My Wife, the Marvellous Mummy of our two dementors, is full of marvelous ideas!
The recently implemented & unquestionably marvelous Family (Sun)Day? all her work!
The pre Christmas Santa Steam Train ride, on the previously mentioned family (Sun)Day, yep, Marvelous!
Family Ten Pin bowling, from which I emerged victorious by a significant margin, you guessed it, Marvelous! For me anyway..
She is on a home run
Or she was, until the bizarre suggestion of a trip to a sweet shop in Belfast, East Belfast to be specific! I’ll be honest, it wasn’t overly appealing, to me at least! But as most things within our shared universe pan out, she listened intently to my views, duly acknowledged my disinterest, was respectful of my opinion & in the interest of the status quo, decided to book it anyway.
Wait, book it! Book to visit a sweet shop? Booking anything is usually reserved for things that cost money, are they charging me to to enter the shop?
Well, yes they were and they did, £8 per person as it turned out, though it transpired that included a show. Mmm, the mention of a show was a little odd, so I began wondering had I been engaged in some selective hearing when Marvelous Mummy first floated this idea, maybe I had heard sweet shop when she actually said something else.
Was it sweet shop? Or perhaps Meat shop, possibly iHop? I do like their pancakes! I only had one option, I would have to wing it
Pulling up on the Castlereagh Road later that afternoon confirmed that I had infact been listening & we were indeed paying to see a show in a sweet shop, or to give the shop its full title ‘Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory’
Aunt Sandra’s occupies an unassuming building nestled within an abundance of local businesses and homes in the heart of East Belfast, the pink facade is as blink & you will miss it as yellow snow in a fresh drift!
Yet as you step inside the recently refurbed and expanded interior it is much more welcoming than the previous analogy, with vision filled rows of sweets, candies, ice creams & yummies! A newly installed coffee shop sits on one side of the main shop while the mysterious sugar scented laboratory sits on the other
It’s at this point you are handed your golden tickets and welcomed by Willy Wonka, or as we soon found out, Uncle, Willy Wonka’s Cousin.
With rising anticipations we are ushered into his very own laboratory where the eccentric Cousin seats his guests & after some insider information begins his oh so secret demonstration
With a show lasting over an hour in which candies are made, tasted & even given away through a quiz* (adults weren’t allowed to answer) we will honour the wishes of our host & leave the details of the show inside the factory.
As the show concluded the kids were invited to make Candy Floss as the adults bought some treats from the shop.
While Aunt Sandra’s offerings are a little more expensive than your regular candy shop, it’s worth considering that the local independent sweet shop isn’t so familiar in today’s modern society & many of the sweets are made on site with quality ingredients, something which stretches back to 1950’s Belfast & Aunt Sandra’s first job with sweetie maker Willy Dunn.
Admittedly history & sentimentality doesn’t strike a chord with the smaller members of the family, but the effortless performance of our host, guide & candy maker was more than enough to keep the whole family interested. As eccentric as you regard Willy Wonka to be, he is far from the most talented member of that family
More info and details of how to book the show can be found on the website