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Hotel Chocolat: indulge in chocolate from the ground up

Hotel Chocolat on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia.

Travel roundup: Three pieces of hot news for the hungry traveller.

The Holiday

Chocolate immersion

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Think of it as fantasy camp for chocoholics: Guests of the new Hotel Chocolat on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia can immerse themselves in a complete chocolate experience. Scheduled to open in March, the hotel is built amid cocoa groves on the Rabot Estate chocolate plantation, where guests can take part in the cocoa harvest, learn about the production of chocolate and, of course, taste the products.

The Ingredient

Fabulous fungi

Truffle season got off to a whopping start at in the prime truffle-producing region of Piedmont, Italy. This year's biggest truffle, a 900-gram behemoth, fetched $144,864 (that's $160.96 a gram). If you want a slice from it, though, you'll have to travel to Hong Kong as that's where the buyer, food and wine writer Jeannie Cho Lee, resides.

The Event

Bon appétit

It's official: The "gastronomic meal of the French" is now enshrined in the UNESCO world "intangible cultural heritage" list. The art of dining in the French style joins "the Mediterranean diet," Croatian gingerbread making, the Belgian end-of-winter bread and fire feast in which town authorities drink live fish from a silver goblet and "traditional Mexican cuisine" in the pantheon of world culinary heritage.

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