Rabot 1745 – London Bridge

Reviewed on October 27th, 2015 by Dina

When a friend suggested going for hot chocolate on a rainy day, I knew I was in for a treat as she always knows some of the best places for hot drinks. The story behind Rabot 1745 is that this cafe is from the people behind Hotel Chocolat. All of the cocoa beans are sourced from their plantation in St Lucia.

The cafe area is on the ground floor and the restaurant is on the upper level. High stools, wooden decor, neon lights and cocoa bean displays make up the dimly lit yet atmospheric cafe. There is lively music playing in the background.

So many different drinking chocolates to choose from including salted caramel, chilli, coffee, hazelnut, milky and dark. The coffee chocolate was my first choice but then the staff said that it was the normal chocolate with a shot of espresso. The wise decision was made to stay away from too much caffeine in the afternoon.

Instead, the hazelnut hot chocolate was chosen. A smooth and rich drink with a lovely nutty flavour coming through. It was very drinkable and not at all too heavy or too sweet.

A big square of caramel brownie went well with the drinking chocolate. The gooey, dense brownie was topped with a sticky caramel sauce. The drinking chocolate was given in white cups and presented on wooden trays.

The staff were friendly and gave good service. There are other cakes and delights on offer behind the glass counter. Big stirring vats of molten chocolate are also on display.

If you want a proper hot chocolate, then Rabot 1745 is the place to go! As to be expected, there is also a small shop area where you can buy various items and chocolate from the Hotel Chocolat range.

Rabot 1745, 2-4 Bedale Street, Borough Market, London, SE1 9AL

Rating: ★★★★★

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Yumchaa – Goodge Street

Reviewed on August 16th, 2015 by Dina

For those of you who enjoy tea, you will be spoilt for choice at Yumchaa. At Yumchaa, it is all about the loose tea with signs saying “No tea bags, no tea baggage and no tea bagging” and “Drink loose leaf tea”.

The variety of teas are displayed in little labelled milk jugs. Take your pick from the black, green, red and white teas. All the teas are listed with the ingredients, the type of tea, the caffeine level and also whether it is available hot or iced.

As there is so much choice, be warned it may take a while to decide. After narrowing it down to have a caffeine free tea, the Raspberry Vanilla Rooibos tea was chosen. The components of this red tea were raspberry, vanilla pods, rose petals and rooibos. The tea was fragrant and fruity with a hint of vanilla. It was pleasant together with some hot soya milk.

The counter is adorned with sweet and savoury scones, thick slices of cake and a tower of brownies. It is a shame that it is an open display of the food and items are not covered. But Yumchaa did inform us that this is going to change by September and all of the food will be displayed behind a glass counter. If you want something for lunch, then there are also wraps, sandwiches and salads.

The cheese and chive scone was of a good size. It came toasted with butter on the side. The scone was dense with cheesy pieces and was filling.

The staff at Yumchaa are friendly and don’t rush you to order your tea. They make sure that the tables remain clean and come round frequently to clear up anything that you have finished with. It’s great that they also don’t mind refilling your teapot with more hot water.

Different wallpapers with different themes decorate the walls. There is a cuteness about Yumchaa with its displays. A big wooden table and chairs make up the window seating. The rest of the cafe is brought together by cosy sofas and smaller tables. It feels fairly spacious.

Even though Yumchaa is a popular cafe and tearoom, it is not overly noisy. Maybe this has something to do with the calming effect that tea has on people! There is a nice buzz about the place.

Yumchaa sure has got things right with going back to serving loose teas in a relaxed environment. It is easy for the hours to pass by at this wonderful cafe. All of the loose teas are available to buy so once you discover your favourite, you can enjoy it at home.

Yumchaa, 9/11 Tottenham Street, London, W1T 2AQ

Rating: ★★★★☆

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The Waiting Room – Whetstone

Reviewed on May 10th, 2015 by Dina

A slightly different take on a cafe, The Waiting Room teams itself with its small home furnishing store. The Waiting Room is a really cute cafe adorned with fairy lights, dressers lined with lamps, frames, tealights and flowers. A garland of hearts decorates the cafe window. Stars hang above the lamps and small chandeliers also make up the lighting.

At the back of The Waiting Room, there are a few cosy seats. The rest of the cafe is made up of table and chairs. The soft lighting and jazz music create a lovely ambiance. Even though the cafe was busy, it was not noisy. There was a gentle hum about the place.

The staff were friendly and not intruding. They provided excellent personal service. The Waiting Room seemed to have its regular customers with the staff taking time out to chat to them. It made it feel like the staff were caring.

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As I was seated at the back of the cafe, I was next to the kitchen. It looked clean and compact. There was not much noise from the kitchen and hence it did not impact on the atmosphere.

The tea that caught my eye was the rooibos with cherry. The tea was from the Little Sparrow range of loose teas. A heavy silver teapot with its own stand contained the tea. There was a traditional feel to the teaware. Small flowers decorated the teacup and saucer.

The aroma of the cherry was strong from the loose tea. Sometimes teas can be a letdown, as in they do not taste as good as they smell. With this Little Sparrow tea, the taste of the cherry with the rooibos was divine. The staff had no problem refilling my tea when the pot was empty.

The Afternoon Tea continued with the silver theme and it was presented on a square silver cake stand. Squares of soft bread, one filled with classic cucumber and the other with cheese and pickle were the fresh sandwiches. It was nice to have a combination of white and brown bread.

The two small fruit scones were delightful. The attention to detail really made the Afternoon Tea at The Waiting Room great. Shot glasses with teaspoons contained thick clotted cream and strawberry jam. Whole pieces of strawberry made the jam more special.

The last of the cakes were the macaroon and chocolate brownie. The almond macaroon was perfectly crispy on the outside with a chewy texture and creamy filling. Rich, gooey and moist made up the intense chocolate brownie. Just to make it more indulgent it was lovely to have it with a little bit of the clotted cream and jam.

The Waiting Room gives a ray of sunshine to a dull rainy day. It definitely brought me that happy feeling. It is a gem of a place and I am excited to introduce my friends to the wonderful world of The Waiting Room!

The Waiting Room, 50-52 Totteridge Lane, Whetstone, London, N20 9QJ

Rating: ★★★★☆

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