When in France one doesn’t necessarily think of going to an English teahouse, however surprisingly there seem to be many teahouses popping up around central Toulouse and all of them were full this Sunday afternoon. I did a bit of research to see what was the best hot chocolate in Toulouse and the name that came up several times was Bapz.
Bapz is on a cute little street just near the river in the historic centre of Toulouse. When we got to the front doors a few minutes before they opened at noon there were already about 20 people huddled around the front door. It seems that the whole place was already booked full for the afternoon. The reason is not so much the hot chocolate as the Sunday Brunch which includes all your English classics on one plate: scones, ham and cheese sandwich, scrambled eggs, fruit and your choice of tea, coffee or hot chocolate.
Bapz is a fun place and it very obviously has multiple personalities. The owners planned on it being a reproduction of a classic English teahouse. The chair pillows and tea sets are covered with traditional English designs of soft pink roses and garden scenes. There are classic old umbrellas hanging from the ceiling. The walls are covered with faded pictures and old china. Near the entrance there is a large table covered with English treats, scones, pies, cakes and jams of every sort. There are many authentic looking details but still the place feels very French. The wooden tables and chairs remind me of a French bistro and they are all full of very French looking families. The chandeliers on the ceiling and lamps on the walls also have a very romantic French feel to them. And the hot chocolate is not something I have ever had the pleasure of drinking in England.
Even without a reservation she let us sit for a hot chocolate if we promised to only stay for 15 minutes. When we first entered we saw a woman behind the bar pouring a cauldron of thick hot chocolate into one of those clear machines that churns the thick liquid and keeps it warm. The ‘chocolate maison’ as they call it here comes in three options; thin, medium or thick. I ordered the thick hot chocolate which came to us in small clear glass cups on a traditional china saucer for 4euros. I enjoyed mine quite a bit. It was pretty thick, almost like a chocolate pudding, and wasn’t as sweet as you would think – it was just sweet enough.
Verdict: If you are in Toulouse looking for French experiences skip Bapz and find yourself a French café. But if you are focused on trying out a good hot chocolate, and looking for something a little bit different I would recommend this one. Bapz, 13 rue de la Bourse, Toulouse, France.