Hot Chocolate at Rabot Estate, London, UK

After doing my shopping at Borough Market, the most beautiful market for all things food related in London, I stopped at Rabot Estate for a hot chocolate. Rabot Estate is owned by the owners of Hotel Chocolate, a chain of chocolate stores found around the city. The Rabot estate itself is found on the island of Saint Lucia where they have a programme that links 80 independent cacao growers.

I like the feel of the place. It has a raw feel to it, lots of browns and blacks and dunlap bags with the name of the place printed on them in black ink. Half the space is a chocolate store with a wide range of options for all tastes. The other half is the café that serves a range of drinks including a few different options for hot chocolate; classic, cinnamon and chilli.

The service was shockingly bad. I waited near the bar for a while the waitress served someone in the chocolate shop part…no problem. Then she came over and served the person who came after me…ok. Then she left again and served someone else who had just arrived in the chocolate shop area. Finally after 10 or so minutes she served me without any apologies or anything. If I hadn’t really wanted to try this one ……!

When my turn is finally up I order the hot chocolate with chilli. It comes to me in a small compostable cup (there was no where to compost it after in the store so nice thought but not so useful). I take a few sips in store and then take my little cup of hot chocolate for a walk along the Thames.

I loved this hot chocolate, loved it. It was a fascinating experience. The hot chocolate has an intriguing kick of chilli that lingers at the very back of my mouth. It’s addictive; I keep wanting to take sips, and I do! It isn’t too thin, or thick, not too sweet. They give you the perfect amount, by the time the hot chocolate has turned cold, its all done, and I’m happy.

Verdict: The hot chocolate with chilli is fantastic…and addictive. I highly recommend it Rabot Estate, 2-3 Stoney Street, Borough Market, London, UK £2.75

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Hot Chocolate at Tapas Brindisa, London, UK

Saturdays in London are when Borough market comes alive. Dozens of stalls open up selling a range of products. A fish stall sells not only a wide range of seafood, but also hot bowls of fish soup. Several stalls have long lineups of people waiting to buy burgers and wraps. Another area has smaller stalls set up selling cheeses and hams from Spain, Italy and France. There are people everywhere and they spill out into all of the cafes, restaurants and bars around the vicinity of the market, including Tapas Brindisa.

Tapas Brindisa is a busy restaurant that sells a wide range of classic Spanish Tapas and wines. The food smells delicious and today the tables are packed full. We aren’t there to eat this time though. We went to try the hot chocolate and weren’t disappointed.

We ordered one at the bar. Despite there being tables available we were told that we couldn’t sit because they were reserved for people ordering lunch. That wasn’t a problem except that there actually were tables of people only drinking. So that made the experience a little less enjoyable. But from the bar you can see the whole restaurant, the staff pouring glasses of Spanish wines behind the bar. You can even see straight into the kitchen and watch the chefs putting the finishing touches on the tapas dishes.

The hot chocolate here is worth standing up at the bar for and waiting 10 minutes to be served. It is smooth and velvety, a thick but not at all sweet drink. The hot chocolate, like everything else sold here is imported from Spain. This is Enric Rovira hot chocolate from Barcelona.

Verdict: This is the perfect hot chocolate for a cold and wet day (of which there are many in London). This hot chocolate, combined with the atmosphere here will instantly warm you up.  Tapas Brindisa, 18-20 Southwark St, London, UK