Orroland Holiday Cottages

Orroland's Hot Chocolate Challenge...

We've highlighted some of our favourite places for a cup of hot chocolate (and slice of cake) in our local cafes and reviewed 'where to go' for the benefit of our guests. So, below you'll find some tempting hot chocolate variations from our pick of cafes in the local towns of Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbright and Dalbeattie.

Castle Douglas

Designs Gallery & Cafe, 179 King St, Castle Douglas 01556 504552


Designs Gallery & Cafe, Castle Douglas

Top marks for presentation!

Delicious Victoria Sponge with Cream
We passed through their lovely gift shop, headed dowstairs to the atmospheric cafe and opted for their standard hot chocolate (they also do large).We loved the quick and friendly service, even though it was quite busy. The taste lived up to its glamorous appearance; creamy rich and light with a small layer of froth on top from the steamed milk.  The decoration on top was really pretty, full marks for care and presentation. For cake lovers, their Victoria sponge cake is quite simply 'the best' and the filling of fresh cream made a pleasant change from an overload of buttercream icing. Lovely clean and stylish cafe with a friendly relaxed atmosphere. Free wifi. Can totally recommend!

Street Lights Cafe, 187 King St, Castle Douglas  01556 504222


Street Lights - Normal and Deluxe

Interior of Street Lights cafe

 A selection of cakes on the counter
 
Street Lights is on the main street in Castle Douglas, a few doors down from Designs Gallery & Cafe. There are four hot chocolate varieties on the menu, only two of which were available. We opted for the 'Hot Chocolate' and the 'Deluxe Hot Chocolate' and from the picture above you could guess which was which. The deluxe had cream, marshmallows and a flake and seemed the perfect sized mug for a special treat. Both were very enjoyable, the addition of a lovely shortbread biscuit on the spoon was a nice touch. Both needed a good stir to mix it all up as there was some powder settlement at the bottom, but it was a nice smooth taste. The cakes looked tempting on the counter and there were several to choose from. Overall a good experience, quick service and pleasant surroundings.

In House Chocolates, 128 King Street, Castle Douglas 01556 50303


Hot Chocolate & Hot Chocolate Deluxe

Quality chocolate gifts and treats

Large selection of handmade chocolates
 

This is a hard one to beat! A fantastic prize winning local chocolatier, they now have a few tables within the shop serving speciality coffees, teas and hot chocolate. In House Chocolates produces a wide range of stunning looking chocolates and truffles, as well as a selection of  bars and chocolate gifts.  The staff are friendly, efficient and enthusiastic about chocolate. All the chocolate is made on site and the hot chocolate drinks are made with real chocolate, melted in hot milk (yum!). So full of promise, surrounded by chocolate in so many forms; perfectly wrapped gifts, treats and bars. You can even hear the sound of chocolate being made in the background – if you love chocolate this is the place to be! We decided to try the hot chocolate and deluxe variety (which was just the same but with cream and marshmallows) - they also serve dark and white chocolate varieties. We were not disappointed and from the presentation to the last sip, it was pure chocolate heaven! If you wanted to go one step further they do special chocolate making workshops, but these must be booked in advance. This would be a great place to come if you are on a romantic break at Orroland's cottages, especially in autumn and winter. You could take some chocolate back to make your own hot chocolate and cosy up by the log fire!

Kirkcudbright

Mulberries Coffee Shop, 11 St Cuthbert Street, Kirkcudbright 01557 330961

American Hot Chocolate & walnut cake

Mulberries is well placed in the centre of Kirkcudbright, so is ideal if you are visiting the town for shopping or sightseeing. They have plenty on the menu for drinks, brunch and lunches and they have a tempting selection of homemade cakes too. There are good size tables inside - on sunny days you can sit outside in front of the cafe. The drinks menu boasts an impressive variety of hot chocolates; luxury hot chocolate made with real hot chocolate, American hot chocolate with cream, marshmallows & flake and flavoured hot chocolate with cream (vanilla, hazelnut, Irish cream, mint, caramel and butterscotch flavours to choose!). For this trial the American style was provided with cream, marshmallows and a flake and it was quickly served and tasted good. The coffee and walnut cake was yummy too and it was difficult to resist from the counter full of other baked delights. It is a nice, clean and well-presented coffee shop, certainly one we can recommend for both service and sustenance. 

 

The Old Schoolhouse, just off the A75 nr Ringford 01557 820250.


Inside the Old Schoolhouse

Luxury hot chocolate, Old Schoolhouse

Large selection of cakes and tray bakes
 
The Old Schoolhouse is just off the A75 a few miles from Kirkcudbright. A popular eatery for both locals and visitors to the region, it has as a nice ambiance and a large selection of homemade cakes and goodies as well as a large offering in their lunch to evening meal menu; from homemade soups to a hearty chilli. We sampled their luxury hot chocolate (Fairtrade hotchocolate) and found the service quick and friendly, we didn't have to wait long and enjoyed the taste and presentation. We have eaten here several times and enjoy the generous portion sizes of their meals, in quiet and relaxed surrounds. If you have any special dietary needs, they are pleased to offer help and advice too. The Schoolhouse at Ringford opens between 10.00am and 6.00pm daily, is closed on Wednesdays - but opens every day during the summer.

Dalbeattie

The Granite Kitchen,  62 High St, Dalbeattie 01556 610361

The Granite Kitchen, Dalbeattie

We scouted out the hot chocolate options in Dalbeattie and found one highlight ... The Granite Kitchen.

We ordered a Hot Chocolate and a Deluxe Hot Chocolate. You can probably tell which is which. Both were made with Cadbury's chocolate powder and hot milk and the deluxe version had whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate sprinkles and a chocolate spoon (hurrah!) to make it fun as well as decadent. The surroundings are pleasing, the service is friendly and there are lots of other tasty items on the menu to complete the treat. Luckily the only place for a hot chocolate in Dalbeattie is very recommendable!

New Abbey

Abbey Cottage Tearoom, New Abbey, Dumfries 01387 850377

A truly picturesque tearoom in the historic village of New Abbey, with lots of character and a very warm and friendly welcome. It is a lovely place to visit during your stay at Orroland since you can tie in a visit to this tearoom with visiting the nearby Sweetheart Abbey and also the New Abbey Corn Mill, both are fascinating and open all year round, managed now by Historic Scotland.  Our hot chocolate was rich and creamy in taste and pleasantly presented, we would recommend visiting this hidden gem. The menu is packed with delicious soups, puddings, cakes and is great for afternoon teas.

Abbey Cottage Tear