From the marshmallow topped to the silky spice laden, we’ve had the sweet pleasure of seeking out ten of the best hot chocolates fit for the family in London. With the weather set firmly to freezing, warm up and indulge in a sweet-treat with our picks…
SAID dal 1923
From San Lorenzo to Soho, SAID dal 1923 is a must for those who are serious about their hot chocolate. Noted as the oldest chocolate factory in Rome, SAID dal 1923 serve up ‘cioccolata densa’ – a thick, unctuous Italian hot chocolate. Famed for their glazed cups decadently dripped (see above), we recommend the melted gianduja (hazelnut praline from Turin). Their central Soho and Fitzrovia outposts are ideal for a mid-Christmas shopping moment.
41 Broadwick St, London W1F 9QL / 29 Rathbone Place, London W1T 1JG
Chin Chin Ice Cream
Is excess is your thing? Do the kids have a hankering for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? If so, make a bee-line for the Chin Chin Dessert Club in Soho. Rich hot chocolate is topped with a marshmallow of epic proportions and then licked with a blow-torch for a lip-smacking toasty finish. Whilst this hot chocolate is stuff dreams are made of, little hands may need a little help to avoid a squish and spill situation!
54 Greek St, Soho, London W1D 3DS
Farm Girl founders, Rose Mann and Anthony Hood, have come a long way since milking cows on an Australian dairy farm. Now firmly rooted in London (with cafes in Notting Hill, Knightsbridge, Chelsea and Soho), Farm Girl boast a menu as bright as their interior. Virtuous and vegan, their hot chocolate is a naturally sweet mix of cacao and date syrup swirled into hot, frothy coconut milk. Truly a hug-in-a-mug, this cup of chocolate is ideal for mums looking for a plant-based pick.
Venues across London
Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream
If you’re looking for a hot chocolate with the prettiest twist head to Europe’s first Filipino ice cream parlour – Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream. A vision in lilac the Ube Coco is a sweet mix of ube (purple yam) and white chocolate hot coco topped with freshly made use ube whipped cream. If purple yam isn’t your jam, stick with the Milo Coco – a childhood favourite, a hot Milo chocolate blend whipped into a flavoursome frenzy with freshly whipped cream, melted marshmallow and Oreo flakes.
91 Kentish Town Road, Camden, London, NW1 8NY | 32 Newport Court, Soho, London, WC2H 7PQ
From children’s lollipop courses to teenagers chocolate workshops, Melt have it licked when it comes to serving up both a taste of history and fun at their West London boutiques. Amidst the rainbow bright bars be sure to make time to sample Melt’s magnificent hot chocolate. From seasonal flavours to cute ‘fluffy bunnies’ – a tail of whipped cream adorning cups of chocolate, their hot chocolate blocks are a favourite with kids looking to stir up some fun on nippy winter days.
58 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, W11 2AA / 6 Clarendon Road, Holland Park, W11 3AA
North London family favourite, The Haberdashery in Crouch End may be bijoux but when it comes to hot chocolate, they’re big on flavour. With a recipe made just for little ones, mini-chocolate fiends will adore their extra-milky hot chocolate bowls. Served with a spoon, kids can slurp and marvel at every last drop of their milk or white sweet treat. For those with eyes bigger than their bellies, grown ups get those extra spoons at the ready!
22 Middle Ln, Crouch End, London N8 8PL /170 Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 7JL
Blooming marvellous! Warm up wintery mornings at Dominique Ansel will his theatrical Blossoming Hot Chocolate. Watch your kids look on with glee as a marshmallow flower is delicately placed into their hot chocolate and blooms with all its ivory splendour. If you manage to leave the patisserie without one of their seasonal Cronuts, bravo…we’ve heard this month’s flavour is a lip-smacking fig jam and creamy tahini ganache finished with lemon zest sugar – just sayin’!
17-21 Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, London, SW1W 9RP
The self-proclaimed wizards of ice cream, Ruby Violet not only make our summers scrumptious but also warm up nippy winters with their sensational hot chocolates. Using Callebaut, a premium Belgian chocolate sourced directly from cocoa-farming cooperatives in West Africa, you and your brood can opt for a long and frothy, an intense shot of their hot chocolate with steamed milk on the side or go for gold with their small and punchy dairy-free shot espresso sized version served with nut brittle.
118 Fortess Road, London NW5 2HL / Midland Goods Shed, 3 Wharf Road, London N1C 4BZ
Bubbling bain-maries of white, milk and dark Venezuelan chocolate line the counter at DeRoiser awaiting your delectation! Whilst little ones may opt for the gooey sweet goodness of a white warmer, hardcore chocoholics mums may want to brave the 80 percent Ugandan dark which is a bitter shot of heaven. This super-friendly spot is a neighbourhood must-visit and favourite of local mums and babes across South West London.
Wimbledon Park – 81 Revelstoke Road, SW18 5NL / Earlsfield – 380 Garratt Lane, SW18 4HP / Southfields – 255-257 Wimbledon Park Road, SW19 6NW
Paul A Young, Islington
Paul A Young has a must-try chocolate fix and dairy-free hot choccy. Whipping up a dark, dreamy cup laced with shine and spices, never again will you reach for the pot of purple cocoa in your store cupboard. With each cup blended bespoke, kids can go straight up with a classic, whilst older siblings and parents may want to open up their apothecary box to flavour your hot chocolate with cardamom, sumac or ginger.
33 Camden Passage, Islington London N1
FIVE EXTRA FAVES…
> Sea salted or spiced, why not try Rocco’s hot chocolate
> If you’re looking for an all-out vegan chocolate wonderland then Copperhouse Chocolate in Chapel Market is a must.
> Get your seasonal kicks at Artisan Du Chocolat with their gingerbread cup o’ chocolate
> Give Willy Wonka a run for his money at Cereal Killer Cafe
> Chocolate shavings and dairy-free milk delights at Dark Sugars