Daskalidès Review – Going Gay For Chocolate


After gorging at the wonderfully delicious and reasonably priced Cinnamon Soho, I felt full. So full that I successfully fought off my friend’s attempts to entice me into Boba Jam for bubble tea. I’ll definitely try it another day as I’m looking to see if any places can rival Lakwatsa.

However, we spent way too long chatting and strolling at a leisurely pace and perusing expensive dresses that neither one of us could afford. So by the time, I passed Daskalidès I was unable to resist a hot chocolate.

The chocolate shop with the most difficult name to spell...
The chocolate shop with the most difficult name to spell…

For those of you who haven’t visited Daskalidès, I recommend that you rectify this situation. There is both a shop and a café. I haven’t tried their chocolates from the shop, but they look fantastic and they’re all imported from Belgium. If you’re not a fan of chocolate, there’s a rather amazing breakfast offer that is bound to appeal to hungry coffee drinkers.

Decent brekky deal
Decent brekky deal

My friend and I were ogling the chocolates when a pretty blonde woman entered the shop. She wanted some milk chocolates for her husband, and asked the man behind the counter to make her up a selection. She was surprisingly indifferent to which chocolates he selected; apparently any milk ones would do. I’m a control freak who would also want to sample all the chocolates, so I would never take this approach.

Musing over the situation, I realised that I couldn’t really justify buying chocolates for myself. I spend far too much on food as it is. I needed a new strategy.

“I need a wife to buy me chocolates!” I announced to the woman and the shop assistant.

They both looked at me.

“I can’t afford to buy chocolates for myself, so it’d be lovely to have a wife to buy some for me,” I continued.

There was a short pause. The shop assistant carried on selecting chocolates, but he glanced up at me and said quietly, “Going gay for chocolate is a little extreme.”

I was unperturbed. “ Oh, I’d do anything for chocolate!… But don’t quote me on that!”

By this point, they were both smiling at the crazy girl who had just implied that she might sell herself for chocolate. That was fatal; I couldn’t hold myself back and launched into a long diatribe about the amazing lunch I’d just had and how I’d had a chocolate cumin cake with pistachio ice-cream.

“Don’t tempt me,” said the shop assistant. “Where is it? It sounds amazing.”

The poor woman patiently waited for her chocolates whilst I enthused about the lunch. (Cinnamon Soho – yes I love you lots).

The lady left, and the shop assistant directed us to the café downstairs for some hot chocolate. He was in a pretty good mood by this point though, so he gave my friend a free chocolate!

We descended the stairs and found a surprisingly large café that exudes a modern cosiness.

Inside the café Inside the café

Here you can get yourself a cinnamon hot chocolate for £2.80 and you can choose whether you want it milk or dark (and if you’re a self-respecting chocaholic, I expect you to choose the latter!) Look how large it is:

Cinnamon hot choc
Cinnamon hot choc

It wasn’t the smoothest chocolate drink I’ve ever had, but it was chocolatey, tasty and satisfying. If I’m in the area and craving some cinnamon, I’ll stop by. After all, I had just been to Cinnamon Soho and had failed to actually order anything with cinnamon.

You might think I have a thing for cinnamon. And you’d be right. However, today I’ve managed to have cinnamon porridge for breakfast and an apple and cinnamon roll from Karaway in Westfield Stratford, so my cinnamon cravings are being kept in check.

Deskalidès cinnamon hot chocolate – 4/5

Yummy and good value, and with cinnamon. Happy times!

Swedish Food 2: Stew, Pancakes…and Prawn Cheese?

Behold the cinnamon-y goodness!
Behold the cinnamon-y goodness!

Move over, cinnamon buns. I was never that into you anyway. It’s all about these amazing cinnamon lattices, which are gooey and oh-so-good.

This cinnamon lattice had the privilege of being my fika snack of choice. Fika is a Swedish word for “coffee break” or “tea time” and it’s a great excuse to tuck into pastries and cakes. I’m hoping to feature some chocolate cream macaroons and semla, but I’m only in Stockholm for one day and there’s only so many sweet things that I can eat!


At this time of year, Sweden is freezing and so hearty stews are naturally on the menu. I got to eat kalops, which is a simple but delicious beef stew, flavoured with bay leaves and allspice. Apologies for the appalling picture, but I greedily wolfed my plate down before I photographed it so I had to make do with the pot!

Saffron pancake with dewberry jam and whipped cream
Saffron pancake with dewberry jam and whipped cream

The Swedes have expensive taste: they love saffron. A really interesting dessert is a saffron pancake, made with flour, rice porridge and almonds, and served with dewberry jam and whipped cream. It’s filling without being too heavy, and the jam is a wonderful accompaniment and not too sweet.

And now to another Swedish curiosity….What are these rows and rows of mysterious tubes?


The Swedes love caviar, which they put into tubes and squeeze on bread and eat with boiled eggs. But these tubes are not fish eggs. No. These are all kinds of flavoured cream cheese. I’m automatically suspicious of any cheese product that doesn’t need to be kept refrigerated. Yet these become even more alarming when you look closely at some of the flavours. Prawn cream cheese paste, anyone?

Prawn cream cheese paste

Coming soon on the blog:

Restaurants and cafés in Stockholm
Swedish fast food
A special post on language (tenuously linked to food of course!)
And even more Swedish sweet and yummy things.

In the mean time, check out fellow blogger Heather’s recipe for Swedish buns, which she made for St Lucia’s Day (a BIG thing in Sweden). These are often made with saffron, but she uses cardamom, which sounds really interesting!

A Slice of Swedish Food

Cinnamon buns and other pastries...
Pistachio buns, cinnamon buns and other pastries…

Just a sneaky peak at some of the food I’ve been tucking into in Sweden this week! (And a little bit of Swedish culture too!)

Swedish Christmas ham
Swedish Christmas ham

First up, Julskinka – or known in English as Christmas ham. This is a cured ham, cooked in the oven, then removed and coated in a glaze of mustard, egg and breadcrumbs – and mustard seeds and cloves for the more adventurous – then returned to the oven to set the glaze.

Liss Ellas Christmas mustard
Liss Ellas Christmas mustard

The Christmas ham might then be eaten with a Christmas mustard. Believe it or not, this unassuming pot of Liss Ellas Christmas mustard is one of the most delicious mustards I have had the fortune to sample. It’s a honey-mustard but gets the balance between spiciness and sweetness absolutely spot on. Apparently their mustards are champions at the Worldwide Mustard Competition and I don’t doubt it. Unfortunately, I think their mustards are only available in Sweden and Norway but it’s worth checking out their website.

Christmas bread
Christmas bread

Christmas bread. This is a mildly sweet bread with raisins, flavoured with wort and spiced with cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. It’s light and tasty, although it disappoints in that it makes me crave a good English teacake, yet it is definitely not an English teacake.

Just tasty apple juice :)
Just tasty apple juice 🙂

This is just a really tasty apple juice from the Swedish version of Co-op. Very appley, full flavour and sweet. As good apple juice is hard to beat at a breakfast drink, I decided this had to feature. A little gnome is added to the picture for effect.

Pisctachio buns and cinnamon buns

Kanelbulle, or cinnamon buns, are one of the classic foodstuffs of Sweden for those who have managed to get explore beyond the meatballs. These can be a little dry so prefer ones that are glazed or with icing, but this is not very Swedish. Still, who can turn down cinnamon? I think I’m obsessed with it and so are the Swedes. October 4 is “kanelbullens dag” (Cinnamon  bun day). I also sampled pistachio buns, which are very popular in Sweden.

Wooden butter knife
Wooden butter knife

Yes, butter knives are wooden in Sweden. These are made from the wood of juniper trees due to its durability and pleasant fragrance.

The Swedes have a lot of forest – 67% of the land area is forested –  so it’s understandable that lots of things are made out of wood. Like most of their houses. Also, if you ever visit the Dalarna region, you’ll notice a curious amount of wooden horses. These are known in English as Dalecarlian started as toys woodsmen crafter for their children, but later became implicated in trade, before cementing as a symbol of the region, and later for Sweden as a whole.

Wooden horses Wooden horses

Dalarna is very traditional region, and even young people will put on traditional costume for special occasions, such as midsummer, weddings and baptisms. Culture is popularised through arts and crafts. Visitors might spot small models of mörksugga (which translates as “dark sow”) – a version of a Swedish folklore character.

Mörksugga - dark sow
Mörksugga – dark sow

Not so traditional but extremely bizarre, I stumbles upon a “Sex education machine” in the Dalarna museum in Falun. It’s the one in the background displaying a beautiful euphemism – a bee is pollinating the flower. I’m not sure what the one with the toilet seat and chomping teeth is about.

Chomping toilet and a sex education machine
Chomping toilet and a sex education machine

Fleet River Hot Chocolate Festival Winner

Vanilla bean hot chocolate
We started with vanilla…

The Hot Chocolate festival at Fleet River Bakery has reached its conclusion today.

Without further ado….the winner is HONEYCRUNCH!

Of course, I had to sample it, and I wasn’t overly impressed. It was a little too milky, and the “crunch” was sparsely sprinkled on top.

My vote went to CINNAMON, which was divinely rich and delicious. (Fleet River – please make this one again, please?!)

I also tried the ROSE hot chocolate.

It intrigued me because rose is not the kind of flavour I would associate with chocolate, or indeed particularly want to try with chocolate.

After my first sip, my tongue was seeing stars from confusion. Yes, there was a rose flavour – just like you get in Turkish delight – but then the flavour of chocolate took over. For each sip, this strange transition from rose to chocolate took place. This was not rose-chocolate, but rose and chocolate.

*Muttering* “Rose and chocolate, rose and chocolate….What is going on?!”

My quest for the best hot chocolate in London continues and I have found some fantastic places for you! Look out for more posts soon!