I love Marlborough. I may be a relatively new import but my fresh eyes appreciate it every day. It makes me smile, inside and out.
So when I was asked to share my blog on ‘searching for the good life ‘ in Admire , I didn’t hesitate!
Moving to a new area gives you the opportunity to reevaluate what is important to you, what you have left behind and what makes your new hometown great.
Amongst a long list of revelations are some that have made life just that bit sweeter.
I’m thinking sweets. Sweet treats. Cakes. Slices. Just like Grandma used to make ( or sometimes even better…!)
In the bigger cities, you are swamped with homogenous offerings that are mass produced and fill shelf after shelf of the vast number of bakeries around town. They satisfy a sweet tooth or craving but that’s about all. No one is ever going to ask for the recipes.
However, visit any home bake stall at a school gala or similar and just make sure you’re there early as they are always the most popular, sell out quick and make a tidy contribution to fund raising.
Books on home baking, jam making and preserving crowd the shelves and most of us can admit to having a few in the kitchen – either for use or (more likely ) decoration !
We love it. We can’t get enough of it. Honest, simple and ‘home-made’.
And lucky for us, Marlborough does it well and does it in abundance.
We are blessed with the number of high quality cafés that cater for every craving. But the stand out is the vast array of authentic baked goods that we are spoiled with . Most are lovingly made fresh each day.
Trust me, this is not normal.
Normal is the generic and standardised produce mentioned above that floods the larger town and cities.
Whether it’s a slice of heaven in the form of the lemon syrup cake with mascarpone and vanilla buttercream filling from Ritual, or the fabulous date and cinnamon scones that follow a precious recipe from generations of talented family chefs from CBD, or many many on my list, we are spoiled for choice.
Baking and treats are an emotional issue. They connect us with memories and can transport us in an instant to happy times gone by – often involving parents and grandparents.
When I was growing up in Edinburgh, it was a family treat to go to S Luca ice cream parlour for a chocolate nougat wafer or a ’99’ with their incredible vanilla ice cream ( there were 3 flavours back then – vanilla , chocolate and strawberry but they were all amazing). Then when my girls were growing up in North Yorkshire , it was Suggits ice cream in Great Ayton for their treats. Both have been around for a long time. In Marlborough we don’t have an ice cream shop with such a history, but we should and luckily we have one that merits longevity. D’Vine gelato transports me back to the best of the best. Not only that, but they make their own fudge on site – another treat destination for young and old alike. As we start our own next generation this year, I’m looking forward to many reasons to take them there for their treats.
Now although I will admit to having a selective sweet tooth, I’m very particular when it comes to choosing my empty calories! Not any chocolate will do ( I’ve been known to re route business trips to allow me to visit See’s candies in the USA for one particular chocolate…….I kid you not). But I’ve happily adapted to some of the wonderful creations at our very own chocolate factory – Makana – with the Marlborough salted caramels being my go to when I need a bit of a chocolate fix. How lucky are we to have our very own gold ticket to visit whenever we want – and get free samples too!
There are so many reasons to be happy here in Marlborough. Some more important than others.
Sweet treats and nostalgia may not have been top of my wish list when it came to moving but it has arguably been the icing on the cake…..…!