Chocoholics choice in Camden


img_2044I’ve previously blogged about both the Hartstone Inn, in Camden, and Black Dinah Chocolatiers, on Isle au Haut. Blogged is an understatement, I’ve raved. The Hartstone is a classic New England with a fabulous chef and wonderful dining room. Black Dinah’s chocolates are to-die-for.

The weekend of Dec. 5-8, chocolatier Kate Shaffer (the magic behind Black Dinah’s confections) will be teaching an artisan chocolate-making course at the Hartstone. Talk about a double header!

The two-hour class will be offered on Saturday afternoon and repeated on Sunday afternoon. It will cover working with chocolate in a home kitchen, making ganache, making holiday chocolate confections, and packaging and storing chocolates. Salivating yet?

Oh, it gets better. You can make a weekend of it, spending two nights at the inn, with full breakfast each morning, afternoon cookies and tea, a five-course gourmet meal by candlelight. Rates, including one class for one, begin at $305. Individual enrollment is $45.

Other upcoming courses, all taught by Michael Salmon, include French specialties, Nov. 22; holiday hors d’oeuvres, Dec. 20-21; haute chinese cuisine, Jan. 24-25; romantic dinner for two, Feb. 7-8. For more details and other classes, see the inn’s class schedule.

The inn, I might add, is one of those special places: elegant yet comfy, smack downtown, yet quiet and private. Rooms are spread out among three buildings, and some spa services also are offered. It’s a great getaway anytime, but in the off season, it’s a steal.

Can’t swing a stay or the five-course set-menu dinner? Mondays and Tuesdays are Bistro Nights, when the set menu comprises an appetizer and entrée for $24.50 pp, plus $5 for optional dessert. The menu changes nightly.

By the way, you might also like to read my review of the inn, based on an anonymous stay in 2007. It appeared in the Boston Globe.