All of our Willy Wonka dreams can come true as the high street is now BURSTING with traditional confectioners enticing us into tasting old favourites such as lemon sherbets and rhubarb and custards. Flying saucers and drumstick lollipops line the tills at Topshop, retro packaged sweets can be purchased from Barrats AND, this year, Fortnum & Mason have opened a giant confectionery hall. The retro sweet restoration has sure brought a smile to my face even wider than on a Friday night at the big O!
This candy trend has now trickled into the streets of Nottingham. Located just off the heart of market square, ‘The Treat Kitchen’ is every student’s ultimate sugar fantasy! Introducing a rainbow of delights including chewy pink shrimps, milk bottles, fizzy cola, and 36 different varieties of home-made jelly beans, ‘The Treat Kitchen’ has captured the nation’s imagination in its celebration of all things sweet and nostalgic.
The family run business is owned by confectionery King and Queen Martin and Jess Barnett. Their passion has revolutionised the way we view ‘the sweet shop’. Gone are the dark days of ancient sticky jars and dark musty shelves. The store exudes a modern, vibrant feel that would excite anyone on entry, regardless of age. At ‘The Treat Kitchen’, it’s the products that are the shining stars. Jess and Martin let the sweets do the talking by placing them in no-fuss glass milk bottles. These line the window, creating a magnet for sweet-toothed shoppers who can’t resist their curiosity for a free sample.
I had the opportunity to learn a little bit about the different retro products on offer. Every sweet is individual and has a character of its own. For example, each jelly bean bottle takes two weeks to make to ensure the flavour is infused throughout the bean. The colourful rock candy is handmade locally by Martin’s uncle; traditional flavours include scrumptious strawberry, famous fruit and pineapple rollers. Even the super sour flavour will be sure to put a smile on your face.
Timeless flavours with a twist make up the range of dessert-themed boiled sweets which all have a soft centre that is bursting with flavours of rhubarb crumble, mint humbug, strawberry cheesecake and lemon meringue. It is in my opinion this individuality which is separating small boutique confectionery shops from the large brand names that dominate corner shops and petrol stations.
If you’re more of a chocoholic don’t think the king and queen forgot you. Fudge (also made by a Barnett) is lovingly created on the premises, with a new flavour featuring every week. There is also a Lily O’Brien chocolate counter which is beautifully packaged creating the perfect little gift for any occasion.
If you’re looking for something a little quirkier, the ‘create your own chocolate pizza range’ is simply flying off the shelves.
For any students with specific health requirements, ‘The Treat Kitchen’ have introduced a gluten- and sugar-free range which are suitable for vegetarians as well as being kosher free whilst promising not to compromise on flavour. How many sweets tick all those boxes?
Now we as students can have our sweets…and eat them too! Student offers are available on all the Gourmet Jelly Beans (36 different flavours), and all the Sweet Shop favourites such as bon bons and fizz bombs, which are only £10 for three bottles! All you need to do to get the offer is simply quote Everything Nottingham and provide your student ID…it is as easy as that! Remember, the offer ends 30/11/14.
So please join the sweet retro revolution and head down to ‘The Treat Kitchen’.