About two months ago I drove for over a hour for a hot chocolate.
There were other benefits of making the drive: a unsettled newborn baby who I hoped would sleep the whole way, a need for peaceful head space without my motormouth toddler (who I just dropped off at her grandparent's), and a yearning to see the soul soothing countryside we once hoped to call home. But mostly it was the lure of a hot chocolate at The Chocolate Mill outside Daylesford.
The hot chocolate: The first time I had a hot chocolate here it gave me a head spin. I am a caffeine lightweight since I don't drink coffee but a hot chocolate has never done that to me before.
I only drink their dark chocolate version (you can choose from milk, dark, white and chili dark chocolates). It is genuine callebaut belgian couverture chocolate melted and topped with milk and froth. The dark chocolate version is not as sickly sweet as some other hot chocolates made by this method. The high quality of The Chocolate Mill's product made onsite without preservatives means it is as powerful, pure, and fresh as a hot chocolate can be.
The vessel the hot chocolate comes in truly compliments the experience. It is served in giant handle-less mugs and the staff always encourage me to mix up the chocolate on the bottom with the milk and froth on top. I wrap my hands around its sensuous shape and savour every intensely rich, creamy sip.
The price: $6. If you don't fancy driving over a hour every time you want to experience The Chocolate Mill's hot chocolate you can buy a bag to take home to make your own. Visit their online shop for prices. Beware, you'll probably end up eating up the whole packet via sly visits with a spoon rather than actually drinking it.
The setting: The Hot Chocolate Cafe is attached to the strawbale main building of The Chocolate Mill. The view is of a rustic garden and bushland. Of course, coming here to sample hand-made chocolates a major bonus to the hot chocolate experience. There are viewing windows into the kitchen and free demos at 11am and 2pm.
Family friendly aspects: There is a play ground and potentially wildlife to spot.
Would I have another: Hell yes. If we ever end up living in Daylesford I'll be there every week.