When a chill descends over London like it has this past week, there are few things that have the ability to lure me away from the cosiness of my house, my cat and my Netflix subscription. A good cup of hot chocolate is one of those things. With hot chocolate, I’m a firm believer that the more decadent the better: I’m after rich and creamy dark chocolate taste, gooey marshmallow toppings or touches of spice that take this staple winter beverage to new levels!
With this in mind, over the last few weekends I have been on the hunt to find the best of the best, and, in doing so I’ve narrowed down my favourites from across the city!
Paul A Young
Paul A Young is a chocolate shop that just feels special as soon as you walk in. As you step through the narrow door of their Royal Exchange location, the intense scent of bubbling hot chocolate hits you from the cooking pot located near the entrance. From here, you can select the accompaniments to your chocolate drink. A range of spices are on offer, but I always opt to add either a pinch of salt or cinnamon. Whilst this isn’t a drink for dark chocolate haters, for a purist, I have no doubt Paul A Young would come out on top. The hot chocolate here is gimmick free, made with water instead of milk, with all the emphasis on bringing out the flavours of the chocolate.
The shop is tiny but packed tightly full of every iteration of chocolate goodness you could hope for (aside from the hot chocolate, the brownie is another huge favourite of mine!)
20, The Royal Exchange, Threadneedle St, London EC3V 3LP
From Paul A Young, we move to Dominique Ansel. Without tasting the hot chocolate here, it would be easy to brush off Dominique Ansel’s blossoming hot chocolate as a gimmick. However, what this drink delivers in style, it easily matches with substance.
You have no doubt seen the blossoming hot chocolate, it’s an Instagram star in its own right (like so many things at Dominique Ansel): a pool of velvety hot chocolate, topped with a marshmallow flower that slowly opens up as it melts, forming a sticky sweet mallow layer on top of the drink. If you like your drinks comforting and creamy, this will be for you… and, gimmick or not, I just love that touch of marshmallow magic!
17-21 Elizabeth St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9RP
There are several Rococo chocolate shops across London, with stores in Chelsea, Covent Garden and Marylebone, but when I’m in the mood for their hot chocolate, I always head to the flagship Belgravia store and its delightful Chocolate Café. Here you can enjoy one of their famous hot chocolates from their signature mugs, whilst peeking through the glass floor that looks into the workshop below.
The hot chocolate is wonderfully classic and the café is cosiness personified, providing the perfect place to escape the chill and while away an hour or so.
5 Motcomb St, Belgravia, London SW1X 8JU
Tucked away just beyond the hustle and bustle of Portobello Road, Melt’s Notting Hill location is a wonderful spot to relax and refuel in between treasure hunting in the market. My love affair with Melt began when I was gifted some of their hugely popular hot chocolate sticks and since then I’ve been hooked. Whilst their hot chocolate sticks are simply wonderful for a quick hot chocolate fix at home, you can’t beat their house made version which can be purchased in store.
The hot chocolate here is rich and thick, but creamy enough that the flavour is never too intense.
59 Ledbury Rd, London W11 2AA
With their products already stocked in both Harrods and Selfridges, when Flavourtown opened the doors to their Fulham store recently, I was excited to say the least. Having now visited (several times), I can confirm that I was not disappointed. The cupcakes are absolutely to die for, the shop is adorable and the hot chocolate is o-m-g amazing.
The hot chocolate at Flavourtown is the epitome of a classic, comforting hot chocolate, and my personal favourite in London: a milk chocolatey taste with no bitterness, thick in texture and so creamy! For the ultimate over the top indulgence you can opt to have your chocolate topped with a generous scoop of toasted marshmallow fluff!
771 Fulham Rd, Fulham, London SW6 5HA
So there we have my absolute must-try hot chocolates in London. Have I missed any of your hot chocolate favourites out?
Love, Sophia x