Best hot chocolates in london

Thursday 31 March 2022

I'd say I love hot chocolate as much as the next person but actually, I don't - not the typical coffee shop hot chocolates anyway, you know the ones that taste like milk and powder. Absolutely not.

As such, I am always on the lookout for hot chocolates that are thick and delicious, ones that look like brownie batter or melted chocolate, something that someone has actually put some effort into creating, not just an extra for kids put on a coffee shop menu.

Lucky for me, I live in London and the hot chocolate scene here seems to be blowing up at the moment. I'm yet to find anywhere that serves a cup of melted chocolate (apart from Cadbury's World) but I am finding some gems on my search! 

Knoops - The Reliable one.

Knoops is very understated, for all anyone else knows, I could be drinking a cup of coffee, but inside my very plain looking coffee cup is probably the most delicious hot chocolate of them all.

With shops all over London (and beyond) my first visit to the store was overwhelming to say the least, the whole back wall is covered in numbers which makes choosing the right chocolate percentage rather confusing. I was v scared of making a wrong choice but having asked the barista for some advice, I picked the 34% that day and haven't looked back since.

I have, however experimented with the 34. I discovered that you can also have it cold, as an iced drink or a milkshake. Whilst their flavour of the month happened to be a 34 with sea salt, my first sip of that combination as a thick, creamy milkshake, was one of these weird moments when the world around you stops for a few seconds. It was amazing. 

Download the app and get your first drink free.

Chin chin - The Decadent one.

It's not often I am outdone by something sugary (it probably didn't help that I bought one of their burnt banana ice cream cakes as well) but I didn't get very far through this one the first time and I shared one with my mum the second! It's super decadent, thick and rich but just a little bit bitter for my liking, like it had been made with darker chocolate. 

Also very impressive looking with a huge scoop of torched marshmallow on top. I often find the marshmallow to be more style than substance but this comes from a dessert parlour so the guys actually know what they're doing and yes, it was delicious.

Found at: Soho & Camden Market.

Appleblue Patisserie - The Milky one.

This marshmallow was not a vibe with this one, but the chocolate covered lip of the cup? They're on to a winner with that. 

The drink itself was on the thin side but very nice and still v rich. Yes

Find this one in Balham.

Said Dial - The Liquid Chocolate one.

Wandering around Soho, we saw people drinking them out on the street and had to have one. At first, I was unsure whether it was just a cup of melted chocolate or whether there was anything more, sadly the menu confirmed it was the latter. 

That being said, when it turned up and I couldn't tell where to melted chocolate ended and the hot drink started so I was very pleased with this one.

Dark Sugars - The Artisan One.

Dark sugars is a handmade chocolate shops with outlets in Brick Lane and Greenwich. The displays of truffles bring in a crowd but it's the hot chocolate I go there for! 

It looks very impressive, topped with shards of milk, white and dark chocolate and whilst I was tempted to eat it all straight away, the best part of this one is actually once I got down to the dregs and realised that most of it had melted and dropped to the bottom.

Too busy dealing with chocolate to take a photo so this one has been borrowed from here

A mini guide to Hafjell, Norway

Wednesday 9 March 2022

Southern Norway is not somewhere I'd heard much about but with a wedding invite in hand, we booked our trip to Lillehammer. Turns out, this little town isn't quite as unknown as I originally thought; not only did it host the 1994 winter Olympics but there's a whole Netflix series named after it. 

We stayed in Hafjell, which is a village and a ski resort in Lillehammer and it was the most amazing experience. Our four-night stay became quite the magical trip.

Getting to Hafjell

Hafjell is a 15-minute drive from Lillehammer station, or two and a half hours from Oslo. I'd recommend hiring a car like we did because taxis are very expensive in Norway and it wasn't an easy place to walk around. 

From Oslo, it was an easy ride and a beautiful route, sprinkled with snow. We even took a couple of accidental, on purpose wrong turns to explore the countryside!

Where to stay

We, along with the rest of the wedding party, stayed at Nermo. It had won yearly awards for best ski resort hotel so we had high hopes.  

Our deluxe room was dark and woody with an alpine vibe and a modern bathroom. It was also very spacious which was perfect with ski gear coming in and out.

The big fireplace in reception was warm and welcoming; and with lots of comfy seating. We arrived a day before everyone else so we spent the first night there, catching up with the bride and groom over a bottle of prosecco.

Where to eat 


Once a few more people had arrived the next day, we drove into Lillehammer for dinner at Bryggerikjelleren.

In the arches of the old brewery, dark walls and another roaring fireplace transformed this cold, beer cellar into one of the more extravagant restaurants in the area.

We started with cocktails (as always) and went for three courses. The menu is mainly steak although there were a few other dishes - and pizza if you ask - although there seems to be a secret menu for that. 


Another place we ate at a couple of times was called Favn. Located on the mountain, just across from the top of the gondola, this one had a great view out over the mountain. 

It was the perfect place to take a break from skiing.  I enjoyed the seafood bisque so much the first time that we went back again before we left. It was very rich, but I love warming soup when I'm skiing. 

What to do in Hafjell

Go Skiing!

Hajfell is a ski resort and for beginners like me, it was perfect. We hired skis, boots and a helmet and spent a few days up on the mountains whilst I practised on the greens and blues. 

Location wise, it was a 5-minute drive from the hotel which was super easy. 

Dog sledging

This was such a joyful experience. The sun was shining, the dogs were excited and the views were immense. 

Highly recommend. 

Northern lights

I'm not sure this is a fair recommendation because I was told that people have lived there for 50 years and not seen the northern lights; but on the night of the wedding, we were very lucky to see green and blue dance across the sky. It was a magical end to the most brilliant day!

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