What’s the best Scottish gin?

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Geraldo’s gin range!

The World Gin Awards were announced earlier this week with Hernö Gin from Sweden taking the prestigious title of The World’s Best Gin 2017.  And with the Scottish Gin Awards being launched in September this year, we were wondering, what do you think is the best Scottish gin?

Scotland now produces over 70% of the gin consumed in the UK and exports are predicted to outsell Scotch whisky by 2020.  That is huge!  In fact over the festive period Brits spent a whopping £136 million on gin.  They certainly had a gin-tastic Christmas!

In Geraldo’s of Largs we now stock over 40 artisan gins in various sizes.  We have a gin from every corner of Scotland; each with their distinct taste and their own blend of local botanicals.  Come and discover your best Scottish gin!

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In fact, what better way to try a wide range of gins than to come to Geraldo’s Gin Fest in November 2017?  Last year was a sell-out success with lots of happy gin fans and even those who were new to gin found something that they loved.  Tickets will be on sale very soon!  Sign up to our newsletter to be one of the first to hear about it.

 

Ready for Christmas?

If you are looking for a special gift for your loved ones this Christmas, then look no further. We have Christmas covered at Geraldo’s in Largs!

From beautifully embossed tins of biscuits, Xmas gift confectionery and delicious handmade chocolates to Scottish liqueurs, craft gins and malt whiskies; there is something to suit everyone in your family.

Have a look at this selection of festive treats and pop in to the shop to browse our full range of festive food and drink gifts.  Our knowledgeable staff will be able to help you choose that perfect gift or put together a selection of your choice to create a bespoke gift hamper.

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We are open every day until Christmas!

Monday – Wednesday 10am – 6pm.

Thursday – Saturday 10am – 9.30pm. (6pm Xmas Eve)

Sunday 11am – 6pm. 

Our chocolates and confectionery are also available to buy online.

We hope to see you soon!

4 Star Award by Visit Scotland

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We are delighted to announce that Visit Scotland has awarded us an amazing 4 stars in their Quality Assurance Scheme within the tourist shop sector.

Visit Scotland’s Quality Assurance scheme is a benchmark for quality across the tourism industry and operates across accommodation, visitor attractions and food sectors.

Once a business signs up to be part of the scheme, an assessor visits the shop unannounced and under the tourist shop category grades three main aspects of the business: pre-arrival; arrival; and attraction/presentation.  Under these headings they assessed our online presence, the exterior appearance and signage of the shop, the interior orientation, decor and layout, the range and presentation of products and the general appearance, attitude and efficiency of the staff.  

The feedback we got from the Visit Scotland Assessor was fantastic and we are over the moon with our Four Star rating!

Given that this Quality Assurance Scheme is recognised on an international level, we are honoured to be part of it and look forward to working more closely with Visit Scotland over the coming years.

Free prize draw!

Did you know that we have launched a MONTHLY PRIZE DRAW? 

Congratulations to Emma Henderson from Glasgow for being our July prize winner. She was over the moon to find out that she has won the Gin Gift Pack pictured below.  We hope you enjoy your gin Emma.  We thought that ‘Doing it in your wellies’ gift pack was very apt given the summer we’ve had so far in Scotland!

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Doing it in yer wellies! Say hello to Hamish, Bonnie and Grace.

Every month someone will win a delicious treat from Sugar & Spice and every month it is something different. Will you be a winner in August?

There are three ways you can enter:

  1. Pop into Sugar & Spice in Largs and fill in one of our prize draw cards;
  2. Come and visit our stall at one of the events we will be attending (listed below) or;
  3. Email your answers to the questions on the card below to info@sugar-and-spice.co.uk with Shop Prize Draw in the subject line. Any additional comments you have are welcome.

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The prize draw is completely free and will be randomly drawn at the end of each month. Occasionally we will keep you posted on exciting new products, events and competitions. But you can opt out of these at any time if we annoy you!

Here’s the list of our upcoming events. We hope to see you there.

20th/21st August Galloway Country Fair
27th August – 4th September Largs Viking Festival
11th September Kip Marina Food Market
17th September Newmilns Food Festival
14th-16th October Scotland’s Boat Show, Kip Marina

 

There’s a Bank Holiday Weekend coming up…

Well here’s the 2nd instalment of my Did You Know feature and I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you that this weekend is a Bank Holiday weekend.

 

That means only one thing – all systems go for those of us catering for tourists or day trippers in any way. Stock orders in, all hands on deck and fingers crossed for some good weather, and let’s hope it’s several degrees warmer than it has been in the last few days.

Despite the drop in temperature I still have to be prepared for a hot, sunny spell and last week my delivery of ice cream cones came in, all 60+ boxes of them, so you could say I’m ready for some sunshine. We’ve changed our range of waffle cones this year and have a couple of new additions on offer including one rolled in popcorn and another rolled in milk chocolate vermicelli and, of course, our best selling nutty waffle. (My personal favourite!)

Our premium waffle cone selection for 2015

Thankfully I did actually manage that day away last week at the spa with Sweet Caroline. Unfortunately, after a somewhat painful massage to remove the lumps and bumps from my back and neck, I was guided into the relaxation room to recover then promptly fell asleep for the next 2 hours so most of the afternoon was gone!  For those of you not working this weekend take time to relax, enjoy some family time and take advantage of the time off; you deserve it I’m sure.

Did you know this weekend also signals the start of Whisky Month and World Whisky Day is only a few weeks away when we Scots pay homage to our national drink. My display window is being dressed on Thursday and I’ll have more about what we’re doing in the shop in next week’s instalment including a fantastic offer on the newly acclaimed online Whisky School Courses.

Finally, did you know you can vote for us in the Waverley Golden Cone Awards?  It’s the annual search to find Scotland’s favourite place to enjoy ice cream and since this is Geraldo’s 10th anniversary we’d love you to vote for us please.  All you have to do is fill in the form online for your chance to win a fully stocked ice cream cart for a special event of your choosing. Closing date is Tuesday, 5th of May.

 

 Good luck with your entry and have a great weekend everyone!

Toni x

Did you know?

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After last week’s blog about the start of the ice cream season and Geraldo’s 10th birthday I was sitting in my office this morning wondering what to write about next.  So I’ve decided to introduce a weekly (this may be wishful thinking on my part) blog called:

Did you know?

Haven’t a clue what its going to be about but I’m sure if I book myself in for a day spa at Cameron House this week the inspiration will come to me. (Now that’s definitely wishful thinking!)

Here goes for this week’s instalment…

Did you know that Monday is our usual day for stripping down our Mr Whippy ice cream machine?  The whole process takes about an hour or so, all the parts are sterilised and lubricated then the machine is filled again with fresh ice cream; Geraldo’s ice cream, of course, and we’re the only shop in Largs who puts fresh ice cream in our Mr Whippy machine.  Did you know it’s Gluten Free? And did you know we now have Gluten Free cones to serve it in?  Please tell your coeliac friends all about it and they’ll be your BFF!

 

Monday is also a day for stock orders and Bon Bons is usually first on my list.  Did you know we stock over 100 different flavours of traditional hand packed sweets from Bon Bons? They also supply us with their melt in the mouth fudge, giant chocolate slabs, gourmet mallows and gorgeous gift bags filled with retro sweets, cinder toffee and flying saucers.

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After a busy weekend with lots of visitors to Largs, did you know that the days following a busy period is when most small business owners like me start preparing for the next one?  After all the stock orders for the week ahead are done, there’s admin, banking, accounting, payroll, staff rotas, forward planning, website updates, marketing…..the list is long but if the business is going to be ready for the next instalment of good weather and lots of visitors, we have to be organised and prepared for it.

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Despite all of this, did you know Monday is my favourite day of the week?  I like it even more if I’ve had a busy weekend.  It’s a real shame for those of you who don’t enjoy, sorry LOVE, what you do, dread Monday mornings and the idea of going back to work.  For someone like me who, 15 years ago didn’t like the idea of starting a business in Largs one little bit, did you know I absolutely love it here.

Have a great week everyone and keep your fingers crossed for me that I manage that well-deserved spa day.  I’ll let you know next week!

Toni x

URGENT – PRODUCT RECALL!!!

Packed by hand with love.

Boxed chocolates from Sugar & Spice, Largs

It has come to our attention that ALL of our boxed chocolates have been sold WITHOUT ingredients labels. Disaster!!! Santa is most upset with us and has sent a message from Lapland instructing us to rectify this immediately. If you’ve eaten yours already (naughty you!) then you do not need to read any further as you already know what’s in them and maybe, just maybe, if you’ve been a good little boy or girl this year there’s a possibility someone may have bought you another box for Christmas. Think yourself lucky, especially if you have eaten chocolates that were supposed to be a gift for someone else!!!  If you have been very good and have safely stored them away for Christmas Day then the following information is for you:-

INGREDIENTS:-

Chocolates, of course, but not just your bog-standard, off-the-shelf type of chocolates that were probably manufactured by mass machinery and produced months ago.  No, we’re talking about the kind of chocolates that have been lovingly created by someone who spends all day imagining how to sum up Christmas in approximately 20g a bite.  The kind of chocolate that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside when you bite into it and it instantly reminds you of your favourite Christmas of all time.

You’ll also find some thought and consideration in the box. We like to make sure you get a selection from our cabinet, however small the box, so you may find some or all of the following:

PRALINES – Sorry, but yes pralines DO contain nuts ground down very finely so that the chocolate is nice and smooth.  You simply HAVE to taste the festive selection so make sure you get there first.

PARISIAN CREAMS – be considerate and save these for your grandparents, this will ensure they leave you something in their will – maybe more chocolates!

MARZIPAN – love it or loathe it, you’ll just have to chance it…ours may actually convert you.

TRUFFLES – wait till you taste the amaretto truffle but you’ll have to guess which one it is…you never know, if you close your eyes, make a wish and believe in Santa then this may be your lucky day.

CHERRY LIQUEURS – these are quite easy to identify as there’s a stalk coming out of them.  That’s because it really is a REAL cherry inside and you have to put the WHOLE thing in your mouth at once otherwise you’ll dribble Kirsch all down your new Christmas outfit.

CHOCOLATE GINGERS – ginger is very good for your digestive system but if you’ve absolutely stuffed yourself then it’s unlikely these will help on this occasion – maybe just have one okay?

LIQUEURS – these tend to be foil-wrapped and similar to the cherry liqueurs so they make a mess if you don’t put the whole thing in your mouth at once.  If you have a full box of these make sure you don’t drink and drive afterwards.

We’ve done our best to think of everything this year but there is one final ingredient we think you should ALL know about:

It’s called LOVE and you can never over indulge on it?  LOVE for what we do and LOVE for YOU, our customers, who keep coming back to us year after year to buy our chocolates no matter what. Thank you ALL very much!

Merry Christmas!

Much LOVE and best wishes for a very happy Christmas from all of us at Sugar & Spice, Largs. xxx

P.S. If by any remotely impossible chance you are NOT happy with your chocolates this year then please email Santa and let him know.  Alternatively, email his little elves with your dietary requirements or personal recommendations with the title “Chocolate Elf & Safety Dept” as the subject heading to info@sugar-and-spice.co.uk and we’ll see what we can do about it for Christmas next year.

PPS Sweet Caroline would like to wish you all the very best of health and wealth in 2015. 😘