You wouldn’t think of Seoul as a hot chocolate city…but you should. Actually Seoul is a lot of things you probably don’t realise, it is really an amazing place. What makes it even more special in my eyes, not surprisingly, is that there is a good hot chocolate near all of the main tourist areas. Best of both worlds.
The main tourist attraction you will inevitably visiting at some point during your trip is Gyeongbok Palace or G Palace as I started calling it. There are so many different palaces across the city, all worth visiting which makes it difficult as a tourist to balance Palaces vs everything else. Gyeongbok Palace was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty build in 1395. It is stunning and you could easily spend a whole day here wondering around. Rent a traditional outfit (hanbok) from one of the shops close by (or your hotel if they offer them) and walk through the grounds for an hour or two, preferably around the time they have different ceremonies.
Before, or after, you visit (I chose before), turn left instead of entering the front gates. Walk two blocks and then turn right. This little area has all sorts of little local restaurants filled with locals out on their lunch breaks. And right there, and it is impossible to miss, is another palace or rather a castle, the Chocolate Castle.
It isn’t a castle so much, well not at all actually. The opposite of a castle if you go by size. It is tiny but in this tiny space you have two tables, 3 leather chairs, a display case, hot chocolate making equipment and one staff. Hot Chocolates are served in paper cups (unfortunately…again not very castle like, you could have a lot of fun with castle themed mugs for the hot chocolate). There are a few options including mocha, one with added cinnamon and most have some sort of alcoholic element to them (a party castle) including one with mint liqueur, baileys. All use dark chocolate as a base (between 60% and 74%). The kicker, they use Fletchin chocolate for all of their products. Fletchin makes beautify chocolate which is usually quite expensive. This hot chocolate was one of best I’ve had for this price. I savoured every last drip of it sitting on my tiny sort of table next to the window.
Verdict: The location might not feel very castle like but the hot chocolate sure does. There are several locations including one within the Chocolate Museum in Jeju, the second largest chocolate museum in the world. Chateau Chocolat, Seoul, Korea