I’ve been doing this reviewing stuff for quite a while but I’m always keen to get another set of eyes who might be able to provide a much more nuanced view. Which is why, when Harrods opened their new candy store, I knew that I had to recruit some of the most discerning minds and sophisticated palates in sweets.
The collected trio that I managed to get together consisted of Alice (10), Benny (9) and George (6); mad devourers of anything that contains even the faintest semblance of sugar.
Harrods’ new Candy Store is based around the theme of the circus but it is puzzling to see why. Chocolate and marshmallows are not something you readily associated with jugglers, lion tamers and clowns. The theme does not resonate within the produce itself other than the sweets having a range of colours, which is hardly limited to those who perform in the big top. I asked Alice what she thought about the mismatch of theme and content. She took a moment to consider the question and then replied, ‘When do we get the sweets?’
The answer was not delivered by myself but by an attendant who was making the rounds offering miniature blueberry cupcakes. Benny and George were busy gawping at the walls lined with kaleidoscope displays of Jelly Belly beans as well as a range of vintage sweets like fizzers, sours, bootstraps and bon bons. To the side, Papabubble hard candy makers were busy creating candy in the form of cheese on toast, fried eggs and pizza.
The whole feel of the Candy Store is one of levity and frivolity. Those in charge have distilled the spirit of Willy Wonka, creating chocolates that are molded and coloured in all kinds of shapes and sizes. There are building blocks and miniature Simpsons-style doughnuts. Look around a little more and you’ll find chocolate bears and colourful cookies, lollypops and vintage sweets including UFOs, marshmallow hearts and tongue-tingling fizzy sour favourites.
The Candy Store is a place that invites children to be thrilled and excited, not simply by sugar and E-numbers, but by the audacity of design and the inventiveness on display. It’s colourful without lurid and sugary without being sickly. If I could just work out where the whole circus thing fits in with gobstoppers.
Harrods Candy Store
87-135 Brompton Road
Image by DieselDemon courtesy of Flickr