Alaka Prodhan investigates the “Best Hot Chocolate in Mcr” at Bonbon Chocolate Workshop
There’s nothing quite like a Sunday afternoon mooch in the Northern Quarter. Even on an overcast day the city here seems at its most magnificent; a mish mash of styles, both old and new, layered one on top of another like a delicious cultural and architectural sandwich that just keeps on giving.
Colourful and arresting graffiti catches your eye at every corner, and the odd glance upwards reveals yet more unnoticed sights – little vestiges of the past peeking through the paintwork; and all around, the alluring pull of watering holes, independent shops, little boutiques, curry cafés and tea rooms.
Its slate grey façade and ornate white lettering immediately set it apart from its cheap and cheerful neighbouring fast food outlets such as Kabana and Al Faisal, but the most enticing signage is on the front door, which very simply states: “Best Hot Chocolate in Mcr”.
STYLEetc do love a good hot chocolate. This was a claim that needed to be tested.
My chocoholic companion and I sat down at one of the two little tables by the window and admired the décor – just the right balance of rustic vintage, and as dark and luxurious as the dusted truffles on display behind us.
We wasted no time in ordering one of these legendary hot chocolates. I opted for the chocolate orange whilst my drinking partner chose the salted caramel (£3.50 each). They arrived accompanied by homemade orange madeleines, the aromas of the slowly melted 66% Valrhona chocolate and cocoa wafting seductively around the small shop.
Did my hot choc live up to its own hype? In one word: yes. Pure luxury in a teacup; though I think the salted caramel just about edged it.
With Valentine’s coming up soon, we’d definitely recommend either dropping some hints to a significant other, or just plain treating yourself to some of the beautiful chocolates on offer, a selection of which are handmade on the premises in the basement workshop by chocolatier Joey Collins.
Heavenly, unique, and a welcome addition to the Northern Quarter – we’ll be back for sure.
Bonbon Chocolate Workshop / 9 John Street / Northern Quarter / Manchester / M4 1EQ
By Alaka Prodhan (@EchoingBronze)