“Touched by her fingers, the two surviving chocolate people copulate desperately, losing themselves in a melting frenzy of lust, spending the last of their brief borrowed lives in a spasm of raspberry cream and fear.” ― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman
I’m sitting in my newest discovery in Luxembourg… The Chocolate House… appropriately named since it’s chocolate, chocolate and some more chocolate! But, sweet tooth, cravings, choco-lust, can’t stop…could all have been as appropriate as names!
Seeing as it faces the palace in Luxembourg though, ‘The Chocolate House’ might have been the safest choice! 🙂
A friend back home in Delhi told me about the place just last evening and although she said only a few words about it… she had me at ‘chocolate art’. So I finished up French class today and immediately walked the short distance to the Grand Ducal Palace facing which is this cafe. I walked in expecting nothing in particular but what I imagined was a quaint bakery or chocolate shop. I’ve seen many of those recently between Luxembourg and our visits to Belgium and Germany and that was my reference point.
The Chocolate House is definitely a chocolate shop! but its also so much more interesting and creative! Firstly, I walked in to find this wall covered top to bottom with tiny packets of what look like wooden spoons with Chocolate on the ends. In fact, that’s exactly what they are. As I described to my younger brother a while ago… “long wooden spoons kind of stuck into cubes of chocolate of every flavor you can think of”. And here I am not exaggerating at all… ginger chocolate, almond raspberry (this is what I tried), Pear Cinnamon (wow!), Honey Salt, Oreo, hazelnut, flavors just for kids, almond, a dozen peanut flavor combinations…the list is endless! I could try a flavor a day till Christmas and not get through even half the options here.
With this wall of chocolate in front of me, it was no surprise that I was a little lost! I guess I looked sufficiently like a babe in the woods because the lady behind the counter very kindly explained to me that I needed to pick a flavor :p Yep! that’s where the explanation kind of ended… so I picked a flavor, she was delighted and sent me on my way upstairs… to do what exactly?? I wondered… I came in to get a hot chocolate and all I had was a delicious looking chocolate cube on a stick.
So I walked up the narrow circular staircase and the first floor did not disappoint either! Stone walls, big glass windows through which you can see the Ducal Palace and beautiful raw wooden chairs and tables add to the quaint-ness of the place. Huge completely out-of-place chandeliers make the place almost quirky and add to this… my favorite part… on the walls are huge brightly colored paintings of Bob Marley, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and even The Monalisa (still smiling but far more colorful than was the style back then!). These are for sale and whether anyone shops here or not, the cafe would not be the same without them. This absolute visual mish-mash combined with the sound of Bob Marley’s ‘Don’t Worry’ makes for a very welcoming space on a day with -3 degree temperature outside!
After a few repeat performances of my lost look, an unsure stand-still on the first floor, some climbing up and down the stairs a few times and basically feeling like a complete fool, I finally met another kind soul who immediately told me she could tell I’m completely lost (yes, travel is humbling if nothing else!!). Now that I’m one delicious hot chocolate smarter, let me explain what she did… you pick your flavor of chocolate on a stick and then they give you a big mug of steaming hot milk. You need to immerse this stick in the milk and then just kind of sit there swirling it about while you chat/read/look around. The chocolate slowly melts off the stick and mixes into the milk, making it the smoothest yummiest most satisfying hot chocolate you made yourself! What could be better. You top this brilliant cup with some marshmallow and cream and Voila! you have yourself an authentic Chocolate House delight.
If the chocolate wasn’t enough, I added a slice of brilliant marble cake-like pie to my table.
I’m still struggling to finish it so am going to get back to it, but the next time you’re in the neighborhood and craving some warmth chocolate, this is definitely the place to go.