The other hotel we stayed at on our last night in London was Ambassadors Bloomsbury Hotel, which was very nice and decent and had a more spacious room. But since we only stayed there for one night, there’s really not much to say about it. So I’m going to feature instead a different kind of “hotel” which Bea and I instantly fell in love with in London: Hotel Chocolat. It’s actually a chocolate shop-cum-cafe, but the company does have a luxury boutique hotel located in its vast cocoa estate in Santa Lucia somewhere in the Caribbean.
You just know that this empire can only be built with a passion for (or obsession with) chocolate. Hotel Chocolat is slowly revolutionizing British chocolate and has the distinction of being the only chocolatier in the United Kingdom that has its own cocoa plantation to make its finest chocolate creations.
In 2004 — the year my daughter Bea was born — Hotel Chocolat opened its first store in Watford, North London. Today, a full decade later, there are over 70 shops all over the UK and even branches overseas (in the US, Australia and Denmark). With a stroke of luck, our first hotel in London was very near one of Hotel Chocolat‘s cafes, and so Bea and I had breakfast there one chilly morning.
We were just absolutely in awe of the entire shop! Our eyes feasted on the rows and rows of unique and innovative chocolate creations on the display shelves. There’s a dizzying selection of all flavors and varieties of chocolate one can imagine. The tough part was choosing which ones to buy.
But first, breakfast. I chose this chocolate croissant and a cup of Milky Hot Chocolate for Bea. I forgot that she’s not very fond of flaky pastries, and she also found the dark chocolate on the croissant too bitter for her tastebuds so I ended up eating it myself.
I ordered a chocolate scone for myself but Bea found it more to her liking so we split it. I paired it with a pot of English Breakfast tea because, well, I was in London. It was a good, light breakfast.
Before we left the store, we used the few coins in my pocket to buy these heavenly chocolates: Orange Mousses for Bea and Milk Tiddly Pot for me. Both were so, so delicious. We wished we had more money so we could have bought more, but now at least we can recommend the brand to our friends who will be visiting London.
Here’s wishing that Hotel Chocolat will continue to come up with excellent-quality chocolate treats for many, many more years! And hopefully one day, someday, we will find a Hotel Chocolat here in Manila. Now wouldn’t that be wonderful?