Hot chocolate

With a bright and colourful yet classy interior, Chococo seem to have set this perfect tone of ‘a kid in a candy store all grown up’. Anyone following a vegan lifestyle might normally walk straight past a chocolate haven such as this, expecting little to be on offer for them, accept perhaps for a plain bar of bitter dark chocolate. Fear not, chocolate fans! Vegan options certainly aren’t few and far between here at Chococo.

Hot chocolates, available in three different intensities depending on your taste-buds, can be made with soya or almond milk, and a wide variety of dairy-free dark chocolate can be found across the shelves and on the counter. On our visit to the store we sampled some beautifully packaged, rich and creamy vegan chocolate made using coconut milk. The four dairy-free individual chocolates beckoning from behind the glass cabinet didn’t escape either, and it was a real surprise how creamy they were. Chilli Cacao, Almond, Cherry, and Ginger were the flavours available, all as delicious as the next, giving no reason to suspect these were anything but well-made, luxury chocolates. Something worth noting, however, is that although the vast majority of dark chocolate is vegan, the honeycomb varieties do contain honey.

The show stopper here, though, was the dark chocolate covered salted caramel popcorn brittle. Yes, it’s as good as it sounds. Admittedly it’s pretty pricey for the amount you get inside the packet, but it’s perfect for a special occasion, a gift (for someone you know will share with you) or, you know, just a difficult Wednesday. You deserve it, after all.

Fusing indulgence and elegance, Chococo clearly pride themselves on the taste, quality and appearance of their products

Handmade in our neighbouring county of Dorset, you can taste the careful preparation that’s gone into developing these chocolates, and it’s not gone unnoticed but those in the know, as Chococo have won their fair share of awards over the years. Fans of mint may just find their new favourite right here, in the dark chocolate mint-flavoured studded slabs.

Opened in June 2016, the Exeter chocolate house is the third of Chococo’s small chain, since husband and wife team Andy and Claire Burnet started the company when they began making fresh chocolate in 2002. The original store can be found in Swanage, Dorset, with the second setting up home in Winchester in 2013. The store offers a good selection of seating downstairs and upstairs, for you to sit back and take in the intensity of that 100% cocoa hot chocolate.

Fusing indulgence and elegance, Chococo clearly pride themselves on the taste, quality and appearance of their products. With higher prices reflecting this, a shopping trip here could be considered a treat-only occasion. But for somewhere to escape to for a comforting hot chocolate, or for that vegan in your life who deserves a special something (like a full vegan hamper if you can’t decide) – we’re happy you’re here, Chococo.

22 Gandy Street, Exeter, EX4 3LS

Chilli chocolates in cabinet

Chocolate for baking

Slabs of flavoured chocolate

Close up of chocolates in cabinet

Bars of chocolate

Chocolates in glass cabinet

Exterior of Chococo shop