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Fancy a hot chocolate? These are the best places to get one in London this winter


The thicker, the better. (Picture Credit: Getty)

It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s dark. It’s miserable. It’s rancid. The best way we can possibly describe an English winter.

Whilst the weather continues to be the topic of conversation for all in the land, perhaps the best way to brighten up these dark times is to add some much-needed calories into the mix.

With Christmas day a mere month away, now is the best time to unleash the podge (or add to it) and down a hot chocolates or two.

Yeah mulled wine and spiced ciders are nice, but let’s face it, the drink for winter is a steaming, deliciously creamy and lusciously thick mug of cocoa.

Here’s some of London’s best to get you in the mood for the festive season.

Fortnum & Mason at Somerset House

You’ll leave this place instantly thinking ‘this is the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had.’ Made with Colombian chocolate, this rich and exceedingly creamy cup of absolute calorific joy is ICCO classified (only 6 to 8% of the world’s chocolate holds this distinction) and is served in four flavours at the Fortnum’s lodge pop-up at Somerset House: milk, dark, ruby or boozy.

Add in a Champagne and chocolate fondue and you’ve got yourself one hell of a good, though sickly, night.

Cereal Killer Cafe

Luckily this was not made by an actual serial killer. We think so, anyway. Cereal Killer’s hot chocolates have no shame; they are excess personified. Hot chocolate fills the glass, which is then topped with cream, chocolate sauce and cereal, because obviously.

You’ll also be delighted to know this hot mess comes with a straw. Thank the chocolate gods for that.

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Said Dal 1923

The thickest hot chocolate in London is intense. The family recipe can be traced all the way back to Rome where the original shop opened over 80 years ago, and before you ask, the recipe is indeed top secret.

Hearty, gluttonous and just plain wow to behold, mugs are lathered in copious amounts of chocolate and are often served with a side of double chocolate cake. Advice: you’re gonna need an extra spoon for this demanding bad boy.

Konditor

Let’s face it, we all love this place because of just how amazing the Curly Wurly cake is. Sponge aside, the hot chocolate is also worth shouting about. Though the stuff is packed in a load of plastic, don’t let it fool you because the milky goodness is made fresh everyday.

Inside the bottle? Double cream, full-fat milk, vanilla pods and two types of Callebaut chocolate.

Rococo

In a word this Belgravia institution is truly fabulous. To have in or take out, the hot chocolate here is fierce with organic cocoa beans sustainably and ethically sourced all the way from the Caribbean.

Gloopy and creamy, we’ll warn you now that you’ll probably end up buying a second mug. The sea salt chocolate slabs are pretty darn good, too.

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Le Cafe Alain Ducasse

Alain Ducasse is one of those celebrity chefs who has his fingers firmly lodged in many, many pies. With restaurants in some of the world’s most prestigious hotels, you do indeed get what you pay for when it comes to anything associated with Mr D.

The same rule applies to his industrial-chic gaff in King’s Cross Coal Drops Yard. Though it’s known for its extortionately priced exclusive single-origin coffees, an often overlooked menu staple is the uber intense Ducasse hot chocolate, served in some rather beautiful bespoke glassware.

Made with a selection of dark varieties and milk from the shores of Normandy, one sip will make you understand why people travel far and wide to get their chops on the Ducasse cups.

At a fiver, it’s expensive but totally worth it.

The Berkeley Hotel

A five-star hotel is bound to have a five-star hot chocolate, right? Duh, of course. At this flashy Knighstbridge hotel, liquid Scottish chocolate ganache is mixed with a lush combination of organic milk for an extremely indulgent hot chocolate experience.

Layered with lashings of whipped cream and marshmallows, the chocolaty beast also comes with a signature chocolate donning the Berkeley logo (one for the Instagram). Oh, and if you visit the hotel’s winter rooftop cinema, hot chocolate is bottomless. Enjoy.

Chin Chin

A paper cup crowned by a giant blow-torched, handmade marshmallow topping a luxuriously decadent mix of gloopy hot chocolate mix. Quite possibly the greatest headliner in the history of hot chocolate.

Whilst mallows are nothing new, this one brings a whole new meaning to the art of cocoa. Charred and sticky, you’re basically drinking a giant liquid s’more, minus the fire and all the hard work in between. Vegan options are available too.

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Paul A Young Fine Chocolates

Award winning chocolates, truffles and brownies are on the menu at this Wardour Street gaff. The recipient of countless awards, Paul has been ranked amongst the world’s greatest chocolatiers and is regarded an alchemist for his innovative and creative flavour combinations.

With stores all across town, go for the Aztec, a fantastical combo of dark cocoa and red hot chilli. Lush AF.

Dark Sugars

If you haven’t been to this Brick Lane name, you’re seriously missing out. Mountains of chocolate aside, the steaming cups of hot chocolate is reason enough to go alone. Decorated with generous shavings of dark milk or white chocolate, ask to top yours with a cheeky truffle. You will thank us later.

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