London’s Best Hot Chocolates (and we’ve tried a lot…)

We can confidently say that we’re experts in this field. Having developed something of a habit this winter, we thought it was high time to share our findings. Whilst the chains aren’t great (Paul too rich, Pret too milky), it’s worth going out of your way for these treats:

Best classic hot chocolate: Prestat

At £2.75 Prestat hot chocolate is the same price as Pret. Expect real chocolate shavings melted into hot frothy milk. Plus the whole experience of going into the Princes Arcade shop is a treat. £2.75 available at their cafe, 14 Princes Arcade, Piccadilly

Best for Hazelnut Hot Chocolate: William Curley

William Curley’s selection are all made with dark chocolate (at least 70%) so there’s no risk of them being too sweet. Opt for the Gianduja which is blended with hazelnuts. If Nutella made a hot chocolate for grown up’s it might be something like this. Absolutely delicious and in a chic, Flat White sized cup. £4 at their Soho shop, 33 Smith’s Court

Best for a decadent treat: Fortnum & Mason

Fortnum’s Parlour has a whole Hot Chocolate Bar – the hot chocolate comes in dark or milk and then you can add various toppings. As well as marshmallows and cream there’s honeycomb, toasted almonds, popcorn, gingerbread and more to choose from. A real treat. £4.50 take away or £5.95 eat in.

For a taste of the ski slopes: Pear Tree Cafe, Battersea

We don’t know whether it’s something in the recipe or just the fact that you drink this outside on the cold and sunny terrace but there’s something very reminiscent of a ski holiday about the Pear Tree Cafe hot chocolate. Sweet, with proper whippy cream from a can and mini-marshmallows sprinkled on top. £3, Pear Tree Cafe, Battersea Park

Best for marshmallow fans: Crème, Soho

The secret to the Crème smores hot chocolate is that they melt their mini-mallows with a blow torch, so it tastes like you’ve toasted them over a fire. The hot chocolate itself isn’t overly chocolatey, which is just as well because it would be impossible to go into their Soho bakery without buying one of their chunky cookies (for which people queue out the door) to go with it. £4, 4 D’Arblay Street, W1F 8DJ,

Best for hot chocolate at-home: Pump Street

Suffolk-made Pump Street chocolate is so good, so it makes sense that their drinking chocolate is too. We balked at the price but it’s absolutely worth it as it’s such good quality that a little goes a long way. If you’re lucky enough to be in Orford you can sit-in, otherwise buy it to have at home, £12.45

Best non hot chocoalate treat: The Custardo at Forza Win, Peckham

Trust us you have to try this. Made using a shot of Allpress coffee and blended with crème anglaise, Forza Win have had to trademark it to stop others from copying it. Hot or cold, it is the most delicious treat. £3, Unit 4.1, Copeland Park, Peckham,

London's Best Hot Chocolates (and we've tried a lot...)
— Daisy Allsup
19th February 2020