Chocolate was one of the few comforts of my usual life back in the States that I was reluctant to set aside.
Chocoholism is real. Take it from me, a shameless addict. The stress of traveling and the holidays can take the urge for chocolaty goodness to a whole new level. My usual choice at home is Milano’s double chocolate cookies, but these were not sold at any markets I went to in Europe. My substitute while living in Spain became Principe’s—an LU brand of chocolate cream sandwiched between two crunchy, golden wafers. Chocolate was one of the few comforts of my usual life back in the States that I was reluctant to set aside. But when I got “the itch” while traveling to Cambridge, I was committed to exploring a new frontier of sweets. I had heard tales of English chocolates and minced pies. I was ready for an adventure.
My first indulgence took place early the day after I arrived. The cold was biting, my stomach empty. Before I set off strolling across the manicured college lawns, I needed a sugary shock to revive my senses. My host led me to his favorite café, Trockel, Ulmann & Freunde at 13 Pembroke Street. I was warmed not only by the delicious hot chocolate I ordered, but also by the photographs of sunny beaches tacked onto the walls. The drink was topped with deliciously rich whipped cream, and came with two complimentary chocolate chip cookies for dunking! I also ordered my first mince pie. It was a perfectly flaky, mini treasure chest of pie filled with gooey apple jam, cinnamon and raisins. This homey establishment also offered an assortment of original-recipe soups, sandwiches and cakes made fresh daily. It was just the kick I needed to keep me going…for a while.
Any chocoholic knows post-dinner time is particularly crucial, so later that evening I desperately took to the streets in search of a fix. I found myself on heaven’s doorstep when I rounded the corner of St. Andrews Street and followed the warm glow of Chocolat Chocolat like a moth to a lamp. Through the window I saw bowls filled with chocolate goop being mixed by hand. Upon entering, an angelic chocolatier offered me a “hot chocolate shot.” Deeper in the store my eyes feasted on rows of chocolate balls, cups, cones, buttons, squares, Santas and iPads. There were also freshly handmade sheets of white, milk and dark chocolate sprinkled and filled with cinnamon, hazelnut, blueberry crème, coconut, apricot—anything and everything from around the world. Many treats were elegantly wrapped and holiday themed, making this a great place to score delicious gifts. Chocolat Chocolat is a must-see for anyone with eyes and a mouth traveling to Cambridge.
Here are a few other stops I found that piqued my palate’s interest:
Fitzbillies – (52A Trumpington Street Cambridge CB2 1RG, United Kingdom) Choose from an assortment of fresh, delectable cakes and Chelsea buns served with tea and coffee.
Cambridge Crepes – A stand on Sidney Street across from NEXT. Nutella, marshmallows, and Dulce de Leche are among the long list of fillings offered for warm crepes made right in front of you. Savory fillings are also available.
Stickybeaks – (42 Hobson Street Cambridge, CB1 1NL, United Kingdom) Chocolate truffle torte, citrus scones, chocolate and apricot flapjacks and butter pudding stand out as especially sticky and sweet items on their menu.
Needless to say, visitors to Cambridge are bound to leave with a swollen sweet tooth, and in my case, a well-satisfied addiction.
Article written by Danielle Douez.
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