A hot chocolate is like a hug from the inside.

In the words of the Welsh wizard and all-round sex bomb, Tom Jones “Baby it’s cold outside”. Now a quick Google or an NHS brochure may suggest you put an extra layer on, sit close to the radiator and all other reasonable suggestions but we have never been a fan of reasonable. The only way to truly warm up and increase your level of happiness 10000% simultaneously, is to dive head first (not literally) into a big hot chocolate. The kind of drink where the squirty cream mountains cascade down the sides like hot lava and although it’s definitely a drink, sometimes you have to chew it.

So it is with these next pictures that we encourage you to stay warm  with a hot chocolate in your hand. Yes a scarf is sensible but they’re not half as delicious. Warning: you may or may not drool and/ or develop feelings for these next pictures.

BOLD ST COFFEE

Every now and then a drink borders on a cross between beverage and a work of art. This is a guaranteed twelve likes on Instagram.

MOOSE Coffee

Moose don’t do things by halves. The pancakes are stacked sky scraper high, the hash is serving with a forklift and their hot chocolate weighs in not far off a new born baby.

92 DEGREES COFFEE

Grab a hot chocolate and a window seat and bask in the beauty of Hope Street as it turns dark and rainy. Warning: this is likely to result in you pretending you’re in a music video.

MUSTER

Not your ordinary hot chocolate by any means. The ‘freak shake’ epidemic has spilled over to the hot chocolate world and we definitely approve. The Reese’s Pieces one is silly good.

Marmalade Skies

Ginger bread hot chocolate. Autumn in cup and a hug in a mug – what more could you want?

COAST

This is no ordinary hot chocolate – this is an orange hot chocolate. You read that out in a seductive M&S voice didn’t you?

COFFEE & FANDISHA

Famous for the coffee but don’t underestimate the hot chocolate. Impossible to drink without a splotch of it ending up on your nose.

Photo by Ian MacMichael

Barley & Beans

Toblerone loaded hot chocolate. The only four words you’ll need to get you through anything in life.

THE MOON & PEA

Aptly named “fabulous hot chocolate”. Chunks of Mars bar, Malteaser and chocolate sauce. Dog not included.

ROCOCO

A rich and silky hot chocolate with a mountain of cream and mini-marshmallows at your own disposal. This is all we want in life.

THE YOG BAR

You ever seen anything more beautiful than this super mint hot chocolate? Yeah, we didn’t think so.

THE QUARTER

Well known for being slap bang in the middle of two Cathedrals and offering some of the most picturesque views, The Quarter does a mean hot chocolate too. Just look at it.

LEAF

Would it surprise you to hear the tea enthusiasts at LEAF whip up a pretty mean hot choccy too? Grab one, grab a couch by the window and people watch.

Roast Coffee & Kitchen

Roast provides the perfect respite for the good people of Crosby and their hot chocolate is an absolute winner. Look at that lovely cake in the background too just asking to be eaten.

COW & CO Cafe

If you fancy a respite from the humdrum of the high street, slew to Cow & Co and ask for a hot chocolate. Thank us later.

FILTER + FOX

It’s the little things in life that make a difference and anyone who has been to Filter + Fox before, will know that little wafer is a game-changer. Don’t forget to dip.

Crosby Coffee

You know what can make a good hot chocolate great? A tipple of Baileys. Christmas comes early with a sip of this bad boy.

HOST

So pretty and well presented you almost don’t want to drink it. ALMOST.

Honourable mentions: Siren, Interesting Eating Co, Cafe Tabac, Soul Cafe.

Fancy discounts at places like Cow & Co Cafe, The Moon & Pea, Rococo and more? Grab yourself an Independent Liverpool Membership Card. It’s just £15 for one or £20 for two for exclusive discounts at over 100 independents in Liverpool. Shop local and save money. Grab yours here.