I'm using the word MOJO for this blog article, not only because it half rhymes with Soho, but to be able to try and convey the sense of magic and charm that I feel walking around the sweet spots in Soho.
I have found a place, which I didn't realise actually existed in reality because it is something that only existed in my mind. This place is called "Said" AKA chocolate heaven. It is the London branch of a well-established chocolate shop from Rome. "Said" which stands for Societa Azinoria Industria Dolciumi (the Association of the Confectionary Industry) is a chocolate shop from Rome, dal 1923 Antica Fabbrica del Cioccolato (1923 Antique Chocolate Factory.) Thankfully for us, they have now got a shop in London.
There is no fear here. No caution. No worry. People are gulping down large mugs of chocolate, getting it all over their faces, scraping the bottom of their glasses with their spoons. It is a place where liquid gianduja (hazelnut chocolate) is the accompaniment of profiteroles, where salted chocolate tortes stand proud next to beautiful individually wrapped bars. Chocolate almonds are displayed in large jars, hot chocolate bubbles in three different cauldrons (dark, milk and hazelnut) and the walls are covered in shiny chocolate moulds.
The interior is warm and inviting, with funky atmospheric music, drinks aren't overpriced (hot choc £2.20 small, £4 large) and it's a great place to hangout but where you can use your laptop to get some work done too.
Just as I'm writing this, there is an Italian guy who has just sat down and asked for a croissant with melted chocolate. "Te lo riscaldo un po'? (Shall I heat it up a touch?)" The cool Venetian waitress asks him.
I think this is my new home.
Go check it out.
Said: 41 Broadwick Street, W1F 9QL