodge bar for some cocktails. I had a Witch’s Brew with bourbon, cider and pumpkin pie spice, plus a lychee eyeball!
We walked downtown for the Halloween fun – in costumes!
The town was so spooky with flames and darkness, and there were colonial characters dressed up all around.
There were two parts to “The Haunting Of DoG Street” that the public could buy tickets to for both Friday and Saturday nights:
- A Pirate’s Life For Me – The young children’s trick-or-treating from 5-7:30 pm which included contests, characters and activities
- Under Blackbeard’s Flag – older kids 13+ can get spooked with trials, tours and a grand finale zombie procession
Throughout the evening select buildings had events and tours, and there were zombies everywhere! (The later it got, the spookier they were…)
We had dinner at Chownings Tavern for a quick warm bite, which was perfect given the chilly night. We shared some pumpkin beers and this cheese crock appetizer
And I had a trio of soups for dinner that were so good! Have you ever thought to put mint in a bean soup?! Delish!
After dinner we haunted around a little more and explored the main event at the Capitol building.
Loved all the pirates!
I drove back to Cville late on Friday night so I could be with the fam on Halloween morning. The chocolate fun continued at home because I was sent home with some American Heritage Chocolate! It comes in three 63% cacao styles: eating, baking and drinking chocolate.
During our trip, the women in the tin shop mentioned that they like to mix the drinking chocolate with coffee, so I gave that a try this morning! Since they used to drink this for breakfast, I figured it was fitting : ) It does have sugar, but it’s mostly fat from the cacao butter, so it probably helped fill people up before a long day of work.
The result was a heritage mocha – coffee with notes of cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, orange, and red pepper.
Served with other foods that colonial Americans might have eaten – a crusty roll, farm-fresh yogurt and raspberries.
This post and my trip were sponsored by American Heritage Chocolate. Read about chocolate history, ingredients, recipes and more at AmericanHeritageChocolate.com.