So admittedly, the current weather isn’t exactly hot chocolate appropriate, but who can deny that it’s not the ultimate pick-me-up? Whether you’re still in the midst of exams or just having a bad day in the coastal city, here are some of the top suggestions on where to get the best hug in a mug you could ever wish for.
Southampton is a haven for independent coffee shops, and Mettricks is arguably one of the best-known. With two stores, one down by Ocean Village and the other on Guildhall Plaza, along with a pop-up stall during the week on Above Bar, Mettricks is a favourite among both locals and students. Along with a chilled out, fairy lights illuminated setting you can enjoy either dark, milk or white hot-chocolate made from scratch with real chocolate.
Another local favourite, Southampton’s store is located on the corner of London Road and specializes in a minimalist, rustic approach. If you’re looking for a quiet getaway from the busy city life and a handcrafted hot chocolate, possibly accompanied by some tasty looking handmade cakes and biscuits, I’d suggest giving Coffee Lab a try.
Second Cup Coffee
Now, Second Cup Coffee is far from local and actually originates from Canada. The coffee chains new store has recently opened on Above Bar and has been far from disappointing. A small spot, but with welcoming staff and a varied menu on the hot chocolate front, including a vanilla bean hot chocolate if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ll definitely be returning if you give it a shot.
Okay, Sprinkles is another local favourite – but primarily for it’s massive selection of ice cream, pancakes, and crepes. However, like Second Cup Coffee, Sprinkles are also host to a lengthy hot chocolate menu, including a wonderful hot chocolate and vanilla ice cream combination. Secondly, Sprinkles stays open until midnight most nights, so perfect for those late night trips!
A student and teacher favourite, Artisan Coffee is located within one of the Solent buildings…but not to worry, is still accessible to the public. Artisan offers a basic, but tasty hot chocolate along with an assortment of snacks. However, if you’re after something a bit different, they also offer a lavender hot chocolate, which is certainly worth a try.
Vinilo isn’t a coffee shop, it’s a record shop and it’s been making waves in Southampton since it opened last summer on Queensway. The small, independent store is run by a lovely group of both music and beverage lovers and offers affordable hot chocolate to anyone browsing, studying or just looking for a change of scenery from your local cafe.
No. 1 Coffee
Another local chain, No. 1 Coffee is another well-known company within Southampton and has been host not only, to the majority of the city but also a number of celebrities. No. 1 Coffee not only has dreamily decorated shops but also places their marshmallows under the cream on their hot chocolate, which admittedly, is a very smart move.
Okay, so not everyone always has the time to go into town for a hot-chocolate or the time to sit in a coffee shop, procrastinating adult responsibilities. Mountbatten Library is Southampton Solent’s very own library, and is host to two do-it-yourself drink machines, so though it’s hardly handcrafted, or comes with cream or marshmallows (you’ll have to provide your own on the toppings front, sadly) it’s still a sweet, creamy affordable hot chocolate in easy reach if you’re drowning in lecture notes and essay referencing.
Waterstones is a well-known chain that we’re all aware off, but West Quay’s Waterstones Cafe is hidden away at the back of the store. Despite being in one of the most popular stores going, the cafe always remains relatively quiet with friendly staff, a lovely view onto Southampton’s newly built Watermark and a toasted marshmallow hot chocolate that is to die for.
Once again, a chain store – but an underrated one. Anywhere else, Cafe Nero seems as popular as your other high street coffee chains, but Southampton’s has only just opened up a store on Above Bar , with a more homely approach compared to most high street shops, Nero offers a more affordable hot chocolate which is great for grabbing on the go, or for sitting in.
Where are your favorite hot chocolate spots? Tell us in the comments!
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Alexandra Smith is majoring in Psychology, with a minor in Creative Writing. In her free time, she enjoys running, hanging out with family friends, and roaming the world with her camera in hand.