Summer’s over! Autumn/Winter has arrived…

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And what a summer it’s been – great weather, lots of smiling, happy visitors and many great memories made. September is my favourite month of the year because business slows down a little and there’s lots to enjoy in Largs & Millport. From the Viking Festival at the start of the month to the Millport Illuminations during this last, September holiday weekend, coupled with some glorious days in between, it’s been wonderful.

As tonight has suddenly turned mighty chilly and I think I’ve seen the last of this summer’s sunsets, it seems appropriate to be writing this on the last day of September which, to me, has always signalled the end of the summer, (tourist season, that is!) Having owned and operated my own businesses in Largs for 13+ years now I’m like every other business owner in a seaside town where a good summer season makes it just that wee bit easier (I said wee!) to enter the winter months without the pressure to juggle finances and “make it through to Spring!” The next quarter, as they say in the financial world, is all about Christmas and what we as retailers can do to capitalise on the busiest spending time of the year. There is soooo much to do!!

But first, Halloween is just around the corner and our party stock and ghoulish treats for kids is all in stock now along with liqueur chocolates and chocolate covered nutty nibbles for the bigger party monsters. You can buy some of the range from our website but we have lots of other scary little treats that are packaged in-house and only available from the shop.

Christmas stock is now starting to arrive and many of the products I’ve selected this year also make great occasion gifts such as birthday, thank you, dinner party etc., so don’t wait till Christmas because once it’s gone, it’s gone!!

At this time of year the chocolate season is at its busiest. Don’t forget that ‘Chocolate Week’ runs from the 14th of October to the 20th and is a week-long celebration of all things chocolate throughout the UK, with tastings, demonstrations, promotions and new products being showcased just in time for Christmas. I’ll keep you posted.

Finally, my loooooong opening hours at Sugar & Spice have changed slightly. A huge thank you to everyone who comes in at night after the trip back from work in Glasgow or a longer day at the office and is really appreciative of my late night opening hours but now you’re all in too much of a hurry to get home, get warm and put your feet up. I don’t blame you! However, I’ll still be opening until 9pm from Thurs to Sat every week right up to Christmas so if you’re in the mood to nip out in your PJ’s for a bottle of wine, ice cream or chocolate so that you can cosy up in front of the TV then don’t forget that “I’m OPEN!”.

I’ll be the one un-packing boxes and re-organising stock trying to fit everything in for Christmas and if the TV is really rubbish, you can always pop in and give me a hand. Full payment of course in chocolate or ice cream; take your pick!

Largs Viking Festival: Meet Magnus!

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It doesn’t seem like 3 weeks since the glorious weather we experienced during this year’s 750th anniversary of the Battle of Largs was celebrated in all its glory.

My “babies” and I took part in the opening parade which started at the south entrance of the town and culminated at the Viking Village on the promenade. Largs was full of visitors on the day and I’ve never seen the prom so busy in a long time. There was all sorts of entertainment going on and ‘Sugar’ & ‘Spice’ joined in on every photo opportunity to delight many of the festival goers.

If you haven’t already taken a trip to Largs this year, don’t forget to say hello to Magnus, our new, 16ft high giant Viking sculpture presented to the town by North Ayrshire Council. He was definitely the most-talked about spectacle of the festival and, despite the controversy on where he should be sited, he stood defiantly right in the middle of the promenade beside the fairground attractions, the food and craft tents and the Viking and Scots Villages. Apparently this is a temporary position but no matter where they decide to site him, you can’t miss him.

As always, those Vikings sure know how to party and this year was their biggest celebration to date with over 100 of them staying in the purpose-built villages keeping the night chill at bay with their favourite Moniack Mead – purchased, of course, from Sugar & Spice. The event drew to a close on Saturday, 7th Sept 2013 with the ‘Party at the Pencil’ firework display and the Viking Battle re-enactment on the shore. What a fantastic week it was.

Don’t forget to visit the Vikingar Visitor Centre in Largs if you’re in town and try out the Viking Experience then you can pop in to Sugar & Spice, pick up a bottle of Mead and try out your own Battle re-enactment when you get home.

Haha! Joking of course, but do visit some time and say hello to Magnus!