Boucan by Hotel Chocolat's Bean to Bar experience is every chocolate lover's dream. As our guide cracked open the cocoa pod - freshly grown on the estate - she passed the beans around for us to taste; the nutty taste was not what I was expecting! Our three ingredients - roasted cocoa beans, cocoa butter and sugar - were laid out on the table, along with a hot pestle and mortar. By slowly conch grinding the roasted cocoa beans for 10 or so minutes, you've created a smooth liquid chocolate. We learnt that by adding more sugar, you lessen the chocolate's percentage, and that the higher the percentage, many studies suggest there are more positive effects on your health. We left the chocolate bar to cool and headed over to the bar for a chocolate-based cocktail - a refreshing yet indulgent treat as we admired spectacular views of the Pitons. When we received our bar, I didn't hesitate to try my creation - it was absolutely delicious!
Pigeon Island is one of the most important monuments of St Lucia's history. Whilst exploring the well-manicured grounds, it's hard to miss the fascinating range of historic sites scattered across the former island, including the one-time officer's kitchen, mess hall and gun battery. Its history dates back to the 1550s, when St Lucia's first french settler Francois Le Clerc - also known as Jambe de Bois - used the island from which to raid Spanish ships. Two centuries later, British admiral George Rodney fortified Pigeon Island to monitor the French fleet on Martinique. The walk to the top of Pigeon Island can be taken at your own pace, with incredible views over Rodney bay and across to Martinique.
With safety equipment and harnesses attached, we headed for the first zip-line of the thrilling treetop course. Once the guide has provided advice, you're quickly speeding through the forest canopy! It was a fantastic experience. As we worked our way around the course, which includes the island's longest, highest, and fastest lines, it was a fabulous chance to see the winding rivers and incredible rainforest scenery below. I'd highly recommend this exhilarating activity for families seeking adrenaline-fuelled fun, or travellers looking to venture beyond the beach in the Caribbean.