Flying Saucers, Blackjacks, Refreshers, Midget Gems, White Mice… If this list leaves you scratching your head, then you don’t know what you’re missing, so you should definitely read on!
If, on the other hand, you’re thinking “Wow, that takes me back!”, then you’re in for a treat, and you should definitely read on (see what I did there?).
As with my taste in comedy, my confectionary preferences tend to be resolutely British, and so when I heard whispers about an old-school sweet shop opening up in Central, I could barely contain my gluttonous excitement. So I popped into the brand new Mr Simms earlier today and discovered all my wildest sugar fantasies… conveniently contained under one roof. I was suddenly Billy Bunter at the Tuck Shop, Augustus Gloop at the Chocolate Factory and Mr Creosote in The Meaning Of Life, all rolled into one and scoffing my way towards gestational diabetes, one foam shrimp at a time. Happy days.
Where to start? How about with the old-fashioned sweet jars lining the walls from floor to ceiling, offering all your classic retro sweets from Pear Drops, via Strawberry Bootlaces to Liquorice Allsorts? Or the huge range of gorgeously handcrafted chocolate truffles, caramels and soft centres? Or the wall of Belgian chocolate bars in flavours from good old Plain to Eton Mess? The homemade fudge in every imaginable variety? The bags of novelty flavoured popcorn? Or the kids selection of penny chews (sadly no longer a penny!), lollipops, sherbet, gobstoppers and candy canes?
Other notable items include both sugar-free and gluten-free sweet and chocolate options, meaning that those on restricted diets can indulge with that same glee and wild abandon as the rest of us. Oink.
The list goes on and on, and each corner of the retro-styled shop uncovers another round of tooth-bending treats. Also adding to the nostalgia factor is the Pick & Mix counter, where your selection is wrapped in a paper bag before being handed over to
my your children’s sticky little mitts.
All the items are made to a high standard, and as a company, Mr Simms eschews mass-produced sweets in favour of smaller, traditional producers, resulting in delicious treats that are hopefully a little less gunk-filled than the usual bags of fluro novelties. And it’s not just Brit-fare; there’s a selection of American treats on offer here too (although I obviously must have just ignored this section as I seem to have no pictures at all!).
I found it nearly impossible to choose my selection, but eventually settled on a bag of Cola Cubes, another of Chocolate Gingers, plus a small selection of his mother’s schoolyard penny sweet favourites for the boy, who was thankfully safely contained back at home. I cannot even imagine the carnage that would have ensued had I brought him along with me.
I can see this becoming the go-to option for parents looking for party treats, event planners after some novelty gifts, sweet-toothed brides wanting special wedding favours or just plain old piggy nostalgia-hunters like me. The store’s prime location on Lyndhurst Terrace should guarantee plenty of footfall, and the pricing – while more expensive than my 1991 pocket money would have stretched to – seemed pretty fair. The loose boiled sweets were priced at between $30-$50 per 100g, Pick & Mix $20 per 100g, fancy chocolate bars $50 each, flavoured popcorn $30 per bag, homemade fudge $68 per bag and a small selection of imported Cadbury’s from $10 per bar and up.
Another exciting and family-friendly addition to Central? Works for me! Now, that reminds me, I really must book a dentist’s visit….
Opening hours: Daily, 10am – 8pm
Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe, 37 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong; 8192 6138