Hot chocolate + marshmallows = nothing new. But the bona fide Willy Wonka boffins at Chin Chin have upped the ante in typically zany fashion. A paper cup of the good stuff is topped with a giant orb of handmade marshmallow, which is then blowtorched to Bonfire Night levels of charred, sticky decadence. It now does a vegan hot choc too, with hints of raspberry and apricot. Of course, Chin Chin’s experimentalists are also wizards with nitro-fuelled ice cream and this Soho shop is an ostentatious showcase for their wares – not only their signature ices (anyone for halva black tahini?), but also full-on desserts.
Long before humans were eating chocolate, they were drinking it: the ancient Mayans were sipping on hot cocoa-based bevvies as early as 500BC (in between human sacrifices, that is). And you know what, they were on to something. Hot chocolate is rich, warming and entirely delicious, capable of lifting your spirits and getting those sweet endorphins flowing.
If you're thinking of becoming a cocoa-aficionado, then you're in luck: London’s brilliant cafes and chocolatiers are known for serving up truly luxurious takes on the classic drink. From marshmallow-topped and cream-covered concoctions to seriously challenging brews (80 percent dark, anyone?), London has a selection of hot chocolates stupendous enough to warm anyone’s cockles in these winter months. We’ve tasted our way around the city’s finest chocolatiers and bijou cafés to find you the best.
Recommended: Warm your cockles with London's best mulled wines.