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Dark Sugars, Brick Lane

Passion and heritage is reflected in the friendliness of the staff

Passion and heritage is reflected in the friendliness of the staff

Dominic Tixerant

Taking a Sunday evening stroll along Brick Lane there is much to grab your attention, quirky punk bands, Turkish/Indian fusion cuisine stalls and endless vintage shops sprawling with Doherty doppelgangers (Pete). All be it, the one place that grabbed my attention on the chilly winters eve was Dark Sugars Cocoa House, the family owned chocolatier and café that’s sweet aroma and dancing staff meant a peak inside was a necessity.
Upon arrival, amongst the crowds (Warning: it is exceptionally busy), friendly staff bopping around to lively Latin American and African beats greet you with trays of tasters before you enter the minimalist, beautiful and warm interior. The Tia Maria, and hazelnut praline flavours were particular favourites. Looking around the shop the furnishing added to the elegant rustic feel, chocolate chunks stacked in mango leaf bowls ran along one wall whilst carefully decorated and immaculately organised more elaborate chocolates lined the other. Through to the other half of the shop is the café and trying a hot chocolate from here is a must! The hazelnut praline hot chocolate was like no winter warmer I have tasted; chocolate made in the store is melted in to give its flavour creating a rich, thick and delicious treat.
What makes the Dark Sugars even more special is the story you learn from every detail in the shop. Its founder Fatou Mendy, spent over three years travelling South America and Western Africa learning the secrets of cocoa before learning the trade in both Belgium and Switzerland. This passion and heritage is reflected in the friendliness of the staff, the beautiful wood craft and portraits of those involved in the business on the walls and above all chocolate that is from another dimension. The commitment to excellent chocolate is evident in that all of the cocoa is roasted in the shop and all the chocolate is made there. Brick Lane is known for its curry houses and bagel shops, but this gem puts chocolate firmly on the map.