Heading to The Open this week?

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Don’t miss the chance to visit the Home of Golf Pavillion at Royal Troon. The 145th Open will be showcasing the very best food and drink produce from across Ayrshire & Arran. And Sugar & Spice will be there!
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On Thursday 14th July, Toni will be doing a talk and tasting session about the delicious handmade chocolates from the Arran Chocolate Factory. Not only can you sample these mouthwatering treats, but Toni will tell you all you need to know about this small island business and how Sugar & Spice became one of the few independent retailers to stock these luxurious chocolates.

Aside from enjoying the world-class golf, this prestigious event is also an excellent opportunity to sample all that our stunning region has to offer. Ayrshire & Arran have some of the finest food and drink produce in Scotland including: Hendricks Gin, Arran Whisky, Dunlop Cheese, Ayrshire Bacon, locally caught fish & seafood and wonderful ice cream. Fantastic tastes and flavours, combined with our beautiful coastline and rural landscape make this region a destination to be proud of.

Enjoy the golf, the scenery and the food! And don’t forget to join Toni on Thursday 14th July from 10am until 11:30am at Visit Scotland’s Home of Golf stand.

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Stuck for ideas for Father’s Day?

Let’s face it, Dads like to know that they are appreciated and what better way to make him feel special than to get him a thoughtful gift on Father’s Day. So what to get?

Well pop into the shop or have a look at our website for some inspiration. From a vast choice of whisky and gin, to sweet treats of luxurious handmade chocolates, gift-wrapped confectionery or some of our beautifully embossed tinned biscuits. You are sure to find something he’ll love.Arran 10yoGlassPack

Whisky is often a popular choice. If your Dad has a particular preference of whisky, we have several expressions to choose from and can suggest something different that’s not found in the supermarkets. If he is keen to learn more about the ‘water of life’ our new whisky learning set makes the perfect accompaniment.

 

IMG_9895pwOr perhaps he is a gin drinker? With over 30 artisan gins to choose from, you’re bound to find one that would tempt his tastebuds. From Rock Rose in the North, to NB Gin in the East, The Botanist in the West and Hendricks in the South, we have a craft gin from every corner of Scotland. Pair it with a refreshing Fever-Tree Tonic and you’re all set to go.

 

For Dads with a bit of a sweet tooth, our luxurious handmade chocolates are out of this world. Create a thoughtful gift by carefully choosing his favourite chocolates, have them boxed by hand and beautifully packaged for his special day.

He’ll also love our new range of iconic Stewart’s mint and shortbread tins or make his day with a Cuba Venchi full size chocolate cigar.

Whatever gift you choose for your Dad, we hope you spend a wonderful day together, cherish every moment and have a very Happy Father’s Day!

URGENT – PRODUCT RECALL!!!

Packed by hand with love.

Boxed chocolates from Sugar & Spice, Largs

It has come to our attention that ALL of our boxed chocolates have been sold WITHOUT ingredients labels. Disaster!!! Santa is most upset with us and has sent a message from Lapland instructing us to rectify this immediately. If you’ve eaten yours already (naughty you!) then you do not need to read any further as you already know what’s in them and maybe, just maybe, if you’ve been a good little boy or girl this year there’s a possibility someone may have bought you another box for Christmas. Think yourself lucky, especially if you have eaten chocolates that were supposed to be a gift for someone else!!!  If you have been very good and have safely stored them away for Christmas Day then the following information is for you:-

INGREDIENTS:-

Chocolates, of course, but not just your bog-standard, off-the-shelf type of chocolates that were probably manufactured by mass machinery and produced months ago.  No, we’re talking about the kind of chocolates that have been lovingly created by someone who spends all day imagining how to sum up Christmas in approximately 20g a bite.  The kind of chocolate that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside when you bite into it and it instantly reminds you of your favourite Christmas of all time.

You’ll also find some thought and consideration in the box. We like to make sure you get a selection from our cabinet, however small the box, so you may find some or all of the following:

PRALINES – Sorry, but yes pralines DO contain nuts ground down very finely so that the chocolate is nice and smooth.  You simply HAVE to taste the festive selection so make sure you get there first.

PARISIAN CREAMS – be considerate and save these for your grandparents, this will ensure they leave you something in their will – maybe more chocolates!

MARZIPAN – love it or loathe it, you’ll just have to chance it…ours may actually convert you.

TRUFFLES – wait till you taste the amaretto truffle but you’ll have to guess which one it is…you never know, if you close your eyes, make a wish and believe in Santa then this may be your lucky day.

CHERRY LIQUEURS – these are quite easy to identify as there’s a stalk coming out of them.  That’s because it really is a REAL cherry inside and you have to put the WHOLE thing in your mouth at once otherwise you’ll dribble Kirsch all down your new Christmas outfit.

CHOCOLATE GINGERS – ginger is very good for your digestive system but if you’ve absolutely stuffed yourself then it’s unlikely these will help on this occasion – maybe just have one okay?

LIQUEURS – these tend to be foil-wrapped and similar to the cherry liqueurs so they make a mess if you don’t put the whole thing in your mouth at once.  If you have a full box of these make sure you don’t drink and drive afterwards.

We’ve done our best to think of everything this year but there is one final ingredient we think you should ALL know about:

It’s called LOVE and you can never over indulge on it?  LOVE for what we do and LOVE for YOU, our customers, who keep coming back to us year after year to buy our chocolates no matter what. Thank you ALL very much!

Merry Christmas!

Much LOVE and best wishes for a very happy Christmas from all of us at Sugar & Spice, Largs. xxx

P.S. If by any remotely impossible chance you are NOT happy with your chocolates this year then please email Santa and let him know.  Alternatively, email his little elves with your dietary requirements or personal recommendations with the title “Chocolate Elf & Safety Dept” as the subject heading to info@sugar-and-spice.co.uk and we’ll see what we can do about it for Christmas next year.

PPS Sweet Caroline would like to wish you all the very best of health and wealth in 2015. 😘

It’s World Whisky Day Today!

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Today’s the day that invites everyone to try a dram and celebrate the water of life.

If you’ve never tasted Whisky before then get yourself along to Sugar & Spice today and allow me to offer you some assistance to help you celebrate World Whisky Day. Here’s a quick rundown on the regions first and, being a purveyor of handmade chocolates, a few suggestions to taste and try with your tipple. (Whisky and chocolate is fab btw):-

Lowlands – roughly between Dundee and Glasgow producing a lighter style of Whisky; fragrant, floral and fruity. Try the Auchentoshan 12 year old with our Creme Brûlée Truffles.

Highlands – encompassing many areas north of the Highlands Boundary Fault Line producing a variety of styles from spicy, aromatic whiskies in the north to fuller, slightly peaty flavours from the south. Try the new style Old Pulteney Stroma Malt Whisky Liqueur with our Besilienne Caramels. Mmm!

Speyside – ooh, now for the Creme de la Creme! Soft Scottish water produces elegant fruity malts with a drying smokiness. Sorry, but I can’t stop going on about Aberlour a’Bunadh Batch 34. Combine with our milk chocolate praline truffles. Mwah!!

Islay – very pungent and not for the faint hearted. Peaty, medicinal, briny and tasting of seaweed but try an Ardbeg 10 year old with our dark chocolate chilli and lime ganache and you’ll be blown away with the taste sensation that hits your tastebuds. Wow!

Campbeltown – a cross between the lowlands and the highlands with a good sprinkling of sea salt to bring out the taste. Love the pale straw colour of the Springbank 10 year old and the aftertaste of a visit to the seaside on a warm summer’s day. You just have to try combining this after a light evening meal with my milk chocolate salted caramels. Oh my goodness, the words: “died and gone to heaven” will spring immediately to mind.

Have a dram good day everyone!

Busiest Easter ever in Largs…

If I was better organised I would’ve written earlier in the season about Easter but, as it happens, I suspect it’ll be a long time before Largs has another Easter like this so I’m just getting round to it now.

After several weeks, sorry months, of cold, wet, windy weather the schools broke up for Spring Break and I felt so sorry for all those Mothers in particular who had to get hugely creative trying to fill the days entertaining their young ones indoors. It seemed the rain was never going to go away and it was never going to warm up. As for me, my shop was brimming over with chocolatey Easter treats and shoppers were staying warm and dry and firmly indoors. As Easter was especially late this year it’s usually better for trade however the cold weather deterred even the hardiest of shoppers till the last minute.

At the beginning of the week the forecasters were predicting a warm(er) dry spell for Easter weekend but was it true; could we believe it? Well, you have to be prepared, regardless, so Sweet Caroline and I started making ice cream on Tuesday to back up our freezer stock just in case it was a little drier at least. We even had a day off to relax on Wednesday because the weather was still cold and miserable. Thursday came and Easter gifts started flying off the shelves and there was a sense of optimistic anticipation that it was going to be a busy weekend. Ice cream production went into overdrive.

Then the sun came out in all its glory on Good Friday and boy was it good??!! Everyone and their granny descended on our little town to Explore Largs for Easter shopping, ice cream and a walk along the prom to soak up the rays. And it continued right through the holiday weekend whilst Adam and his merry bunch of men from Mills Dairies supplied us morning, afternoon and evening with milk and cream to keep our ice cream production going.


My award-winning Geraldo’s ice cream cabinet stocked and ready to go!

I’ve never seen the town as busy for a long time. It was like pre-recession days when everyone just wanted to get out and spend some quality time with family and friends. There was so much for families to do with Kelburn Estate organising Scotland’s Biggest Easter Egg Hunt. Many arrived on their bicycles and headed over to Millport after patiently queuing for hours for the ferry, despite CalMac putting on additional ferries.

It was glorious to see and a pleasure to serve you. Thank you to everyone who visited Largs and Sugar & Spice and I hope to see you back again sometime soon.

Celebrate Chocolate Week 14th to 20th Oct 2013

What better way to kick start the chocolate season than a week long celebration of all things chocolate.

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Events are being held all over the country incorporating chocolate tastings, chocolate making workshops with celebrity chefs and artisan chocolatiers concocting fabulous food with chocolate, culminating in the UK’s biggest chocolate show in London, Salon du Chocolat.

We’re celebrating with the best in the business and offering free chocolate tastings every day till Sunday including our Parisian Creams and our full range from the Arran Chocolate Factory with 10% off our boxed chocolates till the end of the week. What better way to taste and try before you buy?

Go on….treat yourself and celebrate!!

Summer’s over! Autumn/Winter has arrived…

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And what a summer it’s been – great weather, lots of smiling, happy visitors and many great memories made. September is my favourite month of the year because business slows down a little and there’s lots to enjoy in Largs & Millport. From the Viking Festival at the start of the month to the Millport Illuminations during this last, September holiday weekend, coupled with some glorious days in between, it’s been wonderful.

As tonight has suddenly turned mighty chilly and I think I’ve seen the last of this summer’s sunsets, it seems appropriate to be writing this on the last day of September which, to me, has always signalled the end of the summer, (tourist season, that is!) Having owned and operated my own businesses in Largs for 13+ years now I’m like every other business owner in a seaside town where a good summer season makes it just that wee bit easier (I said wee!) to enter the winter months without the pressure to juggle finances and “make it through to Spring!” The next quarter, as they say in the financial world, is all about Christmas and what we as retailers can do to capitalise on the busiest spending time of the year. There is soooo much to do!!

But first, Halloween is just around the corner and our party stock and ghoulish treats for kids is all in stock now along with liqueur chocolates and chocolate covered nutty nibbles for the bigger party monsters. You can buy some of the range from our website but we have lots of other scary little treats that are packaged in-house and only available from the shop.

Christmas stock is now starting to arrive and many of the products I’ve selected this year also make great occasion gifts such as birthday, thank you, dinner party etc., so don’t wait till Christmas because once it’s gone, it’s gone!!

At this time of year the chocolate season is at its busiest. Don’t forget that ‘Chocolate Week’ runs from the 14th of October to the 20th and is a week-long celebration of all things chocolate throughout the UK, with tastings, demonstrations, promotions and new products being showcased just in time for Christmas. I’ll keep you posted.

Finally, my loooooong opening hours at Sugar & Spice have changed slightly. A huge thank you to everyone who comes in at night after the trip back from work in Glasgow or a longer day at the office and is really appreciative of my late night opening hours but now you’re all in too much of a hurry to get home, get warm and put your feet up. I don’t blame you! However, I’ll still be opening until 9pm from Thurs to Sat every week right up to Christmas so if you’re in the mood to nip out in your PJ’s for a bottle of wine, ice cream or chocolate so that you can cosy up in front of the TV then don’t forget that “I’m OPEN!”.

I’ll be the one un-packing boxes and re-organising stock trying to fit everything in for Christmas and if the TV is really rubbish, you can always pop in and give me a hand. Full payment of course in chocolate or ice cream; take your pick!