Blog name and URL: Ultimate Hot Chocolate
Where were you born? Ottawa, Ontario
Where are you living now? Constantly changing but home base is Ottawa
Why did you start your blog?
I travel a lot and wherever I travel to I always drink hot chocolate. I wanted to share pictures and information about the places I was visiting and the beautiful cafes and hot chocolates I was finding with family and friends.
How did you decide on your blog name?
I think the best way to explore a new (or known) city is to organize your day around where you can stop to sip a hot chocolate. This brings you into new neighborhoods, gives you a chance to watch and meet the locals and get a feel for the different flavours, smells and sounds. It also gives you the chance to discover fantastic independent cafes and businesses. I started seeing my trips as a search around the world for the Ultimate Hot Chocolate – a place that not only has a beautiful hot chocolate but an unforgettable experience in terms of the city, the café, the setting, the presentation. My search continues…
What do you blog about?
I blog about different hot chocolates around the world, the cafes/restaurants I find them in and travel tips from the cities/towns that those cafes are in. You don’t have to be a lover or even drinker of hot chocolate to follow. In fact most of my readers follow for the café and travel recommendations.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you?
Hot Chocolate Chocolate Cortes, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic is one of my very first posts but is the hot chocolate that started my love for hot chocolate when I was little. This popular store bought brand turns into something magical when prepared by my grandmother (or any of the women in my family), especially when fresh ginger is added and specifically when it is presented in this particular mug. Reading this old review also reminds me of how far I’ve come with the blog.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
My favourite hot chocolate at the moment in terms of chocolate, presentation, back story, overall experience is East Elevation in Melbourne Australia. This innovative café shares their space with a bean to bar chocolatier called Monsieur Truffe. The café space is divided into two with a glass wall in between so you can sit down, eat incredible food and watch the chocolatiers prepare your hot chocolate. They offer 5 different hot chocolates including 3 single origin options but their house blend hot chocolate is perfect in my eyes.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
Café de Flor in Paris. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because so many people visit Paris but I have had a lot of people comment and share this picture and the post. The picture does give a really good feel of Paris and captures the essence of the Parisian hot chocolate I love.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Like everyone else I wish I could spend more on my blog! One challenge has been the pictures. I want to blend in and enjoy the moment but still take a picture that really conveys my experience while still being discrete. For example I had the most incredible hot chocolate recently in Mexico City at Dona Emi (very highly recommended) but in the moment wasn’t able to take the picture I wanted and I fear the post will get less love because of it. Luckily I got a new phone recently with a relatively good camera which means when I don’t have my camera I can still take better pictures in secret.
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
Modern Farmer. I flipped through a copy of this in a café once and was surprisingly sucked into its world. They share lots of really interesting information about the food we eat, why we eat it, how it is produced and last month made donkeys seem like the coolest animals ever.
Well preserved. I discovered well preserved when we were nominated for the same award. I remember my husband said “ some rotten food blog is beating you!” I now have lists of all the things I want to try to put in a can because of them. Fantastic site.
Modernist Cuisine. When I am looking for inspiration I stare at the pictures of food from their blog. Mesmerizing.
Favourite food – care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
Ummm….hot chocolate?:) If you consider that a food (it is) then I’ll share my current favourite hot chocolates in Canada, both in Toronto. The Spicy Mayan hot chocolate at Soma is absolutely incredible, a must try. For a cold Valentine’s Day morning I’d want to be at Fika and have one of their Lavender White hot chocolates.
What are you working on next for your blog?
I’m working on so many different things! I’ve just revamped the site and am already thinking of more upgrades. I’m looking into starting a monthly subscription box which will feature different cities around the world and hot chocolates produced by local chocolatiers in those cities. I’d also love to collect some other bloggers favourite hot chocolates. Feel free to share!
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
That I need to write an “About Me” page! You won’t see any pictures of me anywhere in the blog (my husband had to twist my arm for me to put a picture up on the home page). If you look carefully you will see pictures of him in almost every blog. It is a bit of a where’s waldo…(but in this case where’s Rich).
What makes your blog unique?
I don’t think there are any other blogs around the world about hot chocolate and travel…
What’s your Favourite FBC Feature?
I loved (and did) the 31 day blog cleanup. I made so many changes to my blog using those posts as inspiration. I regularly go back and look at them and keep thinking of new things I want to do to improve the look and feel of Ultimate Hot Chocolate.
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