Choccywoccydoodah, off Carnaby Street

BrownieHow many of you will be giving or given chocolate this Valentine’s Day? It’s a pretty standard gift that ensures that February 14th is sickly sweet in more ways than one. Not that there’s anything wrong with chocolate, of course. Just why not give your special someone a little bit more of an imaginative, full-on chocolate experience? You know, a bit of a cocoa thingamabob? Or a sugary whatsit?  Or maybe, some… Choccywoccydoodah?

Yes, Choccywoccydoodah does exist and it will excite even the most chocolate-apathetic among us. Hailing from Brighton, they have now set up a shop and café just off London’s Carnaby Street.

Bunny girl bath
Imagine what would happen if Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory got it on with a fine lady’s boudoir. You get extravagance, flamboyance, weirdness and wackiness all rolled into one. In fact, entering Choccywoccydoodah for the first time will visually overwhelm you. There is too much to take in – it’s an Aladdin’s Cave of all things yummy.

Cartoonish models of bunny girls are interspersed with giant marshmallow lollies, strawberry chocolates, hearts and flowers. It’s so over-the-top and playful that I defy you not to grin and squeal, and start examining all the treasures.

Up the stairs, you will find a small café split on two levels. The centrepiece is a table covered with cakes that are just as extravagant as the décor. At Choccywoccydoodah, the request of ‘just a small slice, please’ is seriously frowned upon. At Choccywoccydoodah, size is everything.

Now that you’ve impressed your loved one with such opulent and ogle-worthy offerings, take a table and order the hot chocolate (£3.50). This is one of London’s best – you can choose from milk, dark or white and it comes with marshmallows, plenty of cream and a chocolate straw. Also on the menu are milkshakes, chocolate fondue and the dangerously sumptuous Choccywoccydoodah sundae.

Hello hot chocolate
There is enough here for your love affair to weather several repeat visit – and it may also be a teeny-weeny bit addictive. A word of caution: the café does get busy so allow yourself plenty of time as you may have to queue. Just remember that all good and pleasurable things are worth waiting for.

So if you really want to impress your loved one for Valentine’s Day, off you trot to Carnaby Street. Choccywoccydoodah will give you all the choccy woccy you need… please save the doodah for later 😉

Where: 30-32 Fouberts Place, off Carnaby St, London,W1F 7PS
When: Monday – Saturday 10am – 6pm; Sunday 12pm – 5pm

Article originally published on, which you check out for loads more London food news.


Review: Verde & Co, Spitalfields AKA That Famous Hot Chocolate Place

The most expensive hot chocolate in London <3
The most expensive hot chocolate in London ❤

Just on Brushfield Street, which runs along the south side of Spitalfields market, is an old-fashioned shop with a wooden front, hanging wicker baskets, and a small bench where weary shoppers can rest themselves… and recharge their batteries with some rather tasty things.

Verde & Co
Verde & Co

Verde & Co is somewhat legendary in London for serving the priciest hot chocolate around. Whilst the store’s quaint charm definitely warrants a perusal,  its fame stems from the cocoa beverage priced at a hefty £5.50 a cup . The hot chocolate is made from Pierre Marcolini chocolate, a luxurious offering from Belgium.

It just so happened that I lived about 30 seconds walk from this store. And it just so happened that my friend, who was recuperating after a stint in hospital, required some quick breakfast magic. The plan was hatched, but the quest short; in under 2 minutes, we were standing outside, peering through the windows.

Verde and Co is deceptive. From the outside, it always looks shut. It’s hard to see through the windows and no light seems to emanate. Yet the inside, despite being small, is bright and not nearly as cramped as this Aladdin’s cave should be.


To say the inside is well-stocked with goodies would be an understatement (scroll down for more pics). The shelves are laden with jams, confectionery, sweets, old-fashioned teapots and beautiful cakes. It is almost too much to take in and requires a leisurely browse – if you can contain your excitement and refrain from trying to examine everything at once.

My friend and I clumsily squeezed ourselves onto tall seats at a wooden counter. In fact, a less generous but more accurate description would be that we groaned, creaked, shuffled and heaved ourselves onto the stalls in a most unladylike fashion. She had an excuse from recent hospitalisation; I was just being… Phoebe. The man behind the counter observed us with concern and bemusement.

“Are you all right?” the man asked.

My friend and I looked at each other and doubled over in fits of manic laughter. We threatened to fall back off the chairs again.

“We’re probably not the best people to ask…”

Bewildered, the man took our orders, which, unsurprisingly, featured two hot chocolates.

The hot chocolate comes in two sizes, which are both priced at £5.50. There is a ‘small’, which is very thick and gives a very intense chocolate flavour, or a ‘large’, which has more milk in it and is slightly milder as a result.

I can verify that both are extremely chocolatey, but if you’re a passionate chocolate fiend such as myself, you should be drinking your chocolate neat 😉

The 'longer' hot chocolate with artful croissant in the background...
The ‘longer’ hot chocolate with artful croissant in the background…

It may have been breakfast but I was not going to be deterred from ordering something to eat. Whilst my friend worked her way through a lovely, light croissant, I ordered a suckling pig and balsamic onion sandwich (medium £6.25) because I can eat absolutely anything in the morning.

I couldn’t verify just how much ‘suckling’ this pig had had, but the sandwich was served on beautifully fresh bread and had that homemade taste that…well, that you really only get at home. So comforting.

Gimme a suckling pig sandwich in the morning!
Gimme a suckling pig sandwich in the morning!

We sat on the bench outside in a cocoa coma, and watched shoppers dip in and out of Spitalfields market. A very good breakfast indeed, and definitely worth splashing out on.

Verde & Co 4.5/5 – Charming, quaint and serving up a pricey, but smooth, rich and delicious hot chocolate.

Where: 40 Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, London, E1 6AG
When: Mon – Thurs 9am – 9pm; Friday 8am – 6pm; Sat & Sun 10am – 7pm.







Review: Hot Chocolate at Butlers Chocolates, Westfield

Hot choc

Basically this post is just an excuse for some chocolate porn. I stumbled across Butlers Chocolates in Westfield Shepherd’s Bush whilst waiting for a friend and something about the word “chocolate” drew me in – can’t think why! Their hot chocolate was pleasingly thick and not too milky and it comes with a mini-chocolate on the side. I’ve heard the gelato is amazing so I’ll stop by again next time I’m in Westfield!

Accompanying chocolate :)
Accompanying chocolate 🙂

Butlers Chocolates

Where: Westfield Shopping Centre, Shepherd’s Bush, W12 7GG
When: Monday – Tues 10am – 9pm; Wed – Friday 10am -10pm; Saturday 10am – 9pm; Sunday & Public Holidays 11pm – 6pm

Review: Konditor & Cook (Chocolate Brownies Alert!)

The Brownie Bar
The Brownie Bar

I first heard about Konditor & Cook when I spotted it on Time Out’s list of best hot chocolates in London. Being an avid food adventurer and chocoholic, I set off to try this fabled drink.

Hot choc at Curzon Soho branch
Hot choc at Curzon Soho branch

Now, I’ve tried the hot chocolate at both the Curzon Soho (Shaftesbury Avenue) branch and the Time Out-recommended St Mary’s Axe branch, but the hot chocolate didn’t seem particularly special. Maybe there is some other version that I haven’t been lucky enough to sample. What I tried was pleasing but distinctly average if you’re a hot chocolate fanatic.

Hot choc at the Gherkin branch
Hot choc at the Gherkin branch

The real reason why everyone should visit Konditor & Cook is for their brownie bar. You can choose from many different flavours, including the classic Chocolate Chip Brownies, Boston Brownies (cranberries), Fudgepacker Brownies (the frankly dangerous combination of vanilla fudge and salted caramel) and Curly Wurly Brownies (cream cheese and vanilla pods).

What’s more – you can take away THREE of these brownies for a reasonable £5! That’s 3 days of happiness. (HAHA who am I kidding – three hours more like!)

The Fudgepacker - vanilla fudge and salted caramel.  Life doesn't get any better.
The Fudgepacker – vanilla fudge and salted caramel. Life doesn’t get any better.

As for my favourites, this is a tricky one as I think the flavours vary between branches. I thought it was the Fudgepacker as the salted caramel gooeyness was nearly overwhelming when I bought one (or two or three) from the St Mary’s Axe branch. The cream cheese-vanilla was too mild.

However, in a recent visit to the Shaftesbury Avenue branch the Fudgepacker was mildly sticky whereas the creamy gooeyness of the Curly Wurly left me gasping with brownie pleasure.

My advice is…. try ’em all!

Because cream cheese is lethally good...
Because cream cheese is lethally good…

I should mention that Konditor & Cook have a lunch menu of salads, soup and one hot meat and veggie dish of the day. They also have a lot of other rather amazing looking cakes. I will investigate these one day…once I get past my brownie affair.

NB: In case you’re an idiot like me, 30 St Mary’s Axe is actually the Gherkin. So don’t stare at it in puzzlement and march up and down the street. Just walk round the Gherkin and you’ll find Konditor & Cook. And a giant ape might kidnap you. However, if that does happen, try and make sure you’ve got a brownie on you first. That way you can die happy.


Konditor & Cook – Brownies, brownies, brownies, brownies…

Where: Waterloo, Borough Market, Curzon Soho, Chancery Lane, Cake School (Stamfrod Street), The Gherkin
When: Store dependent – see here.

Review: Caravan, King’s Cross


Breakfast or brunch is my all time favourite meal. After having spent the past 3 years travelling a fair bit, I know I can eat anything for breakfast. In fact, I ate a 6-course breakfast every day when I was in Kuala Lumpur last summer. “Course” might not be the right choice of word as it was a buffet – the most delicious hotel buffet I’ve ever had! I’d start with Chinese, move onto Malay and Indian, hit the fruit and yoghurt, then the pastries, breads and cakes, before finishing off with skewered grapes at the chocolate fountain. (I risk dribbling on my keyboard just remembering this!)

So I was on a brunch quest in London and the name ‘Caravan’  kept popping up. And with this menu, how could I resist?

OK, so it’s obviously trendy, which is why I’d heard its name so many times and which is why it was seriously busy. However, it’s huge  so we didn’t have to wait too long. Set 5 minutes walk from King’s Cross next to Central St Martins art college, inside is full of long  tables, a semi-visible kitchen to one-side and an array of tasty-looking cakes sitting on one side.

Inside Caravan
Inside Caravan
Cakes ahoy!
Cakes ahoy!

First up, there was absolutely no question about what I would be drinking. Did I see a salt caramel hot chocolate on the menu? Why yes, I think I did!

Salt caramel hot choc
Salt caramel hot choc

At £3.50, it was most definitely over-priced for its size, but it was delicious and not too sweet. It probably could have been a bit heavier on the chocolate but I was satisfied (even if my wallet cried out in protest).

I was with my reliable dining partner Mimi, who ordered the Asian-inspired ‘Hangtown Fry’ – a bacon and oyster omelette.  I sampled a small bit and can attest to the fact that the omelette was pleasingly soft (no-one like rubbery eggs!) and very flavoursome.

Hangtown Fry - Bacon and Oyster Omelette
Hangtown Fry – bacon and oyster omelette

My brunch choice was a tough decision, but I settled on the baked eggs, tomato pepper ragout, Greek yoghurt, and toast (£7.50) with chorizo sausage (+ £2). The ragout was rich and slightly tangy, without too much acidity from the tomatoes. The chorizo was fantastic and the whole dish was topped with fresh parsley  which brought it alive. Two small criticisms  1) I would have a preferred a bit more yoghurt; 2) the eggs were overwhelmed by the chorizo and ragout, and so I could hardly taste them at all! Not that it matters because all the flavours worked, but I would have happily swapped the eggs for some more chorizo. I admit the dish should probably change its name from “baked eggs” if that were the case!

Baked eggs with chorizo, ragout, yoghurt and parsley
Baked eggs with chorizo, ragout, yoghurt and parsley

Unfortunately, we’d spied an affogato (£4.50) on the menu for pudding and somehow we ordered it. Oh it was a heavenly coffee and vanilla mix.

Vanilla ice-cream topped with expresso
Vanilla ice-cream topped with expresso

Caravan’s menu is very exciting, and I’m itching to go back and try the salt beef bubble. And the poached eggs with aubergine puree. Or the corn and morcilla fritters. Or…. You get the idea.

Caravan 4/5 – Want a delicious and unusual brunch in a bustling atmosphere? Yes? Thought so. 

Food 4/5 – Delicious, great quality. Portions could be a little larger.
Value 3/5 – I’m *sort of* getting used to London prices now. But £3.50 for a tiny hot choc? Salted caramel or no, that’s just too much.
Service 5/5 – Prompt and friendly.
Atmosphere 5/5 – It’s a giant busy room but it doesn’t get chaotic. It’s got exactly the right kind of buzz to accompany a tasty brunch.

Where: The Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London, N1C 4AA




Review: ScooterCaffe at Waterloo

The scooter
The scooter

My adventure to ScooterCaffe was not as I intended. I wanted a hot chocolate; I ended up feeling like a hobo.

I normally don’t feature places that I absolutely loathe, but ScooterCaffe is worth laughing at. Read on…

My friend Mia had discovered a list of people’s recommendations for hot chocolates in London, on which ScooterCaffe was repeatedly recommended by Joe Bloggs and his brothers.

Alarm bells started ringing, however, during my online investigation prior to our visit. Customers were raving about the cats.

As a kid, I wanted to be a cat. I introduced myself as “Phoebe Amoroso Cat”. I drew many pictures of cats (including a picture of my father as a cat with glasses and a disproportionately large human penis attached – much to his approval).

My mum bought me a kitten when I was three. That’s when I got asthma and a whole load of allergies. Oh the ironies of my cat love!  Cats and I do not mix. If you own a cat, I won’t be visiting your home. Within 20 minutes, I will fall ill. If I stay overnight in your house, I’m likely to be ill for the next 5 days. It’s that bad.

This meant ScooterCaffe was probably going to be a take-out visit.



We headed to Waterloo to find a rather dark, grimy looking café, with a scooter in the window and, sure enough, a cat. Eclectic objects decorated the room and a various alcohol bottles lined the wall behind the counter. This was a café that was obviously trying for an edgier feel.

In fact, the more I inspected it, the more I realised it should probably be found in Hoxton or Dalston or any other trendy East London location. Through the dirt, I noticed some rather well-to-do, fashion-conscious clientèle. Obviously, this is how they get in touch with the earthier side of life whilst still being comfortably removed from it.

We went downstairs to the basement to find a room so stale and full of dust that even the allergy-free Mia felt suffocated. The air was so thick that it could have been sliced up and served. It did, however, explain why everyone was sitting upstairs.

We approached the counter and ordered two hot chocolates and two egg custard tarts that had been infused with raspberries.

“Excuse me, is there anywhere the cat doesn’t sit?” I asked. “How about those high wooden stools?”

“Huh,” said the woman, clearly confused. “He sits everywhere.”

“Could we get take-out then?”

She gave us the two tarts, then walked out from behind the bar towards the door.

“We’re out of milk. I’m going to buy some more.”

This was not a good sign. A café that serves coffee and hot chocolate and doesn’t keep adequate milk supplies. “How long will that take?”

“Not long. I’m just telling you so you know.” No apology. Nothing. And with that, she was gone.

After ten minutes of me nervously eyeing the cat, she returned and made us some hot chocolates and we scarpered. The service was as neglectful as the place looked.

Hot chocolate - supposedly
Hot chocolate – supposedly

Through foggy breath, we puffed our way to some cold seats in Waterloo. The hot chocolate – quick! Let it warm my hands and its chocolatey sweetness fill my mouth!

Ugh. Something lukewarm and slimy slid down my throat. It was like custard with a mild chocolate flavour. Mia and I looked at each other in disbelief. People actually recommended this? It was thick and sickly and generally revolting.

We also discovered that raspberries should never be put in egg custard tarts.

ScooterCaffe 1/5 – For shamelessly awful hot chocolate in aspiring squat-like conditions, pop by! 😉

Where: I’m not telling you – look it up if you’re feeling masochistic!

Raspberry egg custard tart
Raspberry egg custard tart

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!

Review: Cocomaya – Bakery/Café/Chocolate shop!


I’m a highly social person, which doesn’t always go well with a Master’s degree, three sports, social media stuff and blogging. To add to my busy life, I decided to attend a chocolate meet-up  with randomers, and I am very glad I did. Not only did I eat great chocolate, but I also met some very nice people 🙂

Cocomaya (W2 2AF) is both a café and a bakery, but most importantly, it’s a chocolate shop!

Cocomaya Cocomaya


The interior is cosy and quaint, reminiscent of old-fashioned British tea-shops, with wooden floorboards and floral-patterned china. It strikes a welcoming balance between simplicity and cosiness.

Of course, it’s also littered with chocolatey offerings, some of which look too sparkly and too pretty to be eaten.

060 059 057 056 054 053 052Our order was to be a simple process: a cake or pastry from the bakery and a drink for £5.25.

Flourless chocolate cake - wonder what it was actually made of...
Flourless chocolate cake – wonder what it was actually made of…

I chose a flourless chocolate cake with a dense chocolate sauce. It was very chocolatey but it had a very faint, almost-metallic tang to it, which didn’t quite work for me. However, there were plenty of other tantalising options:

047 045 044 042 041 040Of course, there was no actual decision process for what drink we all wanted to order. There were hot chocolates all round.

Amazing hot chocolate!
Amazing hot chocolate!

Cocomaya’s hot chocolate was a powerful chocolate hit. Chocolatey, thick, but not too sweet. It didn’t coat the back of the throat but slipped down blissfully smoothly. It was just like pure, liquid chocolate, which is how the best hot chocolate should be. I have to have it again. I think it might be my favourite hot choc in London so far.

Don’t miss out on some extremely good chocolatey times. Head over to Cocomaya.

Cocomaya’s Hot Chocolate 5/5

12 Connaught St,
W2 2AF


Hot Chocolate Quest Continues

Apostrophe hot chocolate
Photo: Mia Dhillon

After all the excitement of Fleet River Bakery’s Hot Chocolate festival, I needed more hot chocolate. I tried Fleet’s ordinary hot chocolate but found it milky and weak. My quest for the best hot chocolate in London had to continue.

After all, the weather is cold.  Hot chocolate is warm. The sky is dark and depressing. Chocolate helps release endorphins to counteract this.

It’s a win-win situation 😉

Various locations, London

Image from:

I stopped by Apostrophe, a London-based coffee chain. I have to confess that the sign annoys me. It features an apostrophe which is clearly drunk as it sun-bathes on top of the “o”. I want to see a proper apostrophe, not an “accent on taste”.

But one shouldn’t judge a book by a cover, or a coffee chain by its sign. Apostrophe’s hot chocolate is legendary. It’s thick. So thick that it’s like chocolate soup. So thick that I ate it with a spoon. So thick that  I “ate” it. So thick that one hot chocolate is a whole meal. And the pain au chocolat was dessert.

Photo: Mia Dhillon

I also sampled their Christmas chilli mocha, but it’s a whole different class of drink – ie. it’s actually a drink. The warming effect of chilli was definitely appreciated, but I’m a still a hot chocolate girl.


32 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5AA


In between Covent Garden and Holborn, Salt is in a convenient location for the discerning hot chocolate enthusiast to seek their chocolate hit. Salt’s hot chocolate is also thick and rich, but nowhere near as pudding-like as Apostrophe’s. Which is a really good thing if you just want to drink chocolate. It’s not too sweet, it’s got a depth of flavour and it’s just delightful.

Manon Café
Various locations, London

Manon Café
Manon Café
Tempted? Don't be.
Tempted? Don’t be.

I’ll say straight up – their chocolate was rubbish. They’ve teamed up with Leonidas chocolate. Apparently this is some kind of exclusive, Belgian chocolate brand. Ignore the marketing spiel.

Do you remember as a kid when you got given a pack of chocolate santas for Christmas? Or a pack of chocolate rabbits at Easter? How you’d gleefully bite off their heads, then devour the rest fairly promptly? Do you remember what that chocolate tasted like? I do. I remember. Maybe I was just a very discerning child but I never actually finished these packs of chocolates. They have that taste of cheap, generic chocolate, made in a factory, to be moulded into whatever theme is in season. The kind that leave a strange after-taste and make you really wish you hadn’t eaten them.

This is what the Leonidas hot chocolate tasted like. Their free chocolate was not much better either. Maybe the coffee is good?!


If anyone has any hot chocolate recommendations, please email me.

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!