These days everybody’s an expert! Wine, food, specialty coffees, you name it, but in our house we specialize in one thing, cocoa! Yes! That’s right, cocoa! We’re cocoa connoisseurs and for the past three years we’ve we made it our business to sample cocoa in just about every place we’ve visited.
In the beginning Simon kept a notebook dedicated to his tastings and even kept a list of favorites, ratings and critiques. More recently, he’s been less diligent about keeping up the notebook, but we’re still enjoying cocoa wherever we go. From the West Coast of the United States to the coast of Spain and beyond, from the most basic instant Nestle packet made at home to the surprise and delight we experienced when ordering at the Corinthia Hotel in London, ordering cocoa has become our tradition! It’s become a great way to get the kids involved with our travels and in the moment! Even Lego Batman joins in the fun!
We’re currently working on adding to our list, but in the meantime we thought it would be fun to share with you some of our previous findings*!
Simon’s Original Cocoa Findings:
Pastisseria Bubó Born – Barcelona
This was a lovely little cake shop just steps from our hotel room in the Born district of Barcelona and situated in the square just to the right of the Santa Maria del Mar.
Black Medicine – Edinburgh, Scotland
“Great topping and rich sweet cocoa.”
We stumbled upon this cozy place while wandering one afternoon. It was a perfect place to stop for a rest and a warm up.
Corinthia Hotel – London, England
“Good. Not sweet, but can be when you add the flavoring from four toppings.”
The cocoa that started it all! It’s not just about the cocoa here, but the toppings as well! Often our first stop when arriving in London, this is the king of all cocoas!
Cafe Venezia – Palo Alto, California
“Great. Rich and thick and close to home.”
Not far from our home the boys love the cocoa here, though in my opinion its more like a cup of pudding.
Home or Nespresso – Bay Area
“good. From home. You can create frothy hot cocoa with a button.”
Cafe Richelieu Louvre – Paris, France
Wagamama – London, England
Wagamama is a fast causal Asian style noodle restaurant that we all enjoyed. Apparently, according to Simon, their cocoa wasn’t too shabby either!
Caledonian Hotel – Edinburgh, Scotland
Pastisseria Bubó Born – Barcelona
Apparently, the second visit to Bubo wasn’t as good as the first, which earned it a place at the bottom of our list.
Unfortuantly, I don’t have photos for all the cocoas on Simon’s original list, but don’t worry there are plenty of photos from other tastings!
Cocoa By The Country:
Cafe Noir – Edinburgh
Crannog Restaurant – Fort William, Highlands
Lucky us, we stumbled upon Crannog, which is considered to be one of Fort Williams best eating establishments, and thoroughly enjoyed our meal and the view. Not to mention this very tasty cup of cocoa, which I still remember to this day tasted a bit like Nestle Quick.
We had the good fortune to spend an afternoon with a friend of Tim’s who is also a local. He took us to a fabulous cafe, which he had been coming to since he was a small boy, where we enjoyed chocolate y churros!
Granja La Pallaresa – Barcelona
Mercat Princesa – Barcelona
We loved this food market and found time to visit almost every day while in Barcelona. Not only was the cocoa lovely to look at but it was tasty as well. Every single thing we ate here was fantastic and the people were incredibly friendly!
NH Collection Victoria Hotel – Granada
After a long day and evening exploring the Alhambra, we enjoyed relaxing with a cup of cocoa in the hotel lounge.
El Cafe de las Monjas – Toledo
The boys loved this place as did I! The pastry were incredibly yummy and Simon had tough time walking away from his mug before he had downed every last drop!
Hotel Santa Justa – Lisbon
Have I mentioned, there’s no better way to start your day than with a nice tall cup of cocoa?
Hotel Algar Seco Parque – Carvoeiro, Algarve
Restaurante Boneca Bar – Carvoeiro, Algarve
Twede’s Cafe – North Bend, Washington
Home of the famous Twin Peaks Cherry Pie and a Damn Fine Cup Of Coffee, I must say I thought the cocoa was far superior to the coffee!
NOT Cocoa, but absolutely worth a mention!
Now, don’t get me wrong I LOVE a great cup of warm cocoa as much as the next person, but fabulous Spanish coffee, this amazing and unique acorn liquor, and of course traditional tried and true English breakfast Tea are all pretty high on my list as well!
*Simon wrote these reviews when he was 11.