Since Cadbury’s launched their first Cocoa House at the end of last year, I have been desperate to see what the one stop choc shop has to offer. As a self confessed chocoholic on a permanent one bar a day plus diet, The Cocoa House had one tough critic, but what better way to start the New Year.
Having dragged my boyfriend along to the Bluewater (Kent) branch, we were greeted at the door by a waitress dressed in traditional tea house attire, sporting a pinny and uniform similar to what the old Lyons waitresses wore before the last war. We were seated at a table close to the window, perfect for people spotting and window shopping, and presented with a detailed menu. Claiming to serve the ‘best hot chocolate ever’, I ordered a hot chocolate nog (£4.95) while my boyfriend went for a white hot chocolate with orange (£4.25) , and an afternoon tea for two of finger sandwiches.
After ten minutes spent taking in the chocolate themed surroundings- the interior of the cafe features a cracked caramel effect worktop with jars of chocolates on top, chocolate coloured leather booths and purple chairs, our drinks arrived in tall white mugs, typical of the old tea shop style. So impressed with my drink, I had finished the warming cocoa in minutes, but my boyfriend took a little longer trying to negotiate with the orange rind floating on the top of his drink.
The finger sandwiches were equally as yummy, cucumber, cream cheese and garden mint on white bread and smoked salmon and lemon butter on wholemeal, my favourite, and egg mayonnaise and cress on white, all presented on a silver stand. But at £12.50 each they don’t come cheap.
What I was not so impressed with was the cafe’s failure to deliver on its promise of chocolate cocktails, despite featuring on the online menu, ok it was midday, but is it ever too early for alcohol and choccie? The Cadbury’s memorabilia on sale did slightly make up for it.
My verdict? My visit to Cadbury’s Cocoa House was calorie tastic, a unique experience and I couldn’t fault the service. However if you are looking for a quick drink you might be better off at the likes of Starbucks and Caffe Neros, whose hot chocolate doesn’t come with such a large price tag and doesn’t need to be limited to a once a month treat.