Well, in my opinion it is. And it's right on my doorstep at a chocolatier called Gareth James in Tynemouth which means I have no choice but to indulge myself once a week because it would appear that is the limit of my self-control. (Translation: I have no self-control.) This mocha is the perfect blend of their own dark chocolate and cream and I prefer it as served, with no added sugar. For me, it really could not get any better than this.
This chocolate paradise is the vision of the very talented and inspired Mr. James who has agreed to show me how it's all done in their kitchen upstairs, a treat in itself. It's located just across the street from my daughter's school so she begs me to take her for a hot chocolate (also the best, ever) and to share their truly irresistible Cafe Gourmand, and I pretend to need convincing.
The Cafe Gourmand, which comes with your choice of cuppa, is an ever-changing tasting plate of new creations with some of their classic favourites, such as their wonderfully decadent and now famous brownie, scoop of homemade sorbet or ice cream - ours was blackcurrant and I had to fight for a few spoonfuls - and choice of two truffles. Upon recommendation from their really lovely manager Emma, I had the Earl Grey which has a smooth, clean finish. And if you think Earl Grey with dark chocolate sounds weird, well you should just put that out of your head. It's delicious!
The new additions last week were a slice of banana bread which will feature in their new breakfast menu (I cannot wait to try their pain au chocolat!) and the 'shot' which is sometimes a palate cleanser but on this day was quite the opposite - a little drink of warm, dark chocolate to fully saturate the taste buds. You can see the heat fogging up the glass. I have to admit, I can't handle that much chocolate even when it's the best of the best, and my daughter had maxed out as well, but there was no way I was leaving it behind. I regret nothing!
Photos © The Swelle Life