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Top 10: Sweets

Posted on Oct 18, 2012 by Paul Tiernan

Now here at Savvy Towers, we like to think that we can enjoy the finer things in life but with gentlemanly restraint. We often find that an afternoon is made the more cheerful by the addition of the trip to our local sweet shop. From our new(ish) premises at Coxhoe, a saunter up the road to our local sweetie emporium is a bit of a treat as we can still buy our childhood favourites by the quarter. The choice is wide and so we often find ourselves scratching our heads about what to choose. Having a small paper bag of sweeties rustling in one’s pocket can be useful to distract small children, offer to ladies on an omnibus or to simply cheer one through a wet afternoon. If you lack a little sweet shop in your vicinity, try A Quarter Of. Here’s a few of our favourites.

Rhubarb and Custard

Not only a classic pudding combination, these flavours survive the process of becoming a boiled sweet. One may also wish to add to childhood’s fond memories of eating these whilst watching the eponymous cartoon series from the ‘70s.

Soor Plums

Included as a favourite of the author, a sour (“soor” to our Scottish readers) sweet which can leave the eater with the overwhelming urge to suck in one’s cheeks whilst dabbing watering eyes but is worth it for a smashing fruity flavour. Do please note that ‘Soor Plum’ is also a Geordie vernacular for an injured testicle, so be sure to clarify when ordering! One for the fearless gent.

Pontefract Cakes

Liquorice is an ancient flavouring which has a lovely earthy flavour and liquorice is suitable for the fellow who doesn’t like his confectionery to be too sweet. We thought that Pontefract Cakes embodied a jolly good bit of British heritage as they have been made in the West Yorkshire town for over 300 years.

Sarsaparilla Tablets

This is correct spelling, chaps, we checked! A very old timer indeed as the plant was discovered and brought to Europe in the seventeenth century and used as a detoxifier of the blood. A distinctive flavour, we prefer our sarsaparilla in lots of sugar in the boiled sweet form.

Jelly Babies

The perennial question of whether one demolishes a jelly baby via the head or feet first rages (only the basest of scoundrels would wolf the things whole), a chap can reminisce about the golden years of Tom Baker as Dr Who.

Violet Creams

A trifle feminine but we would suggest that a box of good quality violet creams can be kept in the pantry to amuse lady visitors to a chap’s quarters. Rose creams are often sold with violet creams but are sickly and overly perfumed and lack the subtlety of the fragrant violet.


Whilst the name is reminiscent of a preparation for an uncomfortable affliction, Altoids are small mints which come is a natty little tin, suitable for inhabiting a glove box. We would recommend that a mint is not kept as a treat but as a handy breath freshener and, in an emergency, to disguise the imbibing of real ale or ardent spirits from a gent’s employer or paramour.

Fruit Salad and Blackjacks

Those chaps who tested the possibilities of a life in crime via purloining the odd sweet from their local shop whilst in short trousers will remember these fondly. Fiendishly difficult to unwrap but satisfyingly chewy on the palate.

Traffic Light Lollipop

The word ‘lollipop’ is one of the most marvellous in the English language. Traffic Light Lollipops do indeed change from green to amber to red but also are sufficiently versatile to allow a chap to consume sherbet and make Kojak impressions.

Sherbert Lemons

Sharp with a fizzy middle, the classic boiled sweet which isn’t too childish or girly to be caught with. A little cheeky and rakish, as all Savvy Chaps should be…

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