Welcome to San Juan – Hot Chocolate Embajador, San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic

  When I was young, I would regularly spend summers with my grandparents in the San Juan de la Maguana, and on Sundays we would get all dressed up and walk along the main street to my Aunt’s house. She lived right next to a large park where a band would play in the evening. They would start with the national anthem (the Dominican national anthem is impossibly long) before playing popular merengue songs. All generations would be present too, from grandparents sitting on park benches to kids running between the trees. While on the surface San Juan has changed since then, in many ways it hasn’t changed at [...]

Hot Chocolate at Xocolat, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

For a chocolate shop, Xocolate isn’t exactly the prettiest one I’ve seen. When we visited, the counters were a bit of a mess, and the walls were painted hot pink with huge pictures of semi appetising looking chocolates on them. But the display case was filled with really delicious looking creations and even more importantly, they had a lot of hot chocolate options. I wasn’t expecting to have a good hot chocolate today, especially considering we were visiting one of the largest shopping malls in Santo Domingo. We were here to waste some time really and had been walking around [...]

January 13th, 2014|Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, SOUTH AMERICA/CARIBBEAN|

Hot Chocolate at Bondelic, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

While in Santo Domingo, Rich celebrated his birthday. Everyone said that the best place to get a birthday cake was Bondelic and luckily for us, it was only a few minutes walk from the apartment. Bondelic is all about being happy. It was light and airy. The walls and windows are covered in little illustrations of cupcakes, cookies, pieces of pies, cakes and little forks. Straight ahead of you is a large counter filled with really tempting looking cakes and sweets. The first time we came here we picked up at least 7 different mini desserts to bring home to [...]

December 6th, 2013|Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, SOUTH AMERICA/CARIBBEAN|

Hot Chocolate at La Bicylette, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Jardin Botanico in Rio is beautiful. Even if you are not a garden type of person this one is quite stunning. Founded in 1808 the 140 hectare park lies in what is colloquially known as “the arm pit of Christ”, in the neighbourhood directly underneath the right arm of the Christ Redeemer statute. It contains 6,000 different species of plants and trees including 900 varieties of palm trees alone. It was designated a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1992. Right outside the front doors of the garden across from a little pond full of turtles sunning themselves on planks of [...]

August 31st, 2012|Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, SOUTH AMERICA/CARIBBEAN|

Hot Chocolate at Confeteria Colombo (Copacabana), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

We visited Confetaria Colombo Café Centro during our first days in Rio, and had the pleasure to visit Confeitaria Colombo’s Copacabana café  on the last day of our trip, just before going to the airport. This one is tucked inside the Fort of Copacabana that separates Copacabana beach from Ipanema beach and from where you have a stunning view of all of Copacabana and the open water. To get into the fort you need to pay a few dollars but it is worth it, not just because it is a lovely and interesting walk, but because this café is within [...]

August 30th, 2012|Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, SOUTH AMERICA/CARIBBEAN|

Hot Chocolate at Rei do Mate, Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Overlooking the lovely and quiet Urca neighbourhood are two very large hills that rise straight up from the water’s edge around Rio. The peaks have been given the name of SugarLoaf mountain because they resemble the piles of sugar that were transported on ships in the 16th century. Today SugarLoaf is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. At 4pm, just in time for sunset, we caught the clear glass cable car up to the first hill and then again up to the second, a 1400m route. The original cable car was build in 1912 but still seems to [...]

August 18th, 2012|Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, SOUTH AMERICA/CARIBBEAN|

Hot Chocolate at Kopenhagen, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I spent a bit of time searching online for hot chocolates in Rio before I set foot there. In many of my searches and conversations with locals, Kopenhagen came up. Kopenhagen is a chain or chocolate chops across Brazil (in 60 different cities in fact). They have been around for 80 years and even though their name isn’t very Brazilian (at all), the chocolates are. We found one of their stores near Ipanema beach and went in for a hot chocolate. There was no sign really explaining what options they had so I said in my best Portuguese “un chocolate [...]

August 15th, 2012|Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, SOUTH AMERICA/CARIBBEAN|
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