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Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.
Sugar Spell: Fun House of Sweets & Activities for Kids in Maadi
Being a kid in Egypt can really suck at times. You can’t exactly play outside on the streets since there is a 99% chance you’ll get run over by a car and when it comes to Egyptian candy and sweets, well, it just isn’t that good. Luckily, Sugar Spell has recently opened up on Road 6 in Maadi and it's a haven for children. It’s pretty much Tamarai for toddlers.
Located in a villa, Sugar Spell is made up of two floors and is surrounded by a big garden. In the garden there are swings and trampolines; there is also a big terrace where parents can chill while their little darlings get high on sugar. On the first floor of Sugar Spell there is a candy shop that would impress 50 Cent himself. There are M&M dispensers with all the colours you can think of - including pink, grey and all the other ones you wouldn’t find in your average pack. A small bag sets you back 35LE. The same goes for the jellybeans; all strawberry cheesecake-flavoured jellybean lovers can finally give in to their addiction. Apart from the candy shop, children (and adults) can also participate in activities such as colour a cookie (55LE), lollipop making (30LE) and painting on either wood or paper. For 40LE you can also play on a Playstation, Wii or Xbox.
The upper floor can be rented out for private parties. There is a room filled with clothing where the kids can dress up and have their face painted. There is also a big balcony which is secured for children’s safety.
A restaurant located in the garden has a menu with child-friendly dishes such as burgers, pizza and pasta. Personally, we indulged in an bubblegum ice cream cone (16LE). The bubblegum flavour was a mixture of strawberry and vanilla and tasted as perfectly sweet as it should be. There was quite limited choice of ice cream available though, which is disappointing. The waffles (18LE) come with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream so drench the waffle in chocolate et voila, the perfect dessert; considering of course that you can handle all the sweetness.
The staff are very friendly and for your first visit it is advised to take a tour of the premises. Do note that the staff doesn’t necessarily look after the children; they are still your own responsibility.
Sugar Spell is a brand new concept in Cairo and because of their candy shop they immediately cater to two different groups. Though intended for children, adults won’t be bored here either.
With Egypt's undying sweet-tooth alive and well, it was only a matter of time before Cairo's shops latched onto the city's Achilles heel; something that has been realised at Sun City Mall, with the aptly named Candy Shop. Hidden near the back passage on the 3rd floor across from Fun Kingdom, Candy Shop has a chic all-white interior with rainbow mosaic swirls accenting the floor. The décor balances out the radiant colors of the candy and chocolates wonderfully and almost made us feel like we stepped into a child’s dream.
Stocking goodies that include international favourites, Haribo, Hershey’s, Jelly Belly and Wonka, Candy Shop doesn’t limit itself to confectionary treats, as it also sells merchandise with a candy twist. Twist lollipops equipped with animal finger puppets, Disney character and Hello Kitty coin banks (135LE), children’s tumblers filled with M&Ms, Nerds t-shirts (60LE+) and pillows, Skittles electronic hand fans and much more are all on offer.
Also displaying season-specific candies and packages, we noticed some remnants of Christmas themed candy-canes and Hershey’s Kisses, as well as a few Santa Clause chocolate bundles. An entire wall is dedicated to dispenser-friendly candies such as Jelly Belly jellybeans, M&Ms (233LE/kg) and a unique assortment of gum balls.
In terms of individual candy and chocolate, Candy Shop has fairly decent prices and most generic sweets won’t set you back more than 20LE.
Buying something sweet for those special occasions is made easier with event-themed chocolate boxes that show everything from baby carriages to mortarboards for fresh graduates. Belgium chocolate maker, Guylian, is also available for the more mature palettes, as are Salt Water Taffy and liquorice pieces. Plastic trees with twist lollipops are scattered around the store, as are Chupa Chups stands. A cartoonish Native American chieftain stands proud with sticks of candy in place of the feathers on its elaborate headdress.
A complete corner is reserved for Italian wafer brand, Loacker, and contains bins filled to the brim with mini pieces of the sweet treats. The Hershey’s section is stocked with the original candybar, York patties and Kisses, in addition to a separate division solely for everything Reese’s. The Wonka and Haribo walls are packed with promotional items such as plush toys of the Haribo bear mascot and little Nerds character key-chains for Wonka. A large island placed in the middle of the store is exclusively reserved for sale items with some spectacular bargains such as a 'buy one get one free' deal on rainbow Twizzlers (12.50LE).
With an almost endless variety of sweets and even sweeter prices, Candy Shop is sure to put ecstatic smiles on the faces of shoppers, particularly the younger age group.