Think of M&M and those little multicoloured coated chocolate candies come to mind. Everyone who grows up eating them seems to have a favourite colour. Not to mention different ways of devouring them. Are you a single, threes or a fistful? A chomper, a crusher or sucker? Me? I'm a nibbler - one at a time, twirling it round the mouth until the chocolate casing melts and soft chocolate filling oozes out. And believe me, there is no difference in taste, it's just colouring over a white based casing.
It amazes me what M&M World stores actually sell. Sure, M&M chocolate candies come in almost every shade conceivable. Even then, everything can be squeezed into a space of 10sqm. The M&M World store in London's Leicester Square spreads over a whopping 3,250sqm. Just what can M&M come up with to fill up four storeys? Quite a bit actually.
For starters, a replica of London Routemaster bus greets the visitors (not customers mind you, the shop is almost a tourist attraction on its own). Right beside it stands a huge Union Jack collage made of M&M candies arranged according to their colours - how convenient. Halfway up a stairs, a staff dispenses free candies alongside portraits of M&M royalties (Henry VII and Victoria I M&Ms). Large M&M figurines are placed strategically on all floors - perfect for photo opportunities.
Never mind that two bottles of candies go for £25, you'll most probably end up buying anything other than candies. M&M World is a merchandise paradise: keychains, cups, fridge magnets, ear rings, charms, coin pouches, paper bags, sticker books, candy dispensers, plates, BPA-free bottles, golf balls, playing cards, shirts, briefs, pyjamas, and I'm not even halfway through here.
For an additional fee, you can even personalise a gift at the Mix Lab in the basement. For those looking to splash a bit, certified collectable figurines are available on the first floor. Have a spare penny? Pop it into the coin press with a pound and you'll have the penny melted down and pressed into one of the selected M&M designs. It even has a (M&M colour) mood detector station.
No, M&M World is unlikely to replace the National Gallery just down the road anytime soon. But it is giving The likes of Ripley's Believe it or Not a run for its money. Just be careful not to spend an entire afternoon in this candy store.
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Friday, January 3, 2014
M&M World (London) - largest candy store in the world