At 2.30pm we met in front of the Odeon theatre in the Centro to do a Rio Walks tour, a three hour walking tour that brought us around the centre, the exciting Lapa neighbourhood and the Grand Bazaar. One of the stops, and the stop I was most excited about, was Confeitaria Colombo.
Confeitaria Colombo is a stunning part of the heritage of the city of Rio. When it opened in 1894 two locals created this beautiful shop and café full of glamour and wealth usually only seen in Paris or London. The walls are lined with giant Belgian mirrors, Italian marble and rosewood furniture cover the large floor which itself is covered in beautiful blue yellow and brown tiles and a gorgeous multi-coloured glass skylight brings light in from above. The café has seen royalty, heads of state. The Queen of England has even been here and enjoyed a cup of tea which she subsequently gave her seal of approval to.
But forget the tea, I want a hot chocolate. The front of the café has a whole range of miniature desserts, probably 30 different types, everything from éclairs, fruit tarts but also may Brazilian and Portuguese classics. We order a few and wait impatiently.
After 10 minutes or so the staff, all dressed very elegantly in black and white, bring me a whole pot of hot chocolate and a beautiful white, gold and green porcelain cup and saucer. The hot chocolate was nice, really nice. It reminded me of hot chocoaltes in Paris actually, nice and chocolately but light enough that one could have many of these and everyday of the week. Because it came in a little pot I managed to get three little cups out of it.
Verdict: If you are in Rio, whatever you do, plan to have a drink at Confeitaria Colombo. The décor is stunning and unique, the desserts are to die for and the hot chocolate is excactly as it should be. Confeitaria Colombo, Rua Goncalves Dias, 21, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil www.confeteriacolombo.com.br