England Part 1: The Candy Shop

As I sit here waiting for the train to take Carroll and I back to St Leonards, I have both a sweet memory in my mind and a sweet flavor in my mouth. The sweet memory is what I’ve just got to tell you about first.DSC05139.JPG

Just a little background though, before I really begin my story: if you’ve never heard of, never been to, and never contemplated going to Rye, England – then you are missing out on one of life’s sweet treats (those of you already rolling your eyes at my candy puns, stop being so sour). Rye was first established even before the Norman conquest, the Mermaid Inn (a must see) was rebuilt in 1420, Henry James lived there, and it has a castle that dates back to 1249. Even in its modern state, it preserves so much of the original character of this Sussex town. As we walked the knobby cobblestone streets, our souls drank in ever flower, chimney, colored door, and all over historic British beauty. I’m so glad our time in Rye focused on strolling slowly and absorbing the therapeutic scenery everywhere we turned.

But now, I have to fast forward to dessert 🙂 We had just finished a lovely coffee on the patio of one of the many picturesque cafes – this one had wrought iron tables and wisteria overhead. And as we headed down the street, we went straight for a colorful candy shop we’d passed on the way. But there was one big problem:

Closed.

Yup. No matter how much I stared at the hand-written sign, the words wouldn’t change. So to cheer myself up about the candy, I asked Carroll to take a photo of me pouting in front of the sign: DSC05134.JPG

If I couldn’t have all the delectable delights tantalizing us from the window, I could at least have a silly photo to remember the time I looked in despair at all the old fashioned goodies. But then, something magical happened…A lovely lady came to the door, and in her lovely British niceties, she invited us in!

Since we were technically two days ahead of official opening day, this being a Tuesday and the lady informed us it’d open on Thursday (which means, folks, today is the day this shop is officially open!), some of the confectionary goodness remained unveiled in their boxes and packaging. The floor was gently littered with ties and papers as the two ladies were in a frenzy to set out all the delicacies on eye-catching displays. But even unfinished, this enchanting candy shop really necessitated none of the apologies given by Dezi Dalton.

No, dear reader, this is not make believe although I do feel like I’m writing a children’s fiction tale. An old fashioned, absolutely lovely candy shop in Rye, England, which is owned by Dezi Dalton really does exist. And she truly is as sweet as her wares that fill the shelves of her shop.DSC05135.jpg

Carroll and I both thanked Dezi so much for making an exception for us in light of the fact we had only this one chance to partake of the various bonbons as well as pick out a few little treasures to bring home to our children. She walked us around the small store, making suggestions and telling us where the different delights came from. She had good ideas – well, there really was not a bad idea in the store – and in no time we had picked out tins of mint, boxes of fudge, and two-colored lollipops to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. Carroll even found a porcelain mug designed so tastefully with birds and flowers for a friend. And even the packaging of the treats sport a tin worth keeping after the contents are gone.DSC05136.jpg

As we paid for the presents, I had an equally satisfying idea! I told Dezi Dalton that I’d like to write about my experience in her candy shop. Which ended up being a completely perfect idea since: we were her very first customers. Yes, readers, you may be very jealous: I was the first person to ever purchase a peppermint from Dezi Dalton’s Rye Candy. Those words melted in my mouth almost as well as the candy I can still remember savoring at the train station at the beginning of my tale.

But enough of this Tomfoolery, go try some for yourself – DSC05137.jpg

2 thoughts on “England Part 1: The Candy Shop

  1. I felt a pinge of jealousy as I read about your experience in Rye at the candy store. I love England. It’s rich in history, villages, pubs, and people as sweet as the candy delights you wrote about. Thank you for sharing. It took me back to my trip to London and Cambridge nearly 16 years ago.

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