With nothing particular to do, I decided to find the award-winning chocolatiers in London, and have a little treat. Paul A. Young is the simple name of the store that stood out as the gold medal winner, so I figured it was worth the tube ride. Viiu went to book tickets and I split off to get to the Northern Line to find it. Still feeling miserable and cold, I found it not too far from the Angel tube station.
They had a pan of chocolate simmering from which they poured majestic cups of cocoa, putting to shame anything I have had before or since. No wonder the awards! This was a posh place, perhaps the chocolate equivalent of Postcard Teas. I tried not to laugh and look surprised when shown £15 chocolate bars made from ‘rare’ cocoa beans, and allowed myself to be educated by the Tom, the stunning blonde (who likes elbow\) who gave me concentrated, focused, and somehow perfectly aloof British attention throughout my minutes in his domain.
Pouring me a cup of the magic liquor, awaiting my thoughts, and then spicing it up – literally, with black cardamom and chilli – as he assessed my taste and took his queue to where else to direct my sales. I love these tiny, chic European stores that give you such attention! When he had to take a phone call, he directed his inferior to attend to me – and I was standing there looking.
I wish that I could have been present for one of their £40 ‘tasting seminars’ that comes with a goody bag. No kidding, eh? In the end, I could not help buying two tiny chocolates for Viiu - one a champagne chocolate, the other Drambuie (Viiu says the only things she likes to drink are coffee and champagne. I think that may be the only things she drinks, too.)
|Wall of Awards at Paul A Young|
For myself, I took a tiny bar of home-made “Coconut, Chili and Lemongrass” chocolate (ingr: 70% dark ch.(beans, c. butter, sugar, soya lecithin, vanilla) cayenne, chilli, coconut, essential oil of lemongrass. That’s for YOU, Theresa!)
I left there warm, feeling pretty special, and sipping a cup of liquid gold. It may sound a bit lavish, but having nothing else pressing, I simply made my way to the next place on my list: cocomaya.
This place was less impressive, but still decadent. One side of the shop had chocolates, the other side was a little café with incredibly rich pastries and excellent drinks. My online review suggested the intense, espresso-sized hot chocolate that they melt down for you, so I took this.
|Nice, eh Glenn?|
|Hard to resist at Cocomaya|
On the heels of my earlier stop, it was not as good, but only because it was probably the 2nd best I’ve ever had, not the first. This place offered ‘High Tea’ for £25 a head, pre-booked, and they boasted that they sold only Postcard Tea teas. Fair enough! It actually looked like they were setting up a nice lunch menu when I was leaving too.
I got home in time to meet Viiu for our daily lunch routine: either Sirous or Banana Tree restaurants. The rest of the afternoon was a friggin’ disaster in the library.