Sunday, 22 August 2010

Chocolate Tree, Morningside, Edinburgh

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 F├╝hrer.
'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...


  1. Thankyou for your review & feedback. As owners of The Chocolate Tree we take customer service seriously, and are truly disheartened to find you have been given a poor service in our establishment. We provide our staff with training and a handbook that covers providing a welcoming, positive atmosphere for our customers, we expect them not to do this in a superficial manner, but to really try and keep an optimistic view on life and community. I am glad to say we have many good laughs & good times at The Chocolate Tree with our customers on a daily basis, it is unfortunate that your experience was not one of these. Please accept our sincere apology for the treatment you were given. I have printed your blog so the staff can read it over and see the consequence of such a simple mistake as to not welcome a customer into the building. Could you please let me know which day you came in? so I can be sure to bring this to the attention of the correct member of staff, who will be given a caution (it takes 3 of these before you can legally fire someone).
    I can assure you that everybody working with us is typically of a good natured personality & standard in personal hygiene, and she will no doubt be quite shamed by your comments.

    I'm relieved you enjoyed the hot chocolate!
    Kind Regards

  2. Hi Ali, thanks for apologising for my shoddy treatment in your establishment.
    We need more bosses like you, who take pride in their business and take action against shoddy staff- staff are part of the product after all! The Chocolate Tree is a wonderful place full of tempting treats and it's a shame that it can only take one rude 'bit of a kid' to let the place down. As you have contacted me and approached my negative feedback in such a positive manner, I will definitely return to the CT and melt away in a whirlwind of chocolate passion!

    But as I previously mentioned, this rudeness of waiting staff seems to be a plague on Morningside- let's help combat it! Even S.Luca's is getting a bit snotty which is kind of rich having minimum wage kids looking down on...shall we say 'comfortable' people?


Hi Vindaloo Kings and Queens!