Friday, May 9, 2008

Sweet Success

I have discovered a wonderful website that embraces the essence of childhood fantasy (no, not that sort of child fantasy, you twisted so-and-so...). I'm talking about the sweetshop!

It's called A Quarter Of and it's basically an online version of those great old-fashioned sweet shops with walls lined with jars of bonbons, sugar mice, fudge, millions, sherbet...the list goes on! They've got some real gems there that I'd forgotten about: white mice, jelly worms, space dust (that stuff that pops and crackles in your mouth), those little white chocolate buttons covered in coloured much and so yummy. They do some mean chocolate bars as well, including most Ritter bars, Frys mint bars and they are even rumoured to have stocked some rare Wispas, although I'm not sure if they're still there or have been preserved by collectors for a desperate, hormonal hour of comfort-eating need.

It made me think about sweet shops in Oxford. Now, I'm sure I'm wrong, and I certainly hope I am, but Oxford really seems to be missing a decent sweet shop. Sure, there's
Chocology in the Covered Market, and lots of shops doing posh gourmet chocolate. But I'm talking about big glass jars with unhealthy, sugary, E-number-ridden balls of delight. Places where you get a little paper bag that's weighed on scales, where you have no idea how long that fly's been trapped in amongst the sweets, but you just don't care. Places with Pick'n'Mix, places with queues of schoolchildren trading sticky, gummy, melting delights. Perhaps I'm living in the past, but it really is something every town should have. Some corner shops/convenience stores stock millions and jelly babies, but in sanitised pre-packaged plastic. The best place I've found so far is the Odeon cinema which does a satisfactory pick'n'mix, but it's still hideously overpriced and only open when films are on.

If anyone knows of a shop I'm missing, please do fill me in! In the mean time, I'll be filling up on internet-order sweets.

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