November is upon us folks and that means that not only will we be seeing a barrage of males with unruly upper lip fuzz but with the chill in the air and the holidays fast approaching (don’t worry, I’m not ready to use the ‘C’ word yet, either) summer night patio parties are far behind us and nights in front of the telly with a good movie and a cozy blanket are far more likely to be on one’s agenda.
And couch potato status is nothing without the appropriate munchies. Some like to keep it traditional with a bowl of popcorn, while others enjoy chips and salsa paired with a cold brewski. Personally I like to chow down on a home-crafted charcuterie plate and a glass (or two) of wine followed by a li’l sweet treat. Thing is, since emigrating from England, I just haven’t found anything that really satisfies like UK chocolate. Call it nostalgia or ignorance if you like, but Brit choc is creamier and far more satisfying to me. As a result, my chocolate intake has dramatically decreased since Canadianising so it’s not such a bad thing. But at this time of year the craving intensifies and I just have to get my fix…
On my hunt for cocoa contentment I have happened upon a few establishments that sell the sweet stuff shipped right from the homeland. There are even stores that are entirely dedicated to British exports! So for any other anglophile, or just purist chocolate lovers out there, this list is for you…
Sweet Temptations, 130 King Street W.
Owners Debra and Julie have backgrounds in Dental Hygiene and Nutrition Management making them the most unlikely of candy experts! But low and behold that is what they are and their store not only offers oodles of goodies from old Blighty but you can also find sweets that will reunite you with your inner child and really piss off your dentist… jawbreaker anyone?
Mrs. Bridges British Bakery, 185 Oakdale Rd, North York and 1 Eglinton Square, Scarborough
Now this one is a wee bit of a trek from the city but as the name would suggest, if you’re on the hunt for British fare it is well worth the journey. Not only do they house my absolute favourite chocolate brand, Galaxy, but you can pretty much stock your cupboards with an array of British favourites including Walkers crisps, Heinz baked beans, and even goodies from Marks and Spencer.
Empire by bullet, 724 ½ Queen Street E.
As well as being chock-full of my favourite fancies, this store also offers everything you may need to Brit up your home. Union Jack doormats, teapots, tea towels, tea mugs, storage chests… you will be more than well prepared for when the Queen comes to visit.
The Nutty Chocolatier, 2179 Queen Street E.
Turkish delight, shortbread and prawn cocktail crisps are just some of the GB grub that you can grab at this delightful little store in the east end. But I should pre-warn you that they also craft their own fudge, truffles and chocolate… so be prepared for some major temptation.
Uncle John’s Candy Shack, 635 Mount Pleasant Rd.
This charming shop will transport you back to the days when responsibilities were none and candy was King. Get your Brit fix from your choice of sweet chocolate or savoury meat pies. They also stock some English staples for your kitchen as well as my ultimate hangover cure from back in the day: Irn-Bru. Ah, memories…