Shares

I interrupt my (ir)regularly (un)scheduled posts to bring you this newsflash. Today we found a treasure, a true gem in the most unlikely of places. It must be what Columbus felt when he discovered America, or Alexander Graham Bell when the telephone finally worked. Okay, maybe not that dramatic, but still, I stepped off a pavement in Peckham, London and into a Chocolaterie in France.

Melange

Stepping in to The Melange Chocolate Shop, our senses were enveloped by a heady aroma which immediately made me think of Chocolat and the magical way the character Vianne used her chocolate to reform and unite a French village.

The décor is simple, rustic and there are very few tables, with space for no more than about ten people. The intimate interior affords customers the opportunity to converse with each other, yet still allows private conversations huddled over steaming mugs of exceptional hot chocolate.

Time Out recently mentioned The Melange as having one of the best hot chocolates in London, and I cannot argue. And I’ve tried a few hot chocolates in my time. Hot, thick and rich, this chocolate doesn’t disappoint.

And the owner, a lovely French lady, Isabelle Alaya, knows it. We ordered some chocolate cake, and she recommended we share. Not desperate to push sales, she suggested that a drink and cake might be too much.

She was right. Halfway through our hot chocolate we decided to just take the slice of cake home with us. She wrapped it in brown paper and seemed pleased.

The Melange also sells beautiful bars of Belgian chocolate and is not afraid to try different flavours. We sampled the Basil and Lemon, Ginger and Lime and my personal favourite, the Cinnamon and Bergamot. And at £6 per 100g it was hard to walk out without one of each!

Isabelle has such a welcoming, conversational manner that it’s easy to forget you’re in a café and not in a friend’s living room.

I am really glad that The Melange is not at the bottom of my street. My waistline just wouldn’t cope.

Categories: Products Reviews

15 Comments

A Peckham Gem – The Melange Chocolate Shop

  1. I first encountered the magical delights of the coupling of chocolate and wine at ‘The Melange Social Club’on Kingsland Rd.over 4 years ago.I would often stop in on my way home from the ‘Poetry Cafe’ where I worked as a chef at the time.One winters early evening I walked in from the cold and a most delicious aroma of melting chocolate and some wonderful mysterious secondary scent wafted through the air.It was coming from the kitchen where Isabelle, a french woman who ran the club was tempering chocolate.
    Over the next several months I sampled her thin shards of a variety of chocolates always accompanied by a selected wine. The counter balance of these combinations was a marvelous experience. As the chocolate slowly melted on the tongue,you would have sip of wine.The wine would open the flavours of the ingredients of the chocolate perfectly and lift the taste to a new level. Luxurious,subtle alchemical changes occured in the palate. It was truly a ‘Melange’ of flavours. It reflected the ethos of the club, which was a cultural haven of unlikely combinations of musicians,poets and painters with diverse approaches; brought together they worked in new and unusual ways. I am happy to hear Isabelle is continuing her artistry as a chocolatier.I would recommend going to Peckham to visit the Melange Chocolate Shop, it will be well worth the trip. Congratulations Isabelle for carrying on the tradition of an untraditional vision. ~Teal Fraser

  2. Hi! That sounds like a really good place to have a conversation with an old friend and catch up on things or just relax and read a book. I’ve been looking for a similar place here in Australia but nothing sounded like the coziness of The Melange Chocolate Shop.

  3. Had melted chocolate on toast drizzled with olive oil at Melange, seriously delicious remake of tapas classic. The mulled wine sorbet is another delight.

  4. I thought about doing a chocolate workshop there for my birthday but did the knickers thing instead, but Lou works round the corner from there, so pops in to get me chocolate all the time!

    Also check out Crossroads Cafe next to it – the best cafe around! I had the most delicious grilled chicken, rice, chips, salad and coffee yesterday for £4.70. Despite it being a builder’s caf, they love kids in there are the owners are Turkish. And the Victoria Inn pub opposite does amazing food, but expensive.

  5. Went to the mélange chocolate cafe and was blown away I just didn’t think a place like this existed in london let alone Peckham. I will be telling everyone to try it out, the chocolate tastes divine and the place has such a relaxing atmosphere it’s very reasonably priced I think I’ve just found my dream place what more could you want than to chill out drink lovely coffee eat delicious home made sorbet and taste excuisite chocolate oh yes and I will be back to try the hot chocolate on Sunday.

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