York certainly deserves its reputation for chocolate ; after all, Rowntree’s, the first Nestle company was started up here eons ago, and we’ve been in love with the smooth, milky texture of even off-the-counter chocolate bars sold at Tesco’s or Costcutters for cheap ever since we got here. York Cocoa House boasts a name for being a one-step destination for chocolate lovers ; they’ve got chocolate workshops, coffee, hot chocolate and an assorted array of chocolate cakes, chocolates that you can take home and even chocolate-influenced savoury dishes!
At the beginning of the summer term after Easter break we strolled into town with Meryl on a rainy Sunday, wanting to see if it really lives up to its name or not (:
I had originally envisioned an old-school , cosy cafe atmosphere to this place, but the interior was more like an interesting confluence of sorts – it’s bright, airy and modern with fluorescent lighting making everything come into sharp relief. The goods are worth examining, albeit a little touristy, but for the weekend wanderer who just wants to take home a little reminder of York this will be a good place to stop by for a bit.
Home-made chocolate; so they’ve got a machine in the corner churning out oozing pools of chocolate, inspires the sweet tooth’s appetite! (:
Meryl proffers her toasty cup of hot chocolate!
York Cocoa House Classic Hot Chocolate (£3.20)
We both agreed that this cup of hot chocolate couldn’t possibly compare to the goodness that was Nowa Prowincja’s hot chocolate , but it was appealing enough to make the mark! In terms of texture it was milkier and not so gooey as the Polish version, light, frothy and not overwhelmingly sweet. There are also other types of hot chocolate available at the store, and you can opt for hot chocolate that’s darker or lighter – the percentage levels can be adjusted!
Hazelnut Chocolate Cake
One thing about York Cocoa House that I appreciate is that they don’t just stuff their chocolate cakes with overwhelming amounts of sugar and leave it as that. As every chocolate lover knows, there are a lot of nuances (for want of a better word) to chocolate itself; unlike white chocolate, which is mainly just sweet, the taste of chocolate and its aftertaste have such an interesting variety of flavours. The slice of cake that we got for about 5-6 pounds was slightly meagre, but flavour-wise, this is probably my favourite – it’s got a nice, moist layer of cream and the cake is light and crumbly.
Orange chocolate cake
I’m not the biggest fan of orange chocolate, and this felt slightly lumpier, but the flavours were an intriguing mix. Even though we ordered three types of chocolate cakes, we didn’t really feel overwhelmed by it because York Cocoa House offered a good enough variety. The ‘orange slice’ didn’t really leave much to the imagination, though – it would have been great if it were milkier, and richer.
And a small brownie to finish things off (: It was slightly dry but surprisingly chewy enough ; not the best that I’ve tried but pretty decent fare for the price that you pay.
On the whole, I suppose the name York Cocoa House itself – which kind of sounds like a flagship for the entire city – makes an average patron’s expectations go higher than average, which might lead to a minor sense of disappointment eventually! I’m big on atmospheres and vibes, and I didn’t really think this would be an ideal place to just sit and contemplate because it feels kind of industrial, but it is worth having a look if you are curious.
York Cocoa House
3 Blake Street
York YO1 8QJ