Some statistics for you. I live exactly a 22 minute walk from the nearest Space NK, a 12 minute walk from the closest coffee shop and 30 minutes walk away from the clothing Mecca which is Whistles (can you tell what my guilty pleasures are?!)
Well now I can add a new statistic into this list – a 14 minute walk from the nearest M&S food hall! When Mr B and I found out that Marks and Spencers were moving into a new development on our road we were genuinely excited – Percy Pigs and freshly baked sourdough on our doorstep – yes please! The rumour mill started several months ago about the new occupant to Whiteladies Road but was only confirmed several weeks ago – much to our delight!
Last week I was invited to the opening of the new store and I clearly wasn’t the only person feeling the M&S love – with a queue of more than 100 waiting for the doors to open, even Colin the Caterpillar turned up to welcome people in! What struck me however was the genuine enthusiasm of the staff waiting to start their first day of work in the sparkly new store – all wanting to chat about what their favourite M&S food hall product was! Several gems of information gleaned included the general manager being a huge fan of cheese straws and freshly baked doughnuts being the bakery staff’s snack of choice – who knew?!
One lady caught my eye – having been there since 7am she talked about the fact that she is now able to walk to an M&S which will significantly make her shopping trips easier having always had to rely on buses to get to the nearest one before. And I think that’s the beauty of the positioning of the new store – perfectly placed in walking distance of many residential areas, those members of the community who find travelling difficult or have mobility issues now have an additional option for food shopping which caters for every day needs and a little touch of luxury every now and then….
Whilst the main attraction is the yummy food, M&S food halls also bring the convenience of click and collect for clothing (perfect for disorganised mum school uniform emergencies!) and a huge range of skincare and beauty including my favourites Pixi Skincare, Emma Hardie and Ren. Very handy but also a little bit dangerous for my bank balance…..
With the sunshine out in force I headed straight to the picnic section and stocked up on, amongst other things, cheese, olives, bread and of course some fondant fancies, before heading back up the Downs for a lunchtime feast. My top pick had to go to the Manchego cheese and ham rollitos…seriously delicious, it was all I could do not to eat the entire pack in one go! For unexpected guests, school cake sale emergencies and date night dinner ideas M&S has you covered – I foresee a lot of ‘Dine in for £10’ meal deals being consumed around here in the next few months…….
Whilst part of my heart belong to the sereneness of living near the sea there’s another part of it which thrives on living in a city and all the amenities that brings! I’m not quite ready to give up on that and move to the countryside just yet!
~ This is a collaborative post with Marks and Spencers and I was kindly given a gift card to spend in store ~