An immersive journey through one of Belgium’s most famous trades.
‘Chocolate Nation’, a brand-new and intriguing concept located in the center of Antwerp. Chocolate is arguably the most widely known Belgian product around the globe and as it goes with every nation’s flagship, there is a wildly interesting history behind chocolate.
There were few answers to the question where one could go to learn about this history, with only a handful of chocolate museums sparsely established around our country.
But now the vibrant tourism and business hub, Antwerp, has a chocolate museum of its very own in Chocolate Nation.
Chocolate Nation provides an audio guided tour that they have nicknamed ‘The Experience’, with very good reason. The tour is a veritable treat for the senses as they engage them in a carefully thought out order.
They start off with an in-depth step-by-step of the so-called “Bean to Bar”-process, which covers the entire journey from cocoa tree to finished product, with an interesting fact at the end detailing why Belgian chocolate is unique in its kind. This is accompanied by pleasant video and practical effects and an incredibly soothing, personal narrator available in three languages: Dutch, French and English.
After the detailing of the industrial process they provide you a room filled to the brim with history on the first Belgian chocolate makers and the people who came from all over the globe to make their claim to fame in the chocolate-industry epicentre.
This room is completely based on personal preference, every piece of history has its own tag to activate a specific and succinct explanation from the audio guide so you get to decide what you want to learn more about. It is recommended you partake in the full tour as to truly grasp what makes Belgium the indisputable frontiersman of chocolate.
A chocolate museum wouldn’t be much of a chocolate museum without allowing you to enjoy the full spectrum of chocolate. This means a careful placement of tastings throughout the tour. The tastings crescendo into the final stop, simply named “Taste of Heaven”. A name that will make absolute sense when you have undergone it.
An experience such as this is pretty tiring, especially taking into account the gift shop at the end with tonnes of different pralines and chocolate goods. Chocolate nation even has its own home brand at an unbeatable price.
One could feel a bit drained after such a voyage. In that case it’s worth mentioning that we, Astoria Hotel Antwerp, are only a praline’s throw away, so to speak. A mere 7-minute walk from Chocolate Nation, our hotel is the ideal place to wind down after or charge up before a visit to Antwerp’s newest chocolate sensation.
When thinking of ways to improve your stay in Antwerp and at Astoria, Chocolate Nation must not be disregarded. A doorway into what makes our country so unique and renowned, despite its size.