Paul A Young is an award-winning British chocolatier who opened his first chocolate store in Islington back in 2006.
His signature hot chocolate is made with water rather than milk (chocolate has its own natural fat so adding more would spoil the taste according to Paul). The percentage of cocoa solids that you'll be served varies throughout the year: on a cold winter's day, you'll enjoy 70% chocolate which is a rich and decadent, while in the summer a 64% might be used for a lighter taste. Anyone who checks London's weather forecast to dictate their hot chocolate recipes is a true pioneer.
Konditor & Cook is a bakery with a small chain of cafes that serve excellent cakes.
I'm told their hot chocolate is: "gorgeously scrummy" and "thick and creamy". It's dark hot chocolate made with 70% cocoa solids chocolate mixed with milk, double cream, and vanilla pods.
Hotel Chocolat, Kensington
I already like the chocolate from Hotel Chocolat but it seems many people like to visit the High Street Kensington store as it "just seems that bit nicer" and the in-store hot chocolate bar has the "best [hot chocolate] I've ever had".
This is liquid chocolate made with 72% dark chocolate and skimmed milk, and has less sugar than traditional hot chocolate so it is not overwhelmingly sweet but it's exceedingly chocolatey.
This cafe on Lower Marsh near Waterloo used to be a scooter repair shop known as Scooterworks.
They host events like film screenings in the basement. Praise for the hot chocolate ranged from "really good" to "epic". I was also told, "I have a personal preference for the hot chocolate dusted with a bit of nutmeg that they serve at Scootercaffe on Lower Marsh near Waterloo. Not only is the cocoa excellent, but it is also the most interesting little cafe for miles around." Look out for the friendly cats who roam around the cafe.
Paul, Various Locations
Paul is a chain of French patisseries that you'll find across London (there are over 20 branches). I've been told "their hot chocolate is as good as anyone's" and "I recommend Paul South Kensington". Also "Paul has that really rich, gloopy hot chocolate that is just like melted heaven."
The hot chocolate at Melt is served in tiny cups but packs a serious punch. It's very rich and dark and you can buy blocks - yes, blocks - to take home and melt. There are seven different blocks to try and they describe their hot chocolate as having a "sensuous and sticky texture".