“Hot chocolate is for babies,” has long been an opinion that I’ve held deep in the recesses of my heart and one that I tend to espouse rather violently about around winter time after I’d had one too many glasses of mulled wine. It’s also an opinion that is, by and large, wrong. Some hot chocolates can contain single-origin cacao beans and be just as meticulously considered as coffee.
Yes, hot chocolate is an excellent treat for children that have worked hard all year to be scrawled on Santa’s nice list but a good hot chocolate (made with proper chocolate and served at a temperature that is hot but not scalding) can be just as pleasing for adults. And it should be taken seriously. I’ve also always been of the belief that a milkshake is pretty much the most perfect drink in existence so it’s probably about time I stopped being so snarky about what is ostensibly a hot milkshake.
I’ve come around to hot chocolate in the last couple of months and I’ve been able to put aside my prejudices to see the drink for what it really is: comfort in a mug. Warming and sweet, a hot chocolate is the closest thing to a kiss you can get. These are the places that do the best hot chocolate in London – the spots that even a Grinch like myself wouldn’t be able to turn down the kitsch of some whipped cream and a couple of mini marshmallows.