Nothing speaks of childhood indulgence like stuffing your face with too many sweets. For an extra special outing, why not venture away from local pick ‘n’ mix and treat the little ones to a trip to a confectionery wonderland. Chocoholics and sugar fiends — prick up your ears as we look at the nation’s top spots for indulging that sweet tooth.
Cyber Candy is a modern, family-run confectioner with stores in London’s Covent Garden and North Laine Brighton. Their huge virtual candy store allows speedy sweet-searching by country or type, but in contrast to this 21st century twist, CyberCandy’s cosy shopfront in Covent Garden looks just like a sweet shop from days of yore: big friendly windows looking onto brightly-lit, enticing treats. Parents are sure to get a buzz from the nostalgia factor, while kids will enjoy the mouthwatering range of bites from across the pond. Among other things, Cyber Candy is an ideal place to bag iconic USA snacks like chocolate-covered pretzels, zany-flavoured Pop Tarts, American Hershey bars and more.
A favourite of Roald Dahl and recipient of a Royal Warrant for supplying chocolate to The Queen, Prestat is a fun and prestigious chocolate haven near Piccadilly Circus that promises adventure and indulgence from the moment you walk in the door. The shop was the brainchild of Antoine Dufour, whose illustrious family invented the chocolate truffle in 1895. With such renowned chocolatiers involved, it’s little wonder that Prestat’s gorgeous morsels have evolved and endured for over 100 years. The shop is playfully coloured in bright blues, violets, yellows and reds, with a traditional counter offering kids of all ages a mouthwatering peek at the delectable treats. Each luscious bite is handcrafted, filled and wrapped in Prestat’s own factory, creating a truly singular set of flavours.
The Oldest Sweet Shop in England
The aptly named Oldest Sweet Shop in England opened its delightful doors more than 180 years ago in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Its owners continue to provide a tempting array of top quality sweets from a bygone era, celebrating England’s rich history of even richer foodstuffs. The charmingly archaic store is famous for its low timber ceiling and shelves weighed down with overflowing jars of British-made treats. Catering for every sweet lover’s tastes, the shop’s range of candies includes the classic Rhubarb and Custard and famous Kendal Mint Cake, in addition to a variety of sour and fizzy confections. As a proudly old-fashioned outlet, the shop is focused on homely personal service from staff who are genuinely passionate about the shop’s sugary history.
Artisan du Chocolat
Found in numerous locations throughout London including the heart of Chelsea and the upmarket environs of Notting Hill, Artisan du Chocolat boasts exquisite chocolate bars from all over the world. Taste chocolate made from Haiti’s first cocoa bean harvest since 2010, or the enticing dark bar of the Congo. Children will love the exotic variety and special kids’ range, featuring chocolate frogs, the unique Bunny Lolli and even UFOs crafted from popping space dust. Deluxe chocolate ‘magic wands’ even offer the chance to mix fruity and spicy sticks to create brand new flavours. At Borough Market you can gulp down a steaming cup of Artisan’s famous hot chocolate – before heading home to hunt down the recipe!
Hope and Greenwood
Bringing delicious classics and splendid originals to their confectionery stores in London, Miss Hope and Mr Greenwood pride themselves on appealing treats whose gorgeous design leaps off the shelves. They offer everything from traditional British fudges to strawberry bonbons for tantalising those taste buds. Try their homemade inventions for something a little off-the-wall — eccentric slices of English charm that include Gingerbread Humbugs and tangy Fizz! Bang! Wallops! ‘Funbags’ of jelly babies or imaginative mixes make a perfect treat for the little ones, and each comes with its own collector’s badge. Visit the H&G stores in Dulwich and Covent Garden, or pop along to John Lewis Foodhalls, Selfridges, House of Fraser and more for a taste of their splendid sweets.
Specialising in decadent cakes and chocolate gifts for special occasions, Choccywoccydoodah in Brighton is the ultimate destination for chocoholics, so renowned that they’ve bagged their own reality TV show! The staff are accomplished artists, designers and chocolatiers who craft elaborate treats to tickle your sweet tooth. The extravagant window display currently features solid chocolate poodles decked out in marshmallow fur alongside a glamorous lady in a gorgeously sugary dress, and it only gets more luscious from there. Belgian chocolate figures are available for a picturesque indulgence, from beautifully crafted penguins and polar bears to pigs and kitsch kittens. Kids will adore the mountainous stacks of cakes and munchies waiting in the rich interior.
These tempting tips have been provided by Show and Stay, the UK theatre break provider.