An adventure into the Hot Chocolate Society of Carmarthen...
After Home and the Top Three...
these reviews are in no particular order...
Hot Chocolate with Cream, Flake and Chocolate Dusting:
50pLet’s begin at home which also creates a bar to measure subsequent hot chocolates...
Our homemade hot chocolate is Cadbury’s, three heaped teaspoons in a mug of milk which tastes lovely and chocolaty, served in my favourite bone china mug with Anchor thick squirty cream, a Flake and chocolate dusting from the Flake.
This is how I like my hot chocolate! It works out at about 50p a mug and is enjoyed in the comfort of my own home with whatever entertainment I choose.
* Great taste, lovely cream and a Flake 8/10 *
Time Coffee Bar, Nott Square, Carmarthen:
Luxury Hot Chocolate with Cream, Flake and Chocolate Dusting:
£2.80Low tables, sofas and chairs are the norm in this busy coffee shop, and a more private atmosphere upstairs.
The hot chocolate, however, is heaven in a glass. The luxury hot chocolate is advertised as so thick you need a spoon, and they’re not joking! It’s like drinking melted chocolate and could be classed as a dessert instead of a drink! You get generous thick cream and a Flake all served to your table in a tall glass with a long spoon. You could swap the Flake for marshmallows if you prefer. This is by far the best hot chocolate I have ever tasted! It glides down your throat like velvet and tastes like pure chocolate. All this is possible because this hot chocolate is not made from powder, but from syrup, and is all the better for it!
* Chocolate heaven in a glass!
A Hot Chocolate with X-Factor 9.5/10 *
Pethau Da, King Street, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream, Flake Dusting and Biscuit:
£2.20Situated at the rear of a designer gift and soft furnishings shop, well named ‘Good Stuff’ in Welsh, this is a recently renovated café, decorated in pink and black. There is a friendly atmosphere and service, and before renovation the hot chocolate scored well with us!
Now a bigger variety is on offer including Turkish Delight, Mint, and Caramel Hot Chocolates at £2.75. I ordered the Turkish Delight and it was like drinking a Cadbury Turkish Delight bar!
The drink was served by the waitress, in a tall glass mug with a long spoon. The syrup made the drink feel exotic, but was easy to stir in. The mint drink was green at the bottom! It was the right temperature, tasted lovely and the cream was generous and thick. Definitely different and fun!
* Designer Hot Chocolate and generous cream 9/10 *
Get Stuffed Pizza Company, Cambrian Way, Carmarthen:
Luxury Hot Chocolate with Cream, Chocolate Sprinkles and
either a Chocolate Wafer or Mint Chocolate:
£2.10 Small £2.55 LargeThis is an atmospheric coffee shop/café during the morning and cosmopolitan pizzeria later on. Light, airy and friendly.
The hot chocolate is served to your table accompanied by either a chocolate wafer tube or a foil wrapped chocolate mint. Now I’m not a fan of wafers so I prefer the mint, and I will confess to dropping the mint into the drink and waiting for it to melt…mint hot chocolate, very nice! This is a lovely hot chocolate, great Cadbury taste, generous cream and a good price for what you get.
This one gets a definite recommendation, even without a Flake, a mint chocolate works for me.
* Great taste and an all-round winner. 9/10 *
Caban y Dderwen, Mansell Street, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream, Flake, Marshmallows and Chocolate Dusting:
£2.25 Cup, £2.50 MugThis is a lovely little café, rustic, and decorated with old newspapers, books, and articles. It stretches back into several small rooms and has a lovely atmosphere.
You can have your hot chocolate any way you wish, just add 25p for a mug. The smaller size comes in a glass mug. The only place we know of that use large marshmallows (10p cheaper if you omit them) too! The drink was served by the waitress, and it was hot, but was quickly cool enough to drink. The cream was thick and the hot chocolate tasted very good.
* Great atmosphere, lovely taste 8.5/10 *
Debenhams: St Catherine’s Walk, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate Supreme with Cream, Flake and slight Chocolate Dusting:
Small £2.35, Large £2.60The restaurant is lovely; upstairs, comfortable, and overlooking the new Town Centre with large, bright windows.
The hot chocolate however, was very disappointing. I chose small, which was plenty and it looked beautiful, but the synthetic cream was watery and thin, and melted almost immediately. The brand is Cadbury, so I expected better, but far too weak. Worse was the oily layer on top of the chocolate which not only put me off, but affected the taste too.
* Not good, didn’t like the taste or foamy cream 3/10 *
Caffi Glas, Blue street, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream and Chocolate Dusting:
£1.95This is a small, bright coffee shop in the centre of town.
The hot chocolate was served by the waitress to our table in a glass mug. The cream was very thick and tasted very good, generous chocolate dusting and a lovely flavour hot chocolate, I would guess at Cadbury? It was the right temperature and a good all-round drink, but missing a Flake!
* Lovely taste and good cream, but no Flake 7/10 *
Wilkinson, Friar’s Park, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream:
£1.90Wilkinson’s restaurant is self-service and basic, which is reflected in the hot chocolate. The drink was served in a glass mug. You get what you pay for, though this was poor for the price. The hot chocolate tasted like average vending machine drinks do and the cream was watery and immediately melted into the drink.
* Nothing special, boring and watery 4/10 *
Leekes, Business Park Cross Hands:
Hot Chocolate with Cream, Chocolate Dusting and Biscuit:
£2.00This coffee shop is situated in Leekes department store, and is in a bright and airy front of store location.
A self-service café and the hot chocolate was a good temperature. Generous with the cream and dusting, and you get a small, plain biscuit too.
This hot chocolate was good, tasted nice and was a good temperature, however, once again, nothing special.
* Fairly ordinary, but good cream 6/10 *
The Old Curiosity, King Street, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream:
£1.80This little café is really old fashioned, wooden beams and old books decorating the room. Felt really cosy and lovely.
The hot chocolate however was unimpressive. It tasted more of malted milk than chocolate and left a heavy aftertaste. It could have been Ovaltine? I think real cream was used, but it too didn’t sit right with the drink. It was very hot, so had to cool a little before drinking. For the price it just wasn’t a very good drink.
* Less hot chocolate than malted milk 3/10 *
The Café at Number Four, Queen’s Street, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream:
£2.00This coffee shop is a bit out of the way in Queen’s Street, not easy to find unless you know it’s there.
The hot chocolate is made with Fairtrade hot chocolate and organic milk, and I think the cream on top was real cream too. It was a nice hot chocolate, good temperature and size, and a small biscuit. I think served with a Flake and/or chocolate dusting this would have been really good. I’ve got used to having Flakes with my hot chocolate!
* Very nice hot chocolate, but not stand out 6.5/10 *
Humble Pie, Lammas Street, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream:
£1.60A typical greasy-spoon café, Formica tables and fluorescent lights. If basic is what you’re after then basic is what you get!
A mug is 30p more than a cup and we chose a mug.
The hot chocolate was served by the waitress to the table, but only one saucer and spoon between two of us and the drinks were overflowing. However the hot chocolate tasted good and the cream was very generous. With a Flake or chocolate dusting this would have scored higher!
* Basic, what you see is what you get! 6/10 *
Iechyd Da Caffi, Jackson’s Lane, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream, Marshmallows and Chocolate Dusting:
£2.50This is a small, cosy café, with sofa seating and children’s toys available. Decorated with fairy-lights, Buddha’s and dream catchers, and new-age music playing in the background. Iechyd da means 'Good health' in Welsh.
The hot chocolate is Fairtrade made with organic milk, cream and marshmallows are 50p extra. You do, however, get a free piece of cake (or gingerbread this time) with your drink. It’s served to your table, nice and hot, in a glass mug with plenty of marshmallows! The toppings were lovely, but the chocolate rather strong, leaving a strong after-taste of chocolate powder.
This café had a fun and friendly atmosphere!
* Perfect for the environmentally conscious! 5/10 *
O&F, St Catherine’s Walk, Carmarthen:
Luxury Hot Chocolate with Cream, Chocolate and Wafer:
£3.00The second time we visited this modern, Italian style coffee shop the hot chocolate was served with plain chocolate drops and a wafer, but we preferred out first visit which gave us crumbled Flake on top and no wafer.
Served in a tall mug with long spoon this was hot and the cream generous, but its taste is too strong and left an after-taste of chocolate powder. The second visit dropped our original score by a point, I really dislike wafers and far too expensive!
* Loved the Flake crumbles… 5/10 *
Pantri Blakeman, Blue Street, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Frothed Milk (and Cream) and Chocolate Dusting:
£1.00An upstairs café decorated with everything Welsh and playing lovely welsh tenor music. It is nice, airy and friendly.
We asked for a hot chocolate with cream and were told they didn’t offer it with cream, only frothed up milk, but when it was brought to us at our table they had added cream to it for us! The hot chocolate was good, the right temperature and the real cream added just below the frothy milk was lovely! It was a little powdery at the bottom of the cup, but we enjoyed the drink.
A mug would have cost 20p more, and for the price this was a very good hot chocolate!
* Appreciated the shot of cream! 6/10 *
Marks and Spencer, Red Street, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream, Biscuit, Marshmallows and Chocolate Dusting:
Small £2.20, Med £2.50, Large £2.75M&S has a lovely coffee shop overlooking the town centre, clean, bright and airy, and self-service.
This is probably one of the prettiest hot chocolates you can buy.
We bought a small drink and that was enough. The cream was lovely, thick and plentiful. It was the right temperature and you got enough marshmallows and a delicious, but very small, biscuit. The only drawback was the powdery after-taste in the actual hot chocolate.
* Lovely cream and good drink. 7/10 *
Costa: St Catherine’s Walk, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate Primo with Cream, Flake and Chocolate Dusting:
£2.30 Small and 35p added for each extraOne of the major players in the coffee shop world, this café was modern and equipped with wifi from next door’s ‘Frankie and Bennys’!
We ordered our hot chocolates, served in tall glasses, and took them to our table ourselves. Drinks are offered in small, medium and large sizes and the small was big enough. Each extra, for example cream, Flake or marshmallows, is an extra 35p, so a £2.30 drink with Flake (you do get two) and cream turned out to be £3.00.
The cream is lovely, but the hot chocolate left a powdery after-taste after getting past the cream. Not encouraging considering it’s one of the most expensive drinks.
* Too expensive, disappointing. 5/10 *
Caffi Bach: Lammas Street, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream and Chocolate Sprinkles:
£1.00 Cup, £1.20 MugThis is another typical greasy-spoon café, Formica tables and all the basics, no frills, good food.
The hot chocolate is brought to you table and is very hot. Milky cream and sprinkles add a little, but it is a basic hot chocolate.
* What you’d expect, no frills. 4/10 *
So, how do you like your Hot Chocolate?
And which one looks the best to you...if you were going by looks alone? (We don't think you're shallow, but first impressions do count!)
These visits were made unannounced at random times from 2012 on...
These are our own opinions and we reserve the right to have them.
The hot chocolates were paid for and consumed by ourselves.
No shop/café/coffee shop had any input in this blog.
If we have missed your shop/café/coffee shop and you would like an independant review of your Hot Chocolate included, please contact me via my blog or Twitter @LastKrystallos