Take heart this Valentine’s Day, chocolates, knightly dinner and a romantic weekend are all Valentine possibilities
By Peter Covino
Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but is there anything as addictive as a box of chocolates?
If you are looking for that special something for a significant other this Valentine’s Day, you can say it with some freshly made chocolates.
And it certainly is cheaper than diamonds.
Schakolad Chocolate Factory/Chocolate Kingdom, over by Old Town, west of Kissimmee, is part-tourist attraction and part-chocolate shop. With Valentine’s Day only a week away, it’s the chocolate factory’s shop that should prove to be very popular.
If you have some time, the factory tour is a nice way to get, literally, the inside story of the history and the making of, all things chocolate.
It’s also a good place for a special event, like birthday parties.
Bernie Schaked, who owns the business with son, Edgar, said they not only get birthday party events but bridal parties as well. The factory has a separate room for events and guests can not only take a tour, but make their own chocolate creation as well. The Customize Your Own Chocolate Bar station lets you choose your flavor — milk, dark and white, all made in the European tradition on the premises, and customize it with your choice of three toppings. There are 16 toppings to choose from (everything from pretzels and peanuts to bacon, cayenne pepper and cranberries, so it won’t be easy).
But for Valentine’s Day, something a little more creative is in order, and the shop/factory has more than a dozen gifts that will please the chocolate lover in everyone.
Prices are as little as $5 for a single chocolate rose, or you can say “I love you” more regally with a an extra large chocolate heart box (yes, the box is chocolate) filled with assorted chocolates for $70.
Other chocolate gifts include individual chocolate champagne glasses filled with cherries ($10); a chocolate champagne bottle with chocolate champagne glasses filled with cherries ($50); or, one dozen ($40) or two dozen ($70) chocolate-covered strawberries.
For the more creatively minded, the shop also offers chocolate handcuffs (that read Prisoner of Love) for $12 and Schako Paint, chocolate body paint, complete with brush, for $13.
All of the above prices were online pricing. Store pricing may vary. You can check out all the items in more detail at www.schakolad.com.
The website also lists many more chocolate items such as create your own box of chocolates $18-$56; as well as signature truffles, cake truffles and more.
You can see all of the items in person (any many more including chocolate soda, chocolate wine, chocolate potato chip balls and chocolate Florida flip flops) at the factory/shop at 5718 W. U.S. Highway 192, phone, 407-248-6400. The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon until 8 p.m. weekends.
There is no doubt that chocolate makes people happy.
When you enter the shop when the adjacent factory is in operation, the smell of chocolate greets you.
“It’s aroma therapy,” said Schaked. “It makes people smile.”
Life is more than just a box of chocolates
As addictive as chocolates can be, there are other options for Valentine’s Day.
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, the longest running dinner show in North America, is offering dinners a Valentine’s
The special package includes:
Admission for two to the show and tournament.
Double sided frame with photo.
Commemorative Valentine’s Day scroll.
Two champagne glasses with split of champagne.
Two knight’s cheering flags.
Sweetheart light-up red rose and cheering wand.
Admission for two to the Dungeon.
Valentine’s Day special show times are as follows:
Feb. 9-13: 7 p.m.
Feb. 8, 14 and 16: 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Feb. 15: 3:45 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Doors open 1 hour and 15 minutes prior to show times.
“Valentine’s Day at Medieval Times expresses the essence of courtly love and the magical spirit of the holiday,” said Doug Dorn, Medieval Times Florida Castle’s General Manager.
“We want our guests to experience an unforgettable Valentine’s Day, and our Couple’s Package is the perfect way to celebrate with your special loved one.”
Medieval Times newest show debuted in summer 2012. Medieval Times features more rivalry and revelry than ever before with exciting updated elements combined with popular traditions. With authentic weaponry and enhanced armor, the show presents non-stop action, pageantry and drama timed to the tempo of the music.
To get tickets visit www.medievaltimes.com for more details or call 1-888-WE-JOUST. Guests can also find Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament-Orlando on Facebook.
Chocolate is back on the menu at Quantum Leap Winery, Wednesday, Feb. 12 at class called Wine and Chocolate Perfectly Paired.
The class will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the winery.
Jill Ramsier, co-owner of Quantum Leap Winery, and Lisa Wilk, founder of Orlando Uncorked, are offering the class.
Ramsier, a seasoned marketing executive who spent more than 12 years in the restaurant industry before making the full leap into the world of wine, is excited to share how wines are produced at Quantum Leap, the specific characteristics of each of the wines and how different flavors in the wine are brought out after the chocolate is introduced.
“We feel like the timing of this class couldn’t be better — two days before Valentine’s Day,” said Ramsier. “Our class experience will allow participants to taste through some of our wine portfolio while they enjoy paired chocolate items that best showcase both the wine and the sweets.”
The duo will walk through six delicious pairings of Quantum Leap wine and chocolate from Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park.
“Class attendees will learn more about Peterbrooke Chocolate and a bit of Chocolate 101 so they better understand the principles of pairing chocolate and wine and the synergy of the two delights,” said Wilk.
The cost of the wine and chocolate pairing is $35. The online link is https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wine-and-chocolate-perfectly-paired-tickets-10210669387#sthash.fjlNsGRr.dpuf.
Quantum Leap is located in the Mills 50 district at 1312 Wilfred Drive, Orlando. Hours of operation are 2-7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and noon – 6 p.m. on Saturdays. More information is available at www.quantumleapwinery.com or by calling 407-730-3082 or emailing email@example.com.
The timeless love of Romeo and Juliet can be part of your Valentine’ Day with a screening of the play captured live at area theaters.
For three days – Thursday, Feb. 13, Friday, Feb. 14 and Sunday, Feb. 16 – Fathom Events, Screenvision and BroadwayHD will bring the critically-acclaimed Broadway production of “Romeo and Juliet” to 800 movie screens nationwide. Starring Orlando Bloom opposite Tony-nominated Condola Rashad as Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, the infamous story was captured live on Nov. 2013 at New York’s Richard Rodgers Theatre and was directed on stage by five-time Tony nominee David Leveaux and for the cinemas by Don Roy King (Saturday Night Live).
“Romeo and Juliet” will be shown at area cinemas on Feb. 13, at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. including AMC Altamonte Mall, AMC Downtown Disney 24, AMC Universal Cineplex 20, Regal Pointe Orlando and Regal Waterford Lakes Stadium 20.
“Romeo and Juliet” will be shown at Altamonte Mall, Downtown Disney and Universal Cineplex, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available now at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com.
For something really special, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is offering a Valentine’s Package and Sweet Dinner, for Feb. 14.
Enjoy a relaxing and romantic stay in a deluxe guestroom at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort’s warm, tropical oasis and dinner for two at Hemingway’s for $299. Special offer code: VDAY
Hemingway’s Valentine’s Three-Course Sweetheart Dinner, Friday, Feb. 14 and Saturday, Feb. 15 is $100 per couple. Open for dinner at 6 p.m. Call to make reservations: 407-239-3854.
Key Wester Salad with Maytag Bleu Cheese Dressing.
Duo of Butter Poached Lobster and Sliced Filet Mignon.
Chocolate and Chambord Heart Milk Chocolate Mousse.
Guests will also receive a duo of chocolate covered strawberries to “take away” and enjoy during a moonlit stroll along Lake Windsong or with a flute of champagne in their private guestroom.
Grand Cypress is celebrating 30 years of grand excellence throughout 2014.
The award-winning, 1,500 acre Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is centrally located with convenient access to Orlando International Airport and Interstate 4 off Exit 68 in Lake Buena Vista. The resort’s address is One Grand Cypress Blvd. For more information; call 407-239-1234; visit GrandCypress.Hyatt.com.
You can send a little love to everyone at the office as Dunkin’ Donuts with the return of its heart-shaped donuts. There are two varieties of heart-shaped donuts, introducing the new Cookie Dough Donut and bringing back the popular Brownie Batter Donut. The Cookie Dough Donut is a heart-shaped donut with cookie-dough buttercream flavored filling, topped with chocolate icing and chocolate chips. The Brownie Batter Donut is a heart-shaped donut filled with chocolaty brownie batter flavored buttercream filling, topped with chocolate icing and heart sprinkles. Both donuts will be available at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants nationwide through the end of February.
Dunkin’ Donuts has also just introduced new Dark Roast coffee, the company’s darkest, boldest coffee yet, and made with 30 percent beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. Dark Roast is available hot or iced at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the Orlando area.