After a summer break away from lovely ol' Canterbury, I was ready for a term back in a city filled with dainty cafes for afternoon tea, as well as several new burger joints that have hit the streets with a sizzle. But with the copious amounts of independent, family owned cafes and the fewer high-chains like Patisserie Valerie, where would a cake craving student like me start my journey of finger sandwiches, buttermilk scones with jam and cream, and fragrantly bitter lattes? Of course, why not start with a community favourite!
The Chocolate Cafe in Canterbury has to be one of the most talked about cafes in the city. Just thinking of the name "Chocolate Cafe" makes the tongue water with lust-filled longing for streams of chocolate fountains, the luxurious pearls that are creamy truffles, and the pleasing cracks of chocolate blocks melting in your mouth... but the cafe is so much more! They serve breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea followed by a delicious array of desserts, from a tempting box of their Belgian chocolates to cakes, like their gluten-free and vegan brownies and their comforting, warm cheesecakes. They also recently introduced their afternoon Vintage Cream Tea menu available every Sunday. So after a year of hearing how great this lil' cafe is, I finally had to try it for myself.
Having decided that I wanted a good two course meal for that lovely Sunday afternoon, I ordered the Speck & Brie Focaccia, which included cured pork pieces and brie cheese. It was a delightful afternoon snack; the brie was creamy, the cured pork salty and the focaccia's outer layer crispy. As if that hadn't been enough, the vinaigrette, made with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and chocolate(!!), served with a monstrous sized green olive added a pungent, slightly sweet kick to the meal. I balanced off the enticing savoury meal with a heavenly frappe with almond syrup. You could feel the perfume of the nectarous almond fill your senses. Too good. Last but not least at all, being a suggestion from a close friend, I concluded my experience with a perfect cadence and ordered a blueberry muffin with melted chocolate sauce for dessert. No words, but several pleasured groans instead.
The Chocolate Cafe received only good thoughts from me. There was a good amount of treats to choose from as well as a welcoming, smiling customer service, guaranteeing my anticipated return. Taking an obvious inspiration from Alice in Wonderland, the cafe was decorated with teapot ceiling lights, abstract paintings, and a tree with a concoction of bits and bobs. The atmosphere was cosy and inviting; I could have stayed there for hours chatting over many cups of mochaccinos... hmm... sounds like a plan for next time.