Wednesday, 27 June 2018

A secret Moroccan garden, hidden behind a London chocolate shop

In blogging, it's easy to lose sight of why you started at all, getting caught up in the nuances of SEO and social media, the pageviews and follower numbers instead. For me though, I started blogging as a way to share my discoveries with people: hidden cafes, little-known beaches and secret gardens. If people actually read it - well, that's just a bonus.

Somewhere I went recently reminded me of my love for finding - and sharing - secret spots. That place is a Moroccan courtyard garden, tucked away behind a chocolate shop in the fancy streets of Belgravia in west London.

Motcomb Street is typical of Belgravia, with boutique shops and pavement cafes hiding a quaint mews street. Rococo Chocolates is one of these shops. Stepping inside feels a little bit like stepping into a shop run by Willy Wonka's older, more sophisticated sister. A curved, gleaming counter of fresh chocolates tempts the well-heeled clientele, while towards the back, a coffee counter reveals that the shop doubles up as a cafe. I'd be willing to bet that the majority of visitors don't even bother peeking out of the window into the back yard below. I they did, they been unable to resist slinking down the carpeted staircase and outside for a closer look.

Four small round metal tables are dotted around the petite patio area, each sporting a Moroccan-style mosaic table top. The majority of the floor is also paved with Moroccan tiles - it's amazing this place hasn't gained more notoriety among London Instagrammers to be honest, but on a Monday morning in early June, I've got the garden to myself. The high, concrete walls which separate it from Rococo's neighbours only add to the seclusion, but the plentiful greenery and items of Moroccan decor tips the garden over the line from intimidating to enchanting.

Blue and beige wall tiles put me in mind of Marrakech's Les Jardines Majorelles, although the recurring blue theme could just as easily be a nod to Rococo's own livery. The wall is mounted with a parade of mirrors, an extra layer of charm.  Get yourself a hot chocolate, or one of Rococo's inventively-flavoured ice creams, kick back, and enjoy the tranquility of it all.

Rococo Chocolates, Motcomb Street. Belgravia, SW1X 8JU. I visited for work to film, which is why I didn't get a chance to take many photos, but you can see the video here.

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