Hot chocolate

I have always associated a cup of hot cocoa with winter,  glowing embers in a fire grate and bedtime.

Cup of hot cocoa


But quite what the difference between hot chocolate, cocoa and drinking chocolate is, I am not sure. Every coffee shop and tea room dutifully offer hot chocolate on their menus. But despite the topping of whipped cream, marshmallows and sprinkle of chocolate, in my mind its just cocoa.

Not that there is anything wrong with a hot cocoa on a winters day.

Best hot chocolate in the South Downs

Home baked

I generally associate cupcakes with those predictably dull office snacks that merely serve to remind one of  another wasted year. But that was until I stopped at The Two Sisters Cake Shop and Vintage Tearoom in North St in Chichester.

The Nest

Homemade and home baked at The Nest where you can treat yourself to some of the best cakes, pastries and brownies in the south of England

Homemade cakes in Sittingbourne

A small family run cafe tucked away in a quite area of Sittingbourne in Kent offering simple homemade food and good coffee.

The best coffee in Sittingbourne

Well supported by the locals they regularly host craft fairs and activities, with awell deserved reputation for their afternoon teas.

Afternoon tea in Sittingbourne

In Somerset

It’s always the same. The most interesting tea rooms, cake and coffee shops are the most difficult to find. But well worth the the time it takes.

Best delis in Somerset the south west of England

Little possets, black currant & lemon, fresh raspberries & shortbread fingers and edible flowers found at Mes Amis Beckington in Somerset. A family run, independent café and deli.

Best tea rooms in Somerset the south of England

Offering breakfasts, lunches and an eclectic display of cakes, creams and sticky stuff.

Best cake shops in Somerset the south west of England

All accompanied by selection of premium quality teas, coffees or wines.

Best coffee shops in the south of England

All the food is freshly made and can be prepared to take away. They also offer a Saturday Night takeaway meal, a weekend BBQ pack and picnic boxes.

Afternoon tea

In Eastbourne afteroon tea at The Grand Hotel is a local institution.

The best cream teas in the south of England

There are different themes throughout the year including the tennis in June.

Known as ‘The White Palace’, the Grand Hotel is one of Englands most famous Victorian era Hotels offering spectacular views out to sea and the cliffs at Beachy Head.

Afternoon tea in Eastbourne East Sussex the south of England

Tea is served in the Great Hall a stately double-height lounge complete with a grand piano, potted palms and a roaring log fire for when it is a bit colder. It can also be ordered in any of the lounges as well as on the Chatsworth Terrace overlooking the pool.

The best high teas in Eastbourne, East Sussex, the South Coast

Spoilt with a choice from a menu which includes a selection of freshly made cakes, bakes and traditional pastries

Freshly baked traditional tea pastries Eastbourne, East Sussex, the south of England

Sweet and savoury treats. A Pork & Apple Sausage Roll with ‘Grand’ Piccalilli. Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese & Chive sandwiches, Egg Mayonnaise with Watercress, Chicken & Tarragon Mayonnaise or Cucumber with Cream cheese.

The best high tea in the south of England

Or for something sweeter, their freshly baked Freshly Baked Scones with Strawberry Jam & Cornish Clotted Cream

Freshly baked scones Eastbourne, East Sussex the south coast of England


The walled garden at Cafe Paradiso at the end of North St in Chichester

Garden patio Cafe Paradiso Chichester West Sussex

is the perfect setting for a slice of their extra special chocolate cake.

Best chocolate cake Chichester West Sussex

Being Chichesters first original and strictly vegetarian restaurant everything is home baked and delicious.

Chocolate orange muffins Chichester West Sussex

If not the cake, their chocolate and orange muffins or warm blueberry scones served with butter are just as good.

Warm blueberry scone served with butter Cafe Paradiso

The menu offers an interesting range of herbal and fruit teas

Fruit and herbal teas Chichester West Sussex

As well as being vegan friendly and catering for celiac, dairy and nut alergies

Vegan mince pies Chichester West Sussex