Christmas Sweets and Treats in London
Calling all sweet tooths. Tis the season to overdose on sugar and not feel terribly guilty immediately after scoffing sessions begin. Luckily enough, London is filled with intricately-hidden independent confectioners offering the best in traditional sweets, rich chocolates and modern cyber candy. We're talking everything from truffles and puddings to marsh mellows and flying saucers, and we mean business!
Head down to hearty sweetie shop Hopscotch and bag yourself a traditional sweet jar.
Here’s a traditional sweet shop that is guaranteed to take you back a few years this Christmas. If you’re in a slump this winter, taking home a jar or two of this good stuff, will surely put that spring back in your step. Offering over 550 traditional sweet jars, 42 Bin Pick and Mix, decade bags & Jars, boxed chocolates, lollies and retro sweets, Hopscotch is a little bit of sweetie heaven. Taking you on a trip down memory lane, each aisle is jam packed with old favourites including strawberry bon-bons, rhubarb & custard and the ever-amusing Dracula teeth. The popular Barnet-based store, which was set up by husband and wife Alice and Michael Kentish in 2009, also specialises in cake and sugar craft supplies, making it the perfect place to shop for tasty treats this party season.
If you're looking for artsy chocolate gifts, then look no further than Rococo's seasonal collection.
Providing a mouth-watering selection of Christmas specials, Rococo continues to raise the bar in innovative chocolate designs with its newly introduced rich nougatine and crunchy hazelnut praline Chocolate Cigars and Hand-Painted Dark Chocolate Santa in Bugatti. This gorgeous shop is a mecca for chocolate lovers. It is the brainchild of designer Chantal Coady, who opened the store in 1983, and is dedicated to producing the finest and funkiest chocolate in the capital. Chocolate becomes an art form at Rococo. Famed for its unique blend of organic chocolate, made using cocoa beans from the Caribbean, they add extra cocoa butter to ensure that distinctive melt in the mouth feel. Putting the fun back into chocolate - taking home one of the many cool and festive Ricoco creations and tasteful masterpieces during the winter break will guarantee a few laughs and giggles at the dinner table.
Pick up some truly royal goodies at Fortnum & Mason's famous food hall.
Still the purveyor of food and wine to the Royal Family, Fortnum's upmarket food hall is piled high with tonnes of gastronomic delights so it'll require all of your willpower not to leave with bags of other goodies. If you're a Christmas pudding fan and a taste bud traditionalist then a trip to Fortnum & Mason's famous food hall is a must. Stocking the renowned and well-regarded King George Christmas Pudding, crammed full of fruit - including a healthy dose of prunes - and held together with beef suet, this quintessentially old-fashioned sweet treat is perfect for the season. It's also a great place to shop for booze, with the 1707 Wine Bar offering you a chance to try before you buy. And if that isn’t enough to tickle your fancy, the store is currently offering a generous 15% off wine case purchases. Adorned with chandeliers and marble pillars the 300-year-old interior reflects the traditions of opulence and fine living which this shop supports and is hard to beat when decked out in traditional Christmas glitter.
With the greatest candy selection this side of the Atlantic, Cybercandy truly has it all.
You might want to free up your afternoon for a few hours, as Cybercandy will need your full attention. Big kids will go wide-eyed as they stare up at the multitude of jars overflowing with sweet delights you thought were lost forever. Black jacks, flying saucers, parma violets, sherbert fountains, kola cubes and a vast jumble of other long lost confectionary. As well as home-grown sweets there’s a selection of sugary distractions from around the globe including bizarre treats like Swedish salted liquorice and Japanese sushi lollies. To top it all off, this winter the store introduces a whole section dedicated to Christmas candy, which sees the return of Xmas Tootsie Pop Drops Candy Canes and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Xmas Santas. Can it get any better than this?
Delve into cupcake haven Treacle this Christmas and you won't want to leave.
Just like its name, this unique establishment sandwiched in the middle of Columbia Road Flower Market is sweet, sticky and finger-licking good. Christmas is a time for tradition spiced up with large doses of nostalgia and, full of comfortingly familiar, essentially British, tea-time treats, this is the place to come to relive the comforting morsels that have fed a nation through times of turmoil and triumph. The cupcakes here are all hand-crafted, beautifully decorated and crowned with perfectly blended buttercup icing. They also come in three sizes (we recommend the BIG one) in tangy lemon, rich chocolate or smooth vanilla flavours. Jammy Dodgers and a range of sponges also adorn the shelves all year round. Seasonal specialities boost the range from month to month, while piping hot tea served on the premises lures customers to stop and linger, savouring a sponge or two before heading out with a packed bag full of goodies. Treacle only opens on a Saturday and Sunday and is so special that entry is only granted by appointment. Pick up some seasonal blooms and a Christmas tree, and satisfy your seasonal sweet cravings all in one leisurely Weekend jaunt.
Treat yourself to the best chocolate around with William Curley's delectable collections.
Considered the cream of the crop of chocolate shops; this 5 star chocolatier offers one of the best Christmas Champagne Truffle Boxes and Deluxe Hampers in town. William Curley, patissier and chocolatier, has worked with the best in the business and still advises and supplies chefs including Marco Pierre White, Pierre Koffman and Anton Edelman. This Richmond shop, which he opened in 2004 with his wife Suzue, was their first solo venture and the chocolate goodies in there are very, very good. It's rare for a chocolatier to be singled out by the Chocolate Society in the first year of business but Curley achieved exactly that and the accolades keep coming - William was awarded the Best British Chocolatier in 2007, 2008 and again in 2009 by the Academy of Chocolate. Unusual taste combinations mix chocolate with flavours like rosemary and olive oil or apricot and wasabi. Suzue - who has worked at Claridge's and The Savoy - inserts a Japanese influence with sweet treats like Yuzu filled chocolates and Miso and Walnut biscuits. If your intention is to try some ground-breaking chocolates this Christmas, It's worth making a trip to Richmond just to sample the wonders of William Curley.
1 Royal Arcade, Old Bond Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4BT | Tube: Green Park Station
Nothing spells out Christmas like Charbonnel et Walker's fine truffles.
Oozing with festive flavours the truffles and treats hidden inside this swanky Old Bond Street emporium offer an exclusive, sweet Christmas treat. From their gift-wrapped boxes of liqueurs to their individually-wrapped Christmas hampers you can pick up some tasty stocking fillers and gifts. For a truly seasonal indulgence we recommend the truffles - particularly the Champagne centred or the port and cranberry flavoured varieties. This long-established chocolatier is now the holder of a Royal Warrant and, in spite of the shop's continental origins, the goodies feel exceedingly English.
89 Lower Sloane Street, Belgravia, London, SW1W 8DA | Tube: Sloane Square Station
L'Artisan du Chocolat's seasonal specials make for beautiful Christmas giveaways.
If you haven't yet visited this innovative, highly revered, choc shop, then a trip here to pick up some essential Christmas treats is the perfect excuse. Trained in Belgium (the home of chocolate), ex-pastry chef Gerard Coleman has elevated this simple, small-scale London shop to iconic status. This Christmas, Artisan du Chocolat presents a scrumptious seasonal collection inspired by the spirit of togetherness. Festive gifts on offer include a cutesy limited edition Reindeer advent calendar filled with fine chocolates, as well as a beautifully designed bestsellers Christmas Tree box that separates into 3 tiers of yummy chocolates. Whether you’re seeking a small gift for the children or looking for a little something for your colleagues, there are plenty of enchanting chocolate delights on artisanduchocolat.com. Everything is made entirely of natural ingredients (one of which is large quantities of sugar), with no nasty additives or preservatives. Because of this, all of their goodies have to be consumed within two or sometimes three weeks so make sure you don't make your Christmas purchases too early. Alternatively, go in early, buy up the shop and then "suddenly" remember that they need to be eaten within two weeks. Cram them all in your mouth in one cocoa-crazed frenzy and then head back for more delectable morsels a couple of days before Christmas.
Grab a bite at Hope and Greenwood and sample their scrummy mince pies.
Organic apple pie chocolate bars, champagne truffles, flying saucers, chunks of liquorice and jars of stripy candy sticks, this quaint East Dulwich sweetie cavern really goes to town at Christmas time. If you can hold back long enough, take a bit of time before you enter the shop to admire the amazing seasonal window display that taunts customers with its array of sticky treats and stocking fillers. Spoil yourself rotten with the new Mince Pie Sweets, Hope and Glory Mint Balls and Green Apple Candy Floss selections to give you those all-important sugar kicks. Once inside, the store's bright, 1950s-style decor has all the appeal of a bygone era, with husband-and-wife owners, Miss Hope and Mr Greenwood, continuing the theme on in their own, richly-retro 50s clothing. Full of nostalgia and brimming with friendly service, a Christmas confectionary-buying trip here comes highly recommended. Dulwich has a really village-y feel to it and is certainly worth the slightly arduous trip out from central London.
Watch your chocolate heated into little (or large) pieces of heaven at Melt.
Regular tastings, an on-site, open-view kitchen, highly skilled master chocolatier Chika Watanabe and some of the best chocs in town make Melt a mouth-watering option when it comes to confectionary. Stand and drool as organic truffles, bon-bons, colourful chocomaroons (a perfect festive treat) are rustled up on cool white marble slabs in full view of customers. Children's Hour Mini-Melt offers youngsters the chance to get sticky making their own unique range of chocolate treats. Sleek packaging, cool surrounds and top-quality service complete the picture.
Help yourself to award-winning chocolate at Paul A Young Fine Chocolates this festive season.
Before he was a full-time chocolatier, Paul Young was pastry chef for Marco Pierre White. The drama and perfectionism demanded by a Michelin-starred restaurant are both apparent in the exquisite chocolates and desserts produced by his shop. The more impressive pieces are finished at the counter in front of customers, while the smaller sweets and chocolates are jewel-like in their perfection. Young's haute cuisine background - he's a Gold Award-winner at the World Chocolate Awards - means there are plenty of weird and wonderful flavours available, but above all this is a shop that is about freshly made, thoroughly indulgent, luxury chocolates and puddings. If you fancy a dark, dreamy cocoa alternative to Christmas pud then take your taste buds up to Islington. Closed Mondays (chocolate workshop day).
Good old Mrs Kibble has the perfect sweets to paint that smile on your face.
An old-fashioned, sugary-sweet, treat temptation in an area of London known for its more alternative delights, Mrs Kibble's Olde Sweet Shoppe in Soho offers pure, unadulterated, candy-filled fun. Perfect for providing, quaint, old-fashioned, Christmas stocking fillers, this tiny haven pays homage to the sweets of yesteryear in the only way possible - no frills, no fuss, friendly service, traditional tunes playing in the background and lots of jars (about 180) crammed full of goodies. Forget Flying Saucers, Rhubarb and Custard is the current No 1 best-selling bon-bon de jour, but whatever your fancy - be it Cola Bottles or Sherbet Dip Dabs - your sweet tooth will find it hidden somewhere inside this pint-sized store. For a Christmas gift guaranteed to send the lucky recipient on a sugar-fuelled trip down memory lane, indulge in one of their Nostalgic Sweet Jars, crammed full of old fashioned sweets from Wham bars to Popping Candy. Give the team there a bit of notice and they'll even create personalised labels for each jar - making them the best sweet treat to accompany any Christmas gift. And if Soho is out of your way, there's also a branch in Marylebone's St Christopher's Place. No excuses.
Verde & Co provide some of the best handmade puddings and mince pies in town.
Wooden crates crammed with rich, vibrant vegetables, wicker baskets full of flowers, fruits and herbs, dark wooden shutters, heavy green awnings, blackboards advertising "Sandwiches, Coffee, Soup" and a few sets of weathered tables and chairs dotted on the pavement all contribute to the continental feel of this gourmet food emporium in London's East End. At Christmas time the shelves burst with seasonal offerings including handmade puddings and mince pies, majestic pannetone towers, jars of glace fruits and a huge glass case full of Pierre Marcolini chocolates. Manager and ex-chef Havery Cabaniss ensures all produce is sourced from co-ops and small, family-run enterprises wherever possible, helping you promote an ethical Christmas.
Fill your stockings up with Prestat's luxurious truffles and suddenly everything is right again.
With Roald Dahl and Her Majesty counted as just a couple of their biggest fans, this brightly-coloured, richly scented, teeny tiny chocolate shop tucked away in a corner of the Princess Arcade belies its significant status and reach. One of the world's oldest and grandest chocolate companies, Prestat's iconic gilt-embossed packaging comes into its own at Christmas. With plenty of exclusive Christmas Stocking Truffles, Heart Assortment boxes and Organic Milk Choc Wafers with Ground Cinnamon this festive season, you’ll be spoilt for choice. The interior of the small store is a vibrant, cartoon-esque den of psychedelia that is sure to paint a smile on your face. Prestat's magical.
Take a trip down memory lane and indulge in popular sweets from years gone by.
Planted on Colombia Road's quirky sidewalks, Suck and Chew provides the best in British sweets. Offering everything from marsh mellows and flying saucers to liquorice and chews, this sugar haven also stocks gifts and cards for the festive season. The 1940s-style interior is complemented by the welcoming faces that greet you and encourage you to try before you buy. Cutesy and traditional, it's the ideal sweet shop with good, old-fashioned values. Be sure to take advantage of its current winter offers including 200g of delicious Chocolate Jazzies for under £2.
Hop down to Konditor & Cook and treat yourself to their wonderful Christmas cakes.
This venue, on the corner of a quaint side street in Waterloo, framed by well-preserved rows of dinky terraced houses, comes into its own at Christmas. Inside, rows of dark wooden shelves are stuffed full of goodies. Konditor & Cook specialise in the creation of amazingly tasty cakes which are also sold on to some of the finest restaurants in the city. With a reputation for serving up the best mince pies in London - if not Britain - Christmas offers another great excuse (not that you should need one) to venture inside their cosy, plum-coloured, confectionary and flour-filled premises. Traditional Christmas cakes, Stollen and spicy Cinnamon Stars are just some of the seasonal delights on offer. A favourite with local workers, it's best avoided at peak times - in the mornings and at lunchtimes. Other Konditor & Cook London branches include London Bridge, Chancery Lane, the City and Soho.
1st August 2015
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