Hot chocolate is to winter what the smoothie is to summer – a delicious drink at the perfect temperature containing exactly what you need for a good rest of the day. London is a big city and you can count on every cafe in town to display the choice for such a drink this winter. The Culture Trip London takes you on a journey to the best places serving hot chocolates across the city.
Artisan du Chocolat
With three outlets in the London area, it is hard not to have heard of the famous chocolatier Gerard Coleman and his outstandingly successful store l’Artisan du Chocolat. Founded in 2001, the brand offers a variety of chocolate delicacies, including recipes for hot chocolates (drinkable on the spot). Among them is Death by Chocolate, a wondrous blend of white and black chocolate marshmallows which melt into milk as if by magic. The blend could very well be London’s own affordable heaven in a box.
Bar, Cafe, Belgian, $$$
Chocolate is an art and the artisans at Choccywoccydoodah truly know their stuff. They also know that art goes best when enjoyed in a central and yet enjoyable area; cosying up on couches, preferably with a side of cake in hand. Down Fouberts Place, the London Bar du Chocolat opens its doors from 10AM to all chocolate lovers on the quest to find chocolate heaven. Traditional and yet not too sweet, their Original Belgian Hot Chocolate is topped off with a generous and genuine table service. Although the shop is pretty busy at weekends, there is always the possibility to reserve your table online beforehand.
Bar, Cafe, Coffee Shop, Dessert, $$$
DeRosier Chocolate is a small chocolate store located in the outskirts of the English capital. At the heart of residential Southfields, the easy-drinking hot chocolates are heavenly, with pieces of single-origin chocolate scooped straight from the tub and steamed with the right amount of milk. The selection of cakes and sandwiches is small, but tasteful, and the packaged chocolate bars and other sweet treats highly sought-out. All in all, the perfect hidden chocolate bar for the best Sunday hot chocolate experience one could ask for.
Cafe, Bar, European, $$$
Said, the long-established Rome chocolate shop, opened their new branch in London at the heart of Soho. Contrary to most upmarket chocolate shops, Said displays its chocolate bars in jars and its hot chocolates in little bubbling cauldrons behind their glass counter. The high quality, thick and full-flavored hot chocolate can be taken away as well as served directly in the cafe, where customers are welcomed to admire the wonderful interior decorated in shining metal chocolate bean moulds.
Restaurant, Cafe, European, British, $$$$
At the heart of Borough Market, the Rabot 1745 store is one of the many cafes of the world-famous cacao restaurant and roaster Hotel Chocolat. Rabot 1745 brings to Londoners the cocoa-centric cuisine of its hugely successful sibling, the Boucan Restaurant. Among this chocolate-based cuisine, the menu features six different types of chocolate drinks to suit any mood, for the price of £3.50.
Paul A Young Fine Chocolates
Paul Young is one of these inspirational chocolatiers whose three shops in Soho, Islington and Bank are currently at the forefront of the English chocolate scene. From the steaming brown mixture seen from the window to the bewitching scent, the Aztec-style drink is made without milk, using the exact same mixture of Valrhona; 100% cocoa powder, 70% chocolate and light muscovado sugar. As a result, the deep, characterful and floral flavour of the mixture will most certainly make chocolate lovers rejoice.
Cafe, French, European$$
On Bellenden Road, at the heart of Peckham’s most gentrified neighbourhood stands a little shop where chocolate scents abound. Workshop and cafe Melange Chocolate offers a series of unique blends, from dark chocolate to white. Although the menu is minimal, the selection is superb and the prices well worth it – a large thick dark chocolate being a mere £3, with a choice of soya or coconut milk for those with lactose intolerance.
Cafe, Dessert, $$$$
Rococo Chocolate Fairy is a luxury, award-winning confectionery and chocolate label. From Belgravia to Marylebone, the chocolate takes the art of drinking chocolate to the next level with a traditional plain organic blend made of pure cocoa mass, powder and butter with a hint of vanilla beans. Whether it be enjoying a cup at the MaRococo Secret Garden of the Belgravia store and cafe, or assisting some of the chocolate making ateliers, Rococo is the place to go for all chocolate enthusiasts with taste and class.
Verde & Co.
Deli, Belgian, Tea $$
At the heart of Shoreditch, a little deli full of jars and bottles has been specializing in making London’s best hot chocolate. Their renowned blend is made from a generous quantity of single-estate chocolate from prestigious Belgian chocolatier Pierre Marcolini, which is steamed directly with the milk and served in large cups.
Ice Cream Parlour, Ice Cream, $$$
Down in Kentish Town, Ruby Violet is a unique ice-cream parlour, where each and every product is delightfully handmade using the best ingredients one could find. However, this beautiful shop is not only known for its wondrous ice creams; the parlour is also a wonderful place for enjoying intense, thick and flavourful shots of hot chocolate, which is just as good as their renowned ice cream. Ruby Violet is the perfect place for both winter and summer’s little pleasures.