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News Report Page 9 of 15
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Thorntons Liverpool ONE Grand Re-Opening
Photographs and report by Sean Taylor.

THE leading British chocolate brand with over 100 years' experience in confectionery has re-opened its doors in Liverpool ONE on Thursday, 24 October 2019. We were lucky enough to be invited to an exclusive press event that took pace on the evening prior the grand opening, and from what we had seen, chocoholics will not be disappointed!

Having been officially opened by The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Anna Rothery, we arrived to see the newly refurbished store, beautifully lit from inside behind glass doors, in front of which were the velvet ropes and a sign making it clear that the store isn't quite yet open to the public. Upon entering, we were offered drinks, and greeted by Dawn, the store manager, who accompanied us in a sort of tour throughout the store. Each stop on said tour was enthusiastically staffed, and our 1st stop was with Georgia. There, we were offered the new "Salted Caramel Pearls," which are a sort of chocolate sphere, maybe a little bigger than a Malteser, but with a delicious and smooth salted caramel centre. This smoothness was most evident in the Hot Chocolate we were then given by Joel, which is made with the same "Pearls," but melted and whisked into hot milk, and topped with cream.

After that, we were led to perhaps the most exciting stop on the tour, which was the "craftery," led by Jane; the store's own chocolatier. It was here that we were allowed to choose a selection of 9 individual Thorntons chocolates from "create your own" range, which while not comprehensive, does have plenty to offer. A disappointing and noticeable omission from this selection was my personal favourite; the champagne truffle. On the bright side though, this gave me the chance to learn more about some of the chocolates I hadn't tried before. Most interestingly, 3 of the chocolates were designed by Jane herself! These include the "Strawberries and Cream" (white chocolate with a soft strawberry and cream centre), the "Salted Caramel" (evidentially a very popular flavour at the moment, but this particular chocolate combines it with a praline base), and the "Chocolate Milano," which Jane tells us was heavily inspired by the rich, decadent hot chocolate drinks commonly found in Milan.

After returning from our figurative world tour at the craftery, we were taken to meet Abbie. Abbie is responsible for hand wrapping gift boxes of various chocolates. She demonstrated her skills for us with a box of Continental, and explained to us that the initial inspiration for said selection came from Walter Willem's trip to the Alps, where he was inspired by the snow topped ridges to create the "Alpini," which was made with Praline and dusted with white chocolate in order to resemble eponymous mountain range. We were also told that the, until then unnoticed (by me at least!) copper theme of the store, and the ribbons, is very deliberate and is intended to be reminiscent of the copper pots historically used by Thorntons to make their special toffee. Abbie's passion for gift wrapping was evident, and was really a joy to behold, especially for someone like me who can barely even pair my socks, let alone hand pleat a gift wrap on a box of chocolates!

Dawn then led us to Abigail, who is responsible for personalising gifts in the store, most notably at this time of year: advent calendars. Their calendars include a chocolate block that can be customised by way of having a name iced onto it. This is a wonderful way to add a more personal, special touch to a gift for a loved one, especially with the prevalence of seasonal supermarket gifts that simply cannot be personalised in this way at all. A new feature of the store, or at least, 1 I never recall seeing before, is the "Chocolate Library." Kirsty showed us the array of chocolates available, of which there were many. Unlike the more familiar offerings from Thorntons, like their continental selection, the "Chocolate Library" contains 90g blocks of solid chocolate, in a square packaging. These can be purchased individually, or in multiples at a discount. Multiples come packaged like a DVD or book "box set," as if they're designed to sit on a shelf rather than be eaten! Presumably this appearance is why this section is given the name "Library."

Finally, we were led to the last stop on our tour:- The Cafe. It's the cafe that really sets the Liverpool ONE Thorntons apart from others, in my opinion. They serve any hot chocolate or coffee you could imagine, as well as a new range of afternoon tea and baked products as shown to us by Ciara and Sam. Ciara told us that the impressive, multi tiered afternoon tea is available for just ₤25 and doesn't require booking in advance. This is good news, but I worry that should it become too popular that might not be the case for very long! Sam then gave us a look at some specific baked products, each inspired by a popular chocolate from the craftery. These include the triple chocolate brownie, the Sicilian lemon tart, the salted caramel tart, and the chocolate roulade. We ended our tour with samples of each of these, all of which were delicious and fresh, and a cup of coffee.

Sarah Ingram, Retail Director of Thorntons told us:- "We are thrilled to open our refurbished Thorntons store in Liverpool; it gives us the opportunity to demonstrate to existing and new customers the love and passion we have for our chocolates; the dedication to delivering beautifully crafted gifts that we pride ourselves on. We look forward to welcoming our customers to enjoy the Thorntons experience in the store and café."

If you're in Liverpool, perhaps doing some Christmas shopping in Liverpool ONE, I cannot recommend the newly refurbished Thorntons highly enough. The staff are wonderfully attentive: every single member we met was enthusiastic and helpful to a fault. The prices in the cafe are competitive with the likes of Starbucks or Costa, but what other cafe chain could you do any gift shopping in as well? I hope the photos attached to this article do the new store some justice, and I hope you have the time to get down there yourself. I know I'll be back, sooner rather than later!

Its is worth adding that Thorntons has over 100 years' experience in confectionery; starting its journey in Sheffield in 1911 where Joseph Thornton had the clear ambition to make his shop "the best sweet shop in Town." Thorntons then grew its experience and knowledge around confectionery craftmanship with the introduction of Easter Eggs in 1922, a unique toffee recipe in 1924 and the launch of Thorntons Continental in 1954. From then, until now, Thorntons is proud to share its range of premium and quality products with the nation; and the people of Liverpool.

Ask the Local Expert - Megafauna's Owner Ben Takes The Hot Seat!

....Please note that this is a sponsored feature....

WE have again under estimated the interest in our new feature, more so the topic we have chosen. Out inbox has again been flooded with lots of very interesting questions for our latest local expert to respond to. Due to this overwhelming response, we have given more time to the owner of Megafauna Vegan Cafe, on Wesley Street, Southport, to pick the very best question, as we did with Helen Woods, the owner of Southport's Felicity Hat Hire. We had intended to only run 5 questions from readers, but the response is so high, we want to get more of your emails covered. We are extremely pleased with the response, but we apologise for again not running the responses to your replies on time. If you would like to ake part in this feature please email us via:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com with contact information, a statement about what you do, your business name and where in the Liverpool City Region you are located! In future we will be taking questions within the first week of publishing a request for questions and running the replies within the edition on the second week after the request. That way our experts have more time to respond to your questions.

....Please note that this is a sponsored feature....

Halloween fun for all the family on Lord street

THIS year their are lots of things to see and do this Halloween, don't miss the Trick or Treat Village that has sprung up on Lord Street.  This fantastic attraction, run by Southport BID has been bringing people in from all over the North West. The event is part of many that are taking place in and around the Town Centre, from creepy film and story telling at Southport's Bijou Cinema, through to events at Pleasureand. We will have lots of photographs from this years Halloween fun in next weeks edition.

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