A last-minute escape to an island on the Baa Atoll is the perfect antidote to the winter blues, and those who jet off to Vakkaru Maldives this month will be welcomed by Alistair Birt, Harrods’ head pastry chef, who is hosting a culinary pop-up at the resort. From October 22 to October 25, those vacationing at Vakkaru (from $874 per night for two for an Over Water villa) will discover a chocolate-themed “Going Beyond Chocolate” experience, offering activities such as “bean-to-bar” masterclasses and cacao-cocktail courses.
Chef Birt, a 2015 winner of the World Chocolate Masters Award, will share his culinary techniques at the classes and take guests through the art of crafting cocktails using chocolate – including a rare ruby variety – by Barry Callebaut. He has also arranged a pop-up ice-cream parlour serving gelato at the Isoletta Italian restaurant and by the main pool. The pièce de résistance, however, promises to be his specially designed chocolate dégustation menu – served on the beach under swaying palm fronds or starry skies on the final night of the four-day experience.