Carmel is a beautiful little town. It is obviously a playground for the rich and famous that live in the mansions surrounding the town (and in the charming little hobbit like houses dotted around town). It is also known for being full of artists, writers and poets. Clint Eastwood is also its mayor. The town is just a short drive away from Monterrey. Although you need to pay a little bit to access the road, the 17 Mile Drive between Carmel and Monterrey was beautiful, with lots of stunning stops to admire perfect beaches and wildlife on one side, and famous golf courses (Pebble Beach being one of them) and massive celebrity homes on the other. There are beautiful cypress trees, harbour seals, and the Lodge and Pebble Beach which, apparently, has an excellent hot chocolate.

While in Carmel, visit Carmel Coffee & Cocoa Bar for lunch or a snack. They have a serious hot chocolate menu. You can choose hot chocolates made with a particular brand of chocolate; Ghiardelli, Bellagio or Scharffenberger. You can choose between milk, white, 62%, 70%. They also have a range of specialty hot chocolates, a rich chocolate truffle hot chocolate, a Mexican spiced hot chocolate with cinnamon, vanilla bean and almond, and a sipping chocolate made of pure cocoa powder, chocolate liqueur and cocoa butter. To accompany your hot chocolate, they offer a multicultural mix of food items. We explored their Ramen East meets west menu and ordered a number of ramen bowls with wontons. They have whatever you have a craving for…and its good.              

Verdict: A beautiful spot on a beautiful coast. Carmel Coffee & Cocoa Bar, Carmel Plaza, Carmel by Sea, California, USA