Hot Chocolate Connoisseurs
An adventure into the Hot Chocolate Society of Carmarthen…
Hot Chocolate with Cream, Flake and Chocolate Dusting: 50p
* Great taste, lovely cream and a Flake 8/10 *
Let’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.
Calon Café and Interiors, Mansel Street, Carmarthen:
Spanish Hot Chocolate with Cream, Chocolate Dusting and Marshmallows:
£2.55 Regular £2.95 Large
* Delightful atmosphere and Chocolate Heaven! 9.75/10 *
Just walking into this coffee shop is a delight. Beautifully rustic, yet modern and comfortable, with earthy colours, wooden and metal tables, an eclectic mix of seating, including wooden chairs and leather sofas. A fire roars beneath the menu boards, and you even buy the decorative wares that decorate the shop! It also offers outside seating in the quiet backstreet where it resides.
The hot chocolate is thick and full of flavour. Generously topped with cream, chocolate dusting and marshmallows if you so choose. Great temperature and great value! The chocolate is like velvet, and creamy, and tastes heavenly. Advertised as Spanish and certainly made me a convert to European hot chocolate…
For the taste alone, it comes out top, and is one of the best hot chocolates I’ve had. Absolute heaven! I would have liked a Flake, but it didn’t lose points for not offering one. All bases are covered with this drink!
Time Coffee Bar, Nott Square, Carmarthen:
Luxury Hot Chocolate with Cream, Flake and Chocolate Dusting:
* A Hot Chocolate with X-Factor 9/10 *
Low tables, sofas and chairs are the norm in this busy coffee shop, and a more private atmosphere upstairs.
The hot chocolate, however, is lovely. 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. 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!
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 Large
* Great taste and an all-round winner. 9/10 *
This 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 andwaiting 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.
Pethau Da, King Street, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream, Flake Dusting and Biscuit:
* Designer Hot Chocolate and generous cream 9/10 *
Situated at the rear of a designer gift and soft furnishings shop, well named ‘Good Stuff’ in Welsh, this is 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!
* Great atmosphere, lovely taste 8.5/10 *
This 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.
* Unfortunately this little shop has now closed down.
Debenhams: St Catherine’s Walk, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate Supreme with Cream, Flake and slight Chocolate Dusting:
Small £2.35, Large £2.60
* Not good, didn’t like the taste or foamy cream 3/10 *
The 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.
Caffi Glas, Blue street, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream and Chocolate Dusting:
* Lovely taste and good cream, but no Flake 7/10 *
This 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!
Wilkinson, Friar’s Park, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream:
* Nothing special, boring and watery 4/10 *
Wilkinson’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.
Leekes, Business Park Cross Hands:
Hot Chocolate with Cream, Chocolate Dusting and Biscuit:
* Fairly ordinary, but good cream 6/10 *
This 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.
The Old Curiosity, King Street, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream:
* Less hot chocolate than malted milk 3/10 *
This 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.
The Café at Number Four, Queen’s Street, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream:
* Very nice hot chocolate, but not stand out 6.5/10 *
This 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!
Humble Pie, Lammas Street, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream:
* Basic, what you see is what you get! 6/10 *
A 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!
Iechyd Da Caffi, Jackson’s Lane, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream, Marshmallows and Chocolate Dusting:
* Perfect for the environmentally conscious! 5/10 *
This 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!
O&F, St Catherine’s Walk, Carmarthen:
Luxury Hot Chocolate with Cream, Chocolate and Wafer:
* Loved the Flake crumbles… 5/10 *
The 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!
* O&F Carmarthen has now closed.
Pantri Blakeman, Blue Street, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Frothed Milk (and Cream) and Chocolate Dusting:
* Appreciated the shot of cream! 6/10 *
An 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!
Marks and Spencer, Red Street, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream, Biscuit, Marshmallows and Chocolate Dusting:
Small £2.20, Med £2.50, Large £2.75
* Lovely cream and good drink. 7/10 *
M&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.
Costa: St Catherine’s Walk, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate Primo with Cream, Flake and Chocolate Dusting:
£2.30 small and 35p added for each extra
* Too expensive, disappointing. 5/10 *
One 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.
Caffi Bach: Lammas Street, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream and Chocolate Sprinkles:
£1.00 Cup, £1.20 Mug
* What you’d expect, no frills. 4/10 *
This 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.
Caffé Nero: Red Street, Carmarthen:
Luxury Hot Chocolate with Cream and Chocolate Sprinkles:
Large £2.80 Regular £2.45
* Too strong, but if dark chocolate is your thing then this is for you. 4/10 *
New to town, a beautiful coffee house with soft lighting, an eclectic mix of chairs, tables and sofas. Somewhere I’d enjoy relaxing with a hot chocolate.
I had high expectations with another major player in the business. However, we chose the luxury Belgian hot chocolate and were surprised at how very bitter it was. Very strong, bitter rather than sweet, and super thick, finished with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. It was so strong it had the flavour of chocolate ice cream. It didn’t say but, I am imagining this is dark chocolate. You could choose marshmallows too, for an extra charge. The glass mugs were
pretty, but wobbly on the saucer.
Mambos: King Street, Carmarthen:
* Expensive for a basic hot chocolate (with no cream) 4/10 *
This is a cocktail bar which offers teas and light food during the day. It has a fairly dark atmosphere, but modern and sleek.
Nice hot chocolate made with frothy milk. It tasted nice and creamy, but there was no whipped cream or any extras.
The Tea Shop, Carmarthen Park, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream, Marshmallows, Sprinkles and Biscuit:
* A great hot chocolate in a lovely environment. 7/10 *
A small coffee shop inside the local town park, with seating, indoor or out, depending on the weather. It has a lovely kitsch atmosphere and friendly service. Served to the table with a smile and it was just the right temperature. A lovely hot chocolate for the price, Cadbury’s with whipped cream, chocolate flavour sprinkle and a biscuit. You can choose marshmallows too if you prefer.
Coffee #1, St Catherine’s Walk, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream, Marshmallows and chocolate Sprinkles:
Deluxe Large £3.15 Deluxe Regular £2.80
* A little too bitter, but lovely atmosphere. 6/10 *
A new coffee shop, taking the place of recently vacated ‘O&F’ (reviewed above). Chic décor with lots of wall quotes, art and books. There’s a lovely mix of tables, chairs, sofas and armchairs to sit at.
The hot chocolate has a nice flavour, but was slightly bitter and reminded me of the flavour of chocolate ice cream. Adding marshmallows made it sweeter. It left a bit of a powdery aftertaste, but was nice.
Cegin Myrddin, Blue Street, Carmarthen:
£1 Take Away Cup
* Basic, but friendly, and inexpensive. 6/10 *
We noticed this small café/take away, so decided to try their hot chocolate. No frills and a small table saw us settled along with homemade cupcakes for only 50p extra each! We enjoyed a very friendly atmosphere with lovely chat and service.
The cakes were excellent and the hot chocolate as good as instant is expected. Served very hot, in polystyrene cups, but cooled as we ate cake! When we were ready to leave we asked for lids and took the drinks away with us.
If it’s take-away you want with a lovely cake then this works.
Dunelm Mill, Parc Pensarn, Carmarthen:
Hot Chocolate with Cream:
Small £1.79, with cream £1.89, with cream and marshmallow £1.99, Large £2.09, £2.19, £2.29
* Stop while you shop for a good hot choc! 7/10 *
Dunelm is a large home-ware retail store, and its coffee shop is situated upstairs. Tastefully decorated and in fitting with the store it overlooks, the seating is comfortable and clean. The self-service was friendly and fast.
The hot chocolate was very good, both smooth and chocolatey with a lovely creamy taste. It went very well with the chocolate brownie we ordered too! It was just the right temperature and the friendly atmosphere determined an intention to return again in the future.
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 onwards…
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, please comment below.