Yesterday I visited a real-life Willy Wonka dreamland right here in the middle of London. No exaggeration necessary, this experience completely had me in a world of pure imagination.
To say I felt like a kid in a candy shop is an understatement. If you want to feel like a kid again, prepare to have your mind blown at one of London’s most fabulous candy utopias, Spun Candy Shop!
Spun is located just off of Commercial Street. To begin the adventure, you have to walk all the way into the shop in order to get into the candy-making kitchen, that experience alone allows you to see the adventure you’re about to embark on.
The shop is covered with a crazy amount of colours and loads of pictures all over the wall; lollipops, sweets and treats showering the interior. Just by walking into the shop you can really see everything that they do there.
We were taken through a glass door, and from there you suddenly find yourself in the impressive kitchen. Our lovely hosts immediately offered us all a drink, which made us feel very at home.
The vibes of the kitchen were fantastic, there was great music going, the whole room was very upbeat, and generally, we really did feel a bit like kids’ in a candy store. We were basically Charlie Bucket when he won the golden ticket. Seriously, this place was that cool.
We were given an apron and got ready to start the candy-making process. At this point, we were all slightly tipsy, which made for great excitement to get ready and eat some yummy sweets.
We were directed to the candy makers, who introduced themselves, telling us how long they’ve been making candy and then described what we were about to partake in. They started showing us how to make the candy and demonstrated the first steps for us….
We filled in our lolly moulds with hot, sugary syrup. The hosts added loads of food colouring to our creations, both artificial and organic, and then they started mixing it in, the liquid sizzled up as if you were to cook hot butter on a stove. All the colours started appearing and making patches of different rainbows in the sugary syrup. It was beautiful and quite dramatic at the same time.
Then they made one massive mixture which is just white, and at this point, we were all thinking, “What are they doing, this looks crazy!” But they carry on mixing frantically and the syrup begins to harden up.
They start cutting the hardened mixture with scraper’s sharp edges, jabbing at it and splitting up each colour individually. At this point, I’m still thinking “what are they doing?!” Visually it looks amazing and they’re moving so fast that I couldn’t even keep up.
Next, they start playing and throwing around each individual colour as we watched on in amazement. At this point, the mixture’s almost like putty, and they’re wearing gloves because the dough is still very hot. They start splitting it all up and rolling it, placing each individual rolled colour next to each other, with a little bit of white in between.
They then proceed to show us how they add all the colours together to roll it around, creating what looks like a giant multicoloured sausage with a filling of white chocolate. They continue spinning the putty-looking mixture and then they start to condense it all into smaller versions since it’s been stretched during the spinning.
The mixture’s pressed into versions of a multicoloured edge with a white filling, and then it’s distributed and passed out amongst us. We’re then told to start making our own lollies from this and this where our hungry, drunk minds can start creating!
We’re shown how to make all kinds of basic lollies. Then the time comes where they say, “do your worst” – they lead us to our workstations, still offering us more drinks and for the chance to try our sugary pre-lolly mix.
At the workstations, we were able to freely play with the dough and figure out what kinds of shapes work, what doesn’t work, and how we wanted our creations to be. They gave us an endless supply of the lollipop sticks, so you can really go crazy.
By the end of the workshop we ended up making about 10-15 lollies each and they all turned out really cool. This experience was great fun and a really good value for money. Visually awesome, sense-stimulating, and creatively quirky – I’d rate Spun Candy making a 10/10.