I have been to knoops before, back in 2018. The hot chocolate was amazing. Both excellent and very different. As I was back in Rye just last weekend I thought I would pop in and try it again. I looked up the knoops website and was interested to find out that there are now four stores. The one in Rye is still there, but there are a couple in London and another opening soon. When I had visited a few years ago I had no idea it would franchise out into a chain. Somehow that just didn’t seem very likely.
But I was wrong. Now knoops is a chain and the Rye shop is just one of the outlets. But, most importantly, was the hot chocolate any good? The short answer, yes, it was. It was very good, but there was one thing missing. Something not as it was back in 2018. When I had originally visited the Rye shop was run by the owner and he was brilliant at explaining everything about the different percentages of cocoa and what that meant.
This time round it was just like going to any other chain. Perhaps a bit nicer, but it didn’t have that local feel, that independent feel. I guess that is the price you pay for things expanding. The loss of the personal touch. The loss of that feel of something truly unique.
Knoops is still good though. The hot chocolate is still good, and I would still recommend it to anyone who likes hot chocolate.
It has been a long time since I was last in Rye. I think it was 2018 actually. It is a lovely little town. Full of Character and history, and, over the years, I have spent many happy times there.
I was due to go back in 2020, but like so many plans, that had to be put on hold. So it was wonderful to get back there again. Just for a few days, and with the intention of doing very little indeed. In fact, just being somewhere other than at home is a blessing these days, and I’m sure that many people feel the same.
The last time I visited Rye I stayed in the windmill, and it was so lovely that I had to go back. In many ways I am just glad that it is still there. So many places and businesses have vanished through the pandemic and I am very happy to say that the windmill in Rye is not one of them.
The actual windmill suite is the top two floors of the windmill itself, and as such is fully self contained. You might wonder why I wanted to stay there again. I think that I just like windmills. This one is obviously not a working mill. I don’t think it would be quite as comfortable a stay if it were working, but from the outside it is still obvious what the building was, and inside is very comfortable indeed.
As a place to stay it is very peaceful, and more than anything, that is what I needed. As my stay was just prior to a number of lockdown restrictions being lifted it was a slightly different stay in Rye to previous visits, but that was okay. I didn’t mind. Also the weather was particularly horrible, but again, I think at the moment I can forgive a great deal just to be somewhere other.
As a location I can commend it in every way, and, if you are interested in staying here, you should take a look at this website. I am sure that I will go back again. Perhaps not this year, but certainly in the future. Even in poor weather it is a lovely place to just be.