The first month of the year can be feel a bit sparse in the drinks department. Dry January and the new-year caffeine purge make it difficult to know what to drink with friends. Thank goodness, then, for the decadent hot chocolate: it provides all the satisfaction of a warm cup in your hand and is the perfect way to stave off any January blues. Find yourself a cosy corner in one of these cafés and enjoy the finest hot chocolate London has to offer:
Rabot 1745, London Bridge
Hotel Chocolat’s Restaurant in Borough Market offers eight different hot chocolates including white chocolate & nutmeg, chilli and hazlenut. And, if none of these tempt you, a rum-infused option is also on the menu.
L’Eto Cafe, King’s Road
Open in several locations across London, head to L’Eto’s original cafe in Soho or to the King’s Road for their pistaccio and rose petal hot chocolate. In addition to hot chocolate, L’Eto is like an art gallery for cakes – sip your drink and oggle the wonderful creations on the counter before making your choice.
Jaz and Juls, Angel
The colourful decor of Jaz and Juls’ chocolate house is bound to lift your spirits amid the January drizzle. And if the decor doesn’t do it for you the hot chocolate certainly will – with orange, mint and even masala concoctions on the menu, there is something to please everybody here.
Madeleine’s, Clapham Common
Famed locally for their hot chocolates served in tall glasses and delicious array of french pastries, Madeleine’s has a picture-perfect view across the common and is a great weekend hideout away from the busyness of central London in which to meet friends and cosy up for a chat.
Chin Chin Ice Cream, Soho
It’s never too chilly for an ice cream in my book but Chin Chin’s hot chocolates are also worth a trip to Soho, if only for the handmade marshmallows. The vegans amongst you will enjoy the vegan option with infusions of raspberry and apricot.
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, Bethnal Green
Head to Lady Dinah’s for a truly original hot chocolate experience. There’s a 58 per cent chocolate option on the menu and, yes, you guessed it, the cats are on hand all around the cafe to liven up your visit. Watch them climb up into the rafters for a nap or even let one sit on your lap. It doesn’t come more quirky than this. Just make sure you don’t wake a sleeping cat – it is firmly against the rules! Booking essential.
Said Dal 1923, Fitzrovia
Go all 1920s Bloomsbury Set for the day in Fitzrovia and sit down for a hot chocolate while you’re at it. This newly opened cafe and chocolate shop will have you stuffing your pockets full of treats like Hansel and Gretel in no time. The hot chocolate is so thick and luxurious it drips off the spoon.
Fortnum & Mason, The Parlour, Piccadilly
Fortum & Mason may seem like the tourist option but it is renowned the world over for good reason. Their hot chocolates take some beating. Try their Ruby Hot Chocolate for something different.