It's time for tea
No. 1 Chocolate Factory, Glasgow: 63 St Georges Road, Glasgow G3 6JA, 0141 353 6017
£ 10 per person
Happy New Year! And as no one does New Year’s like the Scots do New Year’s, it’s fitting that the first review of 2013 is from Glasgow.
Located in the heart of Glasgow, just off the M8, close to St George’s underground, Kelvingrove and the Glasgow School of Art, The Chocolate factory is an amazing little treasure. It’s also close to Glasgow University, the Western Infirmary and Yorkhill Children’s Hospital and I imagine it to be a favourite with students, hospital staff and art lovers alike. The front of the space is given over to the café and the rear of the shop is an adventure playground for chocophiles. The in house chocolate factory plays host to parties where kids (and grown ups) can take part in chocolate making. The staff seem great with the children, who each get a paper hat and plastic apron to allow as much chocolate spreading as little fingers can manage without clothing coming to much harm. I have to admit my heart melted a little at the sight of a toddler in his plastic apron and too-big hat dressed in a wee kilt.
The café has a selection of sandwiches, panninis, soups and salads (well, it is January) as well as the most important meal of the day, breakfast. Vegetarian and halal options are in much abundance.
The jewel in the menu crown is the Afternoon tea for two made up – for each person- of: four sandwiches; two scones; a selection of little cakes; drinks; and a shot of luxury hot chocolate.
There was a lot of food….the left overs of which we were able to have packed and enjoy later, because we were both “light weights”. The sandwiches are just right, the bread is soft and the fillings generous. The chocolate chip scones were lovely and warm, served with clotted cream and jam. As we arrived lateish in the afternoon, the team were more than accommodating to my sister’s craving of cheesecake, swapping out one of the other cakes to make room for small slices. I can see why she loves it so much, “It’s, like, literally the best thing ever” – chocolate cheesecake nirvana, can’t say fairer than that.
My own favourite was the luxury hot chocolate, which is probably more accurately described as melted chocolate or chocolate custard, it’s so rich and yummy. It’s available in a small cup too if a shot isn’t enough.
The Chocolate Factory Café also has a selection of fresh ground coffees and teas. The Americano definitely hit the spot, as did the breakfast tea. They also serve “Glasgow Fog”, which I wasn’t able to try this time round, but I’m told is a combination of tea and coconut.
This is a great place, with a little shop at the end where you can treat yourself to more chocolate to take home or give as gifts. It’s open from 8am to 8pm. There are days and times when there might be more chocolate filled children enjoying the factory, but there are also times when this is a nice quiet place to meet friends for a chat, or to catch up on some reading.
I can’t say enough just how friendly staff were, they were smiley, welcoming and jovial, happy to chat to customers and seemed genuinely pleased to see you there. The decor is colourful, cheery and pleasing to the eye, with comfy seating all around. Large windows make the most of the Scottish weather and traditional architectural splendor. I can’t wait to go back here and work my way through the menu. It’s the kind of place that’s worth walking (nearly) 500 miles for (I’m not even a tiny bit sorry I made that joke….).
(Edit) Another fab thing about the Chocolate Factory is the creative geniuses who make the chocolate. They create entire tea stands out of chocolate. Recently, for one very happy birthday girl blogger, on request they made this:
I really hope it’s bigger on the inside, when I can bear to break into it!