Arran magic

Image

Where can you find the perfect malt whisky, mouthwatering handmade chocolates and stunning scenery?  The Isle of Arran of course!  The Geraldo’s team had a fabulous and truly informative day out this week to one of Scotland’s most magical islands and what a day it was!

Photo 22-02-2017, 10 43 44.jpg

The Isle of Arran Distillery

After a breezy trip on the ferry, Senior Brand Manager, Louisa Young, accompanied the team to the newly refurbished distillery in Lochranza.  Nestled below the mountains, the distillery is in the ideal location to produce the perfect malt; where the pure water flows into nearby Loch na Davie.  Combine this with Arran’s warm micro-climate, high quality barley and yeast, expertly picked oak casks and patience – up to 18 years of patience – while the wondrous character of the whisky matures.  But as Master Craftsman, James MacTaggart says, “There is no point having good ingredients if you don’t have good people to make it.”  The passion and knowledge that James, Louisa and all of the staff at the distillery have about their whisky is inspiring and it tastes fabulous too. Tours are starting again on Monday, 27th Feb 2017 and definitely worth taking the trip over there to see it. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Arran Chocolate Factory

We all had a warm glow (could’ve been the whisky) as we travelled back to Brodick; spotting golden eagles, deer and seals en route.  The magic continued as we were welcomed by owner James McLehry, and his senior chocolatier Jan, at The Arran Chocolate Factory.  The sweet aroma hits you as soon as you enter the shop.  Jan, who has been making chocolate there for 15 years, gave us a fabulous demonstration on making Easter eggs and some of their delicious hand-crafted treats.  We also got a sneaky peek at some of her wonderful Easter creations.  Watch this space as these little ducklings are sure to nip over the water to Geraldo’s of Largs soon!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A huge thank you to The Arran Distillery and The Arran Chocolate Factory for hosting our visit.  We all came home much more knowledgeable and enthused about Arran’s warming malts, delicious chocolates and wonderful people.

The Arran Whisky range and James of Arran Chocolates are stocked in Geraldo’s of Largs.  Pop in to find out more from one of our team members.  They’ll have lots to tell you!

21747962193_35957f3d89_o.jpg

Hosting the perfect Burns Supper

robert_burns

So how do you host the perfect Burns Supper?  Across the globe we celebrate the life and works of our famous Scottish Bard on the 25th January.  Haggis, neaps and tatties followed by clootie dumpling are standard, but it is the additional treats that will make a special night.

In Geraldo’s of Largs we have a wide range of malt whiskies to toast Robert Burns.  We also stock deliciously moist Whisky Cakes and a wide range of Scottish shortbread to nibble on during the Burns recitals.  Here are some recommendations…..

Robert Burns Single Malt

This is the official Isle of Arran Distillery Single Malt endorsed by The Robert Burns World Federation. Made from 70% Bourbon Casks and 30% Sherry Casks, this light aromatic Single Malt is ideal for drinking with your haggis.

arran-robert-burns-malt-barley

Ashers Whisky Cakes

Choose from 3 single malt Ashers Whisky Cakes. Deliciously moist fruit cakes laced with single malt whisky from the Highlands, Islands & Speyside.

Shortbread House of Edinburgh

The perfect accompaniment to a wee dram has to be shortbread.  Shortbread House of Edinburgh pride themselves on making everything by hand to ensure that the taste, texture and appearance is far superior to mass produced products.

If you need some more suggestions on how to host your own Burns Supper, have a look at Visit Scotland’s guide.  No matter how you celebrate our great Bard, the main thing is to have fun.  We’ll raise a glass to that!

Slainte!

 

Heading to The Open this week?

TheOpen

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!
box-arran-chocs_8690

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.

golf-open-royal-troon1

How are you celebrating Robert Burns night on 25th Jan?

Image

With less than a week to go you don’t have to be Scottish to celebrate the life and works of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, on the 25th of January.  Why not invite friends and family over for a Burns Night party? Include a mix of traditional dishes such as cock-a-leekie soup and spiced haggis, neeps and tatties followed by clootie dumpling or crannachan for dessert washed down with a small glass of warming malt whisky. And don’t forget some shortbread or Scottish tablet to nibble on whilst you all recite your favourite Burns poems.

IMG_3702-0

Here at Sugar & Spice we have a selection of whiskies and Scottish produce to help you add that all-important finishing touch to your supper table.  Our Burns Supper recommendations are as follows:-

Robert Burns Single Malt
This is the official Isle of Arran Distillery Single Malt endorsed by The Robert Burns World Federation. Made from 70% Bourbon Casks and 30% Sherry Casks, this light aromatic Single Malt is ideal for drinking with your haggis.

Robert Burns Malt

Walkers Shortbread 
With a vast range to choose from, our favourite as a ‘gift tae gie’ to your host or to your guests ‘tae go’ is their classic Keepsake Tin of four of their most popular mini shortbread varieties.

Keepsake Tin

Arran Handmade Chocolates
Keeping with an Ayrshire theme doesn’t everyone love some chocolates with their coffee after dinner? The Arran Chocolate Factory produce chocolates for Arran and chocolates for us.  If you haven’t tried them already we have 12 to choose from, all hand picked and boxed while you wait.

001

If you’re still stuck for ideas on holding your own Burns Supper then download this handy eBook for all you need to know.  All that’s left to do is have fun and enjoy!

Slainte!

The Waverley Paddle Steamer

Image

Paddle Steamer Waverley

Our day on board, sailing from Largs to Arran, 4th July 2013:-

Apparently, the 4th of July is British Independents’ Retail Day (support your independents and buy local).  Sooooo, I decided to exert my independence and take the afternoon off!!  After 13 years of being in business in Largs, and situated just a stone’s throw from the ferry terminal, I can now say I’ve taken my first trip on the beautiful Waverley Paddle Steamer.  Along with my over-excited nephew, Logan, and with his SuperGran in tow, we boarded the ship and set sail at 1315hrs.  With the sun on our faces and a brisk breeze to blow away the cobwebs we headed to Arran via a brief stopover in Millport.  The ship is beautifully preserved and in immaculate condition and Logan was mesmerised at the engine room although it’s a tiny bit disconcerting being at arms length from all that power with only a handrail between you and those enormous pistons.

What was even more exciting was that it was Day 6 of the Fife Regatta as the stunning Kentra powered past us with Cumbrae as a very scenic backdrop.  It truly was a site to see with all those beautiful yachts taking part in the Fast and Fyne race from Portavadie to Largs.

A short stopover in Brodick allowed us some time for lunch, a browse round the gift shops and a quick visit to collect a top-up of fresh chocolates from the Arran Chocolate Factory.  James wished us well for our homeward journey and after 3 attempts at berthing, due to high winds, passengers boarded for the Waverley’s return trip to Largs, arriving at the slightly later time of 1900hrs.

And where did many of them head?  Straight to my shop, of course!!  Logan spent the entire afternoon telling everyone on board that Sugar & Spice is the only place in town where you can buy Stewart’s new shortbread tin beautifully embossed with guess what – The Waverley Paddle Steamer of course!!!

My Dad always said, “You have to start them young!” 🙂