Great chocolate, shame about the staff!
Have you seen the film Chocolat? I love that film, beautiful creations out of chocolate which change peoples' lives. I was hoping to get such a fulfilling experience out of the Chocolate Tree, an enticing gateway to chocolate heaven. It was a muggy Saturday, the air oppressive and I needed something to perk me up. As they are self proclaimed specialists in choc, I decided to head to the CT for a 'chocolat chaud' as, along with many other culinary feats, the British take on hot choc fails miserably. Either it tastes 'instant' or full of cream. I like my hot chocolate like I like my men; dark, rich, full bodied and well presented! None of this squirty cream malarkey what many Great Britons are fond of, I don't know why people pay through the nose to drink something that tastes like a concoction made by a harassed mum to help her toddler sleep. Chocolat is all about richness, a revitalising experience.
Upon entering the CT, it seemed rather run-of-the-mill inside, a bit like Starmegabucks, but with lower prices and an individual flair. However, the staff left a lot to be desired. A dreadlocked girl watched me from behind the counter in a rather unnerving manner. No pleasantries were exchanged, no hellos, no whatcanIgetyous, just sulky, stroppy tangible silence. I felt as if I had invaded her territory, interrupted on her private party. I ordered a mug of Hot Choc.
'MARSHMALLOWS AND CREAM?' she barked. Jawohl mein Führer.
'No, just the chocolate, thanks', I replied
'TWO POUNDS!' she woofed back.
No thank you, no please, not even a cheesy enjoy. My change was thrown back at me like I was a leper. I sat outside as inside was full of those annoying equine people that congregate in Morningside, students taking up tables with empty glasses of tap water, muggins taxpayer worker me being shafted yet again.
CHOCOLATE HEAVEN!!! This chocolate was heavenly, done in the best continental style, its velvety smoothness slipping down my throat. I felt like I was on set at Chocolat and the chocolate's magical powers were about to be revealed. Sumptuous. I haven't had choc this good since I worked in France in the summer of 2006. I would definitely go back to CT providing I get an apology about the rudeness of the staff member, or she gets replaced. However, as I have said in the past, it doesn't matter how good the food and drink is, what matters for me is good customer service and an ounce of respect for the people who are your bread and butter. CT looks like a classy establishment, so get some classy, polished people working there to match your product, dreadlocks don't really scream 'food hygiene'.
Maybe I could set up the Barker with the Grunter from Montpeliers! What a couple that would be! Just call me Cilla Black...