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Marks and Spencers Foodhall

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      12.03.2013 15:27
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      Fantastic, just needs a few more non grocery items

      I always end up with the vouchers they've given out after Christmas for £5 off a £25 spend. Every year I end up going for 4 weeks to use the vouchers up but then don't return regularly until the following January when the new promotional vouchers are given out again. This year however I was so impressed with the food that I've continued visiting. The prices and offers They do have some very overpriced items of food, for example one ready meal I came across that was not very big (wouldn't even serve 2 people in my opinion, although maybe I'm a bit greedy) and it was £8. It was a beef dish that was part of one of the bistro ranges that they do, but to me this was a very expensive price for one meal even if it does belong to the 'posher' range. I purchased it though as it looked good, was packaged well and to be honest I never even looked at the price until I'd already purchased it and there it was listed as £8 on my receipt. Lesson number 1 of shopping at the food hall - check the prices out of items before paying if you're on a budget because otherwise you may get a shock like I did. It isn't the sort of place that I can walk around and just fill my trolley up in because of cost - I always now check the prices first before I get to the till so there's no surprises. That said, I have come across some bargains in the food hall - the one on at the moment is 3 portions of fresh meat for £10, matching offers that are on currently in the other supermarkets and their meat is of excellent quality, I would say better than the other supermarkets. The count on us range and the feel full longer range were also on offer after Christmas, the count on us range being 3 for 2 although this has recently ended. There are other offers throughout the store, eg Chinese and Indian takeaway meals are currently 2 mains and 2 sides for £8 and chicken drumsticks are 2 packs for £7. If you hunt out the bargains, it's not that different in price to the other main 4 supermarkets, although if you don't hunt them out, I've found it works out much more expensive. Food Quality I have to say that everything, and I mean everything, has been of superb quality from there. The food is delicious, their fresh food is in date for a decent length of time and their ready meals are all of a very high quality. The exception I feel is their curry dishes - to me, they seem quite watery especially those in the healthier count on us range. Saying that though, they still taste very nice. The only other item I think doesn't live up to expectations is their spreadable straight from the fridge butter - it clearly doesn't and is rock solid when lifted from the fridge in my experience. General things about the store If you have children I wouldn't advise visiting on a Saturday afternoon. We shop in one of their bigger stores and it is so busy at weekends that my husband has to wait in the café for me with our baby while I run around and pick up everything we need. It's quite a nice shopping experience if it's not too busy on weekdays but when it is jam packed of people all trying to do their shopping as well it's not good at all and I usually want to get out of there as quickly as I can during these times. The aisles could do to be a bit wider too, especially if staff are restocking shelves, although this might be just a problem at my local store. Non Grocery Items This to me is where it's really let down. In the food hall is also a small area for non grocery items. To compete with the big 4 supermarkets though and to get people to exclusively shop there, they need to sort out the products they sell in this section such as cat food, washing powder etc. For example, I have a bottle fed baby and no baby milk at all is offered. Another example was when I held a party and needed some paper plates - I looked everywhere in the large food hall we shop at and in the end was told that they weren't sold there. As they sell so many party cakes, I just assumed they'd stock other party things and to me they aren't very obscure. There has been quite a few times where I've had to call in at another supermarket anyway to pick up non grocery items that they don't stock which really is creating work for me, but as their food tastes so good it is (kind of) worth it. It would be far better though if they stocked a bigger selection of non groceries so I didn't have to visit both stores. Wine In our local store there are 2 full aisles of wine, more than in our local Tesco! They stock a vast selection however a lot of these are marks and spencers own brand and the majority to me seem more expensive than their equivalents in Tesco and Asda. Tills The queues can be quite big at peak times but they do have a self service area in some stores and an express item area incase you only have a basket which really helps speed things up. Overall, I really rate Marks and Spencers food and it's quality, just wish it wasn't so expensive and I didn't have to rely on their offers.

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        17.11.2011 13:35
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        Great quality products at great prices!

        Marks and Spencer's foodhall is an area of some of the larger Marks & Spencer stores, however in the past few years there has been the addition of the M&S Simply Food stores. The foodhall/simply food stores are one of the main reaons I visit M&S. I find the items to be well laid out and there are clear allergy/vegetarian symbols on items. Items available are everything you would expect from a foodhall; cupboard items, fresh items, frozen items. In the past M&S only sold own brand products, however more recently, they have started selling other brand items as well. I generally only buy own brand products from M&S, and I find the quality to be very high. One of the main reaons I visit regularly is that I find the Lunch food at M&S the best out of the main supermarket shops, e.g. Sainsbury's, Tesco etc, there is a wide range on offer too, from sandwiches, to wraps, to salads, to sushi. One of my favourite sandwiches is the New York Deli which is delicious! Another of my favouriite lunch foods is the Indian Rice Salad which is so fresh and fragrant. I find the prices reasonable too, with there often being meal deals on offer. There is also a wide variety of ready meals on offer, from the standard choices of Italian, Indian, Chinese, British to more special ranges such as Gastropub and Cook! I often buy from the Cook! range, in particular the cajun style chicken which is very tasty and healthy too! There are also the count on us and nutritionally balanced ranges which are great if you are watching what you eat! On certain weekends, there is the dine in for £10, which is a great deal that offers a main meal, a side dish, a dessert and a bottle of wine/twin packs of juice for £10! There is a great variety to choose from and I find it to be great value and I often buy it as a treat. Several offers are available on a daily basis in store, for example 2 for £3 vegetables, in which I particularly like the Asparagus and Purple Sprouting Broccoli. Another of my favourites are the 2 for £4 chocolate/biscuit snack tubs, which include choices of flapjack, chocolate rolls and my favourite rocky road! The dessert section is extensive and I find the products to be extremely tasty, it is very hard to resist temptation of buying one on every visit! Some of my favourite desserts they offer are Key Lime Pie, Banofee Pie, Morello Cherry Tart, Melt in the middle Chocolate Puddings. They also do a turkish delight desset pot, which is delicious and something I have not seen in any other store. Overall I love Marks and Spencers foodhall, I find there to be a great selection on offer, at great prices!

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          03.10.2011 12:14
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          Marks and spensive is our nickname for M&S however we should revise this to marks and Spencer's yummy food, with exciting options and a very good variety at reasonable prices. We do not have a Marks and Spencer's very locally so I tend to visit infrequently and stock up when I do visit. Locally we have a food section in our service centre which carries a limited stock luckily it stocks my husband's favourite profiterole desert a delicious concoction of profiteroles and chocolate mouse which is guaranteed to stop grumpy male in tracks and at £1.39 is very reasonable for an occasional treat. I regularly buy the Ceaser salad which unlike others comes in a bowl and is in my opinion better than many I have been served up in restaurants and is a very generous portion at £3.49 it is a little expensive but it really is delicious. On my last visit I purchased some ready meals from there Italian range which was on offer at 3 for £5 we had the lasagne for him as it is his favourite and as the cardboard container was practically clean when finished I guess that speaks volumes! I had the 4 cheese ravioli and it was delicious I added some rocket salad and I have to say I would have been very complimentary if that had been served in a restaurant! When I have been to the proper food stores I always purchase their count on us mousse these do not taste as through they are diet ones! I also like the glazes for chicken as well as the peppercorn sauce, my daughter loves the fishcakes and well it wouldn't be a trip without the half coated Dutch shortcake!! Summary I think M&S sells very good quality food at very reasonable prices for what they sell and when they have offers on it becomes very cheap. I wish they would open a proper store in Abingdon or Didcot then we could take advantage more often.

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          24.11.2010 17:15

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          My family really enjoys M & S ready meals. Our particular favourites are in the Italian range. Unfortunately the number one dish on our list is Chicken Lasagna but this has not been available in our local store for several months (MERRYHILL, WEST MIDLANDS). Has it been discontinued? If "YES" why? We also spend a lot of time in Torquay,Devon and have enquired why it does not appear on M & S shelves at their WILLOWS store. Staff at both stores are unable to answer this question.

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          12.10.2010 20:57
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          yummy, yummy, yummy and yummy agian!!

          Well where do I start with this one apart from to say that I am a total Marks and Spencers Foodhall addict! The food is amazing and working around the corner from the large Nottingham store does not help my addiction one tiny bit. My parents have always shopped at Marks and Spencer for food, it was mainly just for special occasions like Christmas, Easter, Birthday parties etc but in the last few years the numbers of offers and the introduction of the meal deal has meant it has become more of a weekly treat than a special occasion. I don't think that I have ever had a product that I do not like from Marks and Spencer food, everything is so tasty. Some of the products however do have there fair share of calories and fat but think this adds somewhat to the pleasure. Another great aspect is the constant introduction of new dishes and ideas that other supermarkets seem to lag behind on. They were the first ones to do the meal deal, the new traybake marinades and casserole/stirfry step-by-step meal creations are also unique. To me sometimes its just about finding something new and exciting to make for dinner, I get fed up of seeing the same old products in the likes of Tesco's and Asda. So for the food hall itself I am going to give a little description of my favourite sections of the store and my favourite must buy products in them. ~~~~~Bakery~~~~~ I'm not sure if all the foodhall's have this but mine certainly has its own fresh bake section. Here you can find a selection of daily baked bread (including the gorgeous french stick),rolls, scones, muffins and tarts. There is also the pre-packed bakery offering a similar selection but with the addition of loaves, celebration cakes and biscuits. My favourites from here have to include the double chocolate muffins which are rich, moist and full of delicious chocolate chunks. Also the Viennese biscuit selection, a very naughty treat of buttery, yummyness! ~~~~~Lunchtime selection~~~~~ I do try and take my own lunch to work to save money and my waistline but this does not always happen so from time to time (about 3 times a week) I find myself nipping down to M&S. The only problem I have is deciding what to have, they have such a fantastic choice from sandwiches, wraps, salads, pasta salads, sausage rolls, samosas, sushi and not to mention the desserts and crisps. Some of the items can be a little pricey and you can soon rack up a £4-£10 lunch but many of the products are a couple of pounds. My favourites are the smoked ham with mustard mayo sandwich, the Mexican rice salad and samosas all priced between £1-£2 so not breaking the bank either. My only disappointment that I have, please if your reading M&S boses is the recent removal of the individual banoffee pie!!! This was a dessert that I dreamt about so rich and creamy, I had to have at least one per week but around three months ago it disappeared from the shelves never to return....please, please bring it back!! ~~~~~Meat~~~~~ Marks and Spencer meat is fantastic if your entertaining guests as never have I had a tough steak or fatty joint. It never disappoints all the meat is always succulent and tender. I love the chickens, the oakham ones, and yes I know there not from Oakham after watching the latest TV program but I don't care they taste great. Many chickens from supermarkets today are tasteless and watery but the Oakham chickens have a wonderful flavour and make an excellent roast. I am also a fan of there 'ready to roast' joints, the honey roast gammon and lamb are divine and simple melt in your mouth. ~~~~~Ready Meals~~~~~ This is certainly one area where M&S excel, I'm very wary of microwave/ready meals due to not really knowing what is in them. But with M&S I know that there food is such good quality that I can trust to buy them and know what I'm getting is good honest fresh ingredients just trying to make my life a little easier. The Italian range which has been around a few years now as well as the 'cook' range are my favourites and if you have not tried them then get to your local store and give them a go. ~~~~~Meal Deal~~~~~ The marks and Spencer meal deal has been a success from the start. Introduced around the beginning of the recession people soon saw the idea of a good quality main, side, dessert with a bottle of wine for a snip at £10 being a great deal. Not only do you have a good selection on offer and to cater for all tastes and dietary needs you can cook it all quickly and easily, giving a great result. Also as the recent advert says 'you don't even need a cab' so even more savings to be had. In conclusion Marks and Spencer foodhall will always be my favourite place for food shopping. Yes it does mean that I need to spend a little more but I think for the quality and taste I can easily justify it. All I need now is for them to bring the individual banoffee pie back or I will be forced to buy the larger size and that will do my diet no good!!

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            03.06.2010 20:24
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            Its not just any Food Hall its an M&S Food Hall

            The Marks and Spencers Food hall is not just any food hall, its an M&S food hall and as such, its been very cleverly marketed, in order to make us imagine we are getting prime quality products with M&S quality. So like lambs to the slaughter we go in for one item and come out with a basket full. Even when the smiley sales assistant asks for '£29.50 please', we still manage to walk away happy. In fact it seems that we don't mind paying just a little extra for the pleasure of getting our hands on M&S products. Since the very clever advertising execs who work on behalf of M&S, came up with the 'Your M&S' idea, sales have improved and we have flocked to the food hall in our droves. Its not the modern in store lay out that seems to attract us either, as many M&S food halls look as if they are in dire need of a facelift. It just seems that over the course of many years we have come to know and love M&S and see it as part of our food culture. ********************************************************** The products sold in the food halls cover a wide variety, including a very good and reasonably priced wine section. With a selection of wines including the prosceccos', cavas' and frizzantes' flying off the shelves in summer time when bbq parties are in full swing and then again at chrstmas time when they are a good alternative to champagne. The reds are good too as are the fruit and wine mixes that are a lighter summery alternative. There are often 25% off 6 bottle promotions to look out for, making some of the wines very reasonable indeed. Recent additions to the range of food hall products has been the £10 dine in meal for two promotion. Marketed by M&S as a restaurant quality meal for two people, its available every two weeks or so, with an ever changing menu of delights. ********************************************************* You get to choose from a starter, main course, dessert and wine or soft drink selection and the discounted cost often means you save around £10 or so on normal shelf edge prices. Some of the dishes within the promotion offer better value than others, but over all the deal is a good one. The £10 dine in deal has been such a winner with the public that other stores like Tesco followed suit, under cutting the price by a whole £1 to try to tempt buyers away from the M&S deal. The other supermarkets also came up with cheaper £5 meal deals and the M&S food halls, not to be out done, responded in kind with their own take on 3 for £5 deals and cheaper meal deal promotions. ********************************************************* One thing that has changed in the food hall and that has been widely discussed, was the introduction of the 2p charge if you wanted a bag to put your goodies in after your shop. Whilst other well known stores have so far rejected this option, M&S went ahead and brought it in. So if you happen to have forgotten your bags you will now end up paying extra, just to carry your shopping home. The word is that the 2p fee was introduced in order to keep down the amount of bags given away and thus help the environment at the same time. So the 10p bag for life came into its own and if you remember to take it with you every time, if for some reason it becomes broken or damaged then M&S will replace it with a new one free of charge. ********************************************************* The latest promotion that is due to hit our M&S shelves is the selected addition of key products made by other well known brands such as Heinz ketchup and Nescafe coffee. The idea behind this is that the consumer will still in most cases opt for the slightly cheaper M&S product, which then reminds them what smashing value for money they are getting. But it also gives people more choice in the food hall too. Only time will tell if this new idea will be as successful as the previous marketing strategies, but either way its good to see Marks and Spencers moving with the times. Now I don't know about you but I am off to crack open a chocolate pudding with caramel sauce. Its not just any chocolate pudding either its made by those very clever people we know as M&S.

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              19.05.2010 15:36
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              high prices for high quality food

              Marks and Spencers food halls are about the best part of the chain. This is also the part which during the dark days of poor profits kept the company afloat. The products are marketed at the middle class and have premium price tags to all the products. The meals tend to follow the trends you see on the daytime food programs as they see these viewers as their target market. The food is all very very nice. The products are all made for m&s and until recently this even went down to the toilet roll and cola products which they sold although recently this policy has changed. The food is all made to be free from artificial flavouring and salt. All the things which are getting a bad press at the minute. However, it is not just prepared meals which they sell. They also sell raw chicken and red meats which are all branded as being from small volume organic farmers and therefore they are better tasting than what you would get in the supermarket. To be fair they do taste very nice. Although I reckon you can get just as good in your supermarket's premium range.

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                18.04.2010 22:24
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                If you're in M&S, might as well pop in and try

                We don't go to Marks and Spencer very often but when we do we always stop in the cafe for a little break. They have a nice variety of stuff to choose from but we always stick with the sweet options which you are confronted with when first entering. They have stuff like scones, croissants, iced cake, apple turnover - a real nice variety. However, you don't usually get all these things at once. Usually you'll just find a few options and then next time you go there'll be a few different ones. I guess I quite like this as there is a very small element of...surprise when entering. It just sucks when you've been looking forward to something only to find that it is not there. However, there is alway something nice to choose in my experience. I really recommend choosing anything. The scones are absolutely delicious and you can choose either butter or sunflower margarine to go with it. I really recommend the margarine in particular. It is really flavourful and adds a great taste to whatever you put it on. The teacake is very popular with people and I can see why this is. The teacake is massive and the staff will toast it for you if you like. I don't really like it toasted though because by the time you get back to your seat it has gone cold anyway. However, it is really is a filling option. The only bad experience we have had is with the apple turnover which hardly had any apple in its whatsoever and was just generally unpleasant since it was practically all sugary pastry. The bad thing about the cafe is that you almost always have to queue for ages. You will literally be standing for about five, ten minutes before you get to your seat especially if you go at any point during the afternoon - not sure about the morning. I don't know if it's REALLY worth the wait but having a bite to eat in the cafe is a nice break from shopping. The items are relatively inexpensive as a treat. Scones about £1.20 I think and the rest are around the same. They are all quite a reasonable size and you don't feel like you've been cheated. The staff are quite friendly and it's easy to get a glass of water here. However, some cafes seem to put ice in it while others do not. It's not particularly pleasant to drink warm water. The atmosphere is generally quite nice. There are some cushioned seats which are nice to get on but the regular chairs are sufficiently comfortable. There is usually a huge amount of people in the cafe but it's not too bad. You don't feel cramped in or anything. The staff are quite efficient in clearing up tables so new people can get in. All in all, I think it's quite a pleasant experience to eat here. The only problem is that it seems too many people are aware of this so it is always full! I've only eaten the sweet options as mentioned but, quite frankly, the other options like the jacket potato and sandwiches look and smell delicious. I'd recommend trying anything here as it seems everything is of high quality.

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                  11.04.2010 19:34
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                  If you're looking for something special for a meal, then M&S is the place to go.

                  Marks and Spencer food-hall tends to be where I'll go when looking for something special, or something different on a Saturday whilst I'm in town. If I could afford too, I would do my full food shopping here, but sadly I'm unable to do this, but it's nice for a treat every now and again! A particular favourite is their 'Two Dine in for £10' offer, which I always get when it's available. You are able to get a main meal, a side-dish, a pudding plus either a bottle of wine or a soft-drink selection for £10 - this is great value as the range on offer is good (at least 5-6 mains for choice, several choices for all other parts). We've had the Haddock Gratin before, and the Gastropub Moussaka - both were absolutely gorgeous and would thoroughly recommend them! When the offer is rang through at the till now, your receipt shows the total saving (it did not used too) - often you save £8/£9 on what they would cost separately. We also did the 'Valentine's Meal for £20' earlier this year too - and found this to be a bargain for a lovely meal in at home, without the hassle of going to an overpriced/overcrowded restaurant. They do a good choice of foods, and have started to get more 'branded' items in, which M&S never used to do. Personally I find their own ranges superb though, and would probably never consider buying a branded item if I was there anyway. Their meat and fruit/vegetables tend to be quite pricey compared to regular supermarkets, but the quality of the product could not be faulted on the couple of occasions I have purchased these. Overall - if you're looking for something special for a meal, then M&S is the place to go. If you're on a tight budget - maybe try to time it for the 'Two Dine In' offers to get a lovely meal for 2 (sometimes 3, depending on the options).

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                    27.03.2010 02:45

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                    Great food when you can afford it

                    Oh how I wish I could afford to shop in Marks and Spencer's food halls all the time. I would, but their just a little bit too pricey for me to use all the time. I usually do my weekly shop in a supermarket and then just buy bit's and pieces in M and S food if I'm nearby. One thing I do buy on a very regular basis is their mineral water. It's 35p for 1.5 litres and tastes lovely. I think that is a very good price and good value compared to the best brands of mineral water. The other thing I buy a lot of is their white farmhouse style bread. It's lovely and light, very tasty and you can usually get 2 for £2, which I think is reasonable when you think about other brands of bread. Over about the last year I have tried a few different products from M and S food and I have been very impressed. When you first look a their prices, they do seem very high in comparison to the supermarkets, but when you taste the food, you know why. You really are paying for quality! The meats are always tender and succulent, the fruit and vegetables are very juicy and fresh and the ready meals do taste or look like ready meals at all, and much more like a home cooked meal. They do a great range of sweets that are sugar free but taste very sweet. My dad is diabetic and so these make a great little treat for him and are no more expensive than anywhere else at 50p-£1 per pack. M and S food do have a very good selection of food. They have all your usual daily foods like bread, meat etc, but they also have some more unusual foods. I looked everywhere for a raspberry cordial and couldn't find one anywhere, then I found it in M and S and was delighted and it was only about £2.50 per bottle which is pretty good considering it's organic as well. I don't usually like to spend a lot of money on food, after all your renting rather than buying, but I do think that the food from M and S is well worth the extra and do treat myself here and there. If I could afford to I would certainly shop there all there time. Their food really is a cut above the supermarkets.

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                    30.01.2010 18:23
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                    Very nice - if you can afford it!

                    It was announced a little while back that a trial in which Marks & Spencer would offer a limited range of branded products in a few of their food halls had been deemed a success, and thus some branded goods would be rolled out to other stores in due course. Since this rather marks the end of an era in M&S food retailing, I thought it might be an appropriate time to consider the way things still are (in most branches) at the moment. M&S food halls vary, as you would expect, according to the size of the shop. I haven't come across a branch that doesn't have one at all, though I can't be sure that they don't exist. I do remember reading some years ago, however, that the single best-selling line in M&S, taken across the country, was frozen chicken, so you do have to wonder sometimes whether maybe it would make more sense for them to get rid of all those boring old clothes and just become an out-and-out supermarket! All joking aside, it has to be said that in the smaller branches the amount of space given over to food does have a noticeable impact on the amount of space remaining for everything else, and in those shops the range of clothing is often a little bit poor. However, quite a few stores have been expanded in recent years - I'm thinking in particular of one in Worcester, which I visit quite often - and in those locations both sets of products coexist very happily. In the Worcester branch, the food hall is on the bottom floor. The sloping terrain means that this is in the basement as you approach from one side of the shop, but at ground floor level on the other, which can be a little bit confusing, but - as with most M&S shops I've been to - the staff are always willing to help with orientation if you get lost! Actually, at this point I should say that the staff seem a fair bit happier than at most supermarkets: otherwise only in Waitrose and (perhaps surprisingly) Morrisons do they seem more relaxed than at the others. There is a definite "supermarket" feel to things once inside the food hall, with a distinct absence of natural light and that chill in the air you always get when many chillers and freezer units are gathered together. It's a little bit less spartan than the likes of Tesco, but then so it should be considering the price differential! The Worcester branch offers little in the way of creature comforts, although there is the odd chair dotted around and a tiny customer toilet if you know exactly where to look. As alluded to in my opening paragraph, one of the defining features of the M&S food hall - for the moment - is that just about everything is own-brand, though (sadly, in my book) the long-running "St Michael" label has been phased out in favour of simply using the company name. This can be a blessing, in that you tend to find interesting new products while poking around, or it can be a curse, in that if you really need a bottle of Heinz ketchup or a packet of Mars Bars you're going to have to go elsewhere to find them. Prices... well, this *is* M&S, so what do you think they're like? To be fair, they're not *that* expensive, and seem generally to be on a par with Waitrose or the posher end of Sainsbury's. I rather doubt that anybody does their weekly shopping at M&S unless they have at least a reasonable budget, so the absence of any truly no-frills products is probably not going to cause too many palpitations. Besides, the food halls just aren't large enough to stock the same range of goods as a giant Asda. But quality is the watchword here: there is a decided tilt towards luxury and higher-end foods, with a higher percentage of the area being given over to these than in a straightforward supermarket. While I personally would suggest that the presence of tubs and tubs of chocolate ring biscuits is in itself grounds for adulation on a grand scale, it's probably fair to say that - especially in the run-up to Christmas - M&S make an awful lot of their profits from these things. Since they are almost never worse than "quite nice", I can't really complain. I mentioned the staff approvingly earlier on, and now I'm going to do the same again. The checkouts are generally well populated, and the larger stores have "quick tills" (my name) for the sandwich-and-water crowd at lunchtimes. Queues are kept much shorter than at the average supermarket, and you don't see the expanses of empty checkout seats which can sometimes blight even the mighty Tesco. I've also found that the staff are kind and friendly, which is a surprisingly rare asset in British retail. As you'll have gathered, I'm quite impressed with my local M&S food hall, and most others I've visited have had similar attributes. I'd personally prefer a little more natural light, but this seems to be an absolute no-no for food retail on this scale; don't ask me why. You do need to be rather well-heeled to use M&S as your main supermarket (which is one reason why I don't!) and I'd miss some of the big brands... ...but actually I'm rather sad that they're on their way in. The M&S food hall really will never be quite the same again after that; it will be much more like Waitrose. So I'll enjoy it in its more-or-less pure form now while it still lasts.

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                      30.01.2010 10:16
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                      It's good for a treat

                      I base my M&S Food experience mainly on the Blackheath and Greenwich food stores in South East London. There is no denying that the food Marks and Spencer do is usually of good quality. I'm a big fan of their desserts, including the Key Lime Pie and their fresh bakery treats. Their diet coke is second only to the brand Diet Coke. It has a brilliant taste to it. There is also no denying that Marks and Spencer is a very middle-class supermarket, whichever way you spin it. The chain store attracts mainly what I like to call the 'golden' generation and professionals, because everything is very expensive. I've found items to be usually twice the price of what you pay in other supermarkets. The problem is, because of the extortion, people (or I) make the mistake of thinking all of their food is 100% perfect. And it isn't. Their mince meat tends to be on the fatty side. In fact I think a lot of their meat is over priced, although it usually tastes pretty good. Their offers are very deceptive and their HQ obviously has a big marketing budget, because they must employ some money-hungry graduate to come up with offers that make you think that you are saving money when you're not. For example, their small packets of chicken breasts were recently 2 for £5, when individually they only cost £2.60! A 20p saving is not a bargain! To be perfectly honest, I am a working-class girl and I only shop at these places because of how local they are to the places I stay. If a Lidl, Asda or an Iceland was nearer, I would shop there and wouldn't give M&S a second thought. Also, I am not impressed with their staff overall. One day my friend and I were in there, and one of the staff was showing some couple where something was, and she actually said to us "can you get out of the way?" You'd think a posh shop like that would only recruit people with manners! I've seen much kinder staff in Iceland. Also, their checkout staff are extremely slow compared to other supermarkets, meaning their queues are hideously long. I try to buy from small, independent shops when I can, as it's important to support the little guy trying to earn a crust and help his community, but M&S do seem to be trying to be ethical with their fair trade policies, free range farm food and 5p bags so I don't feel too satanic when I shop there. However, on the whole, it's generally a pleasant experience shopping there and their food is good!

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                        11.01.2010 20:57
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                        only to spoil yourself

                        At the Marks and Spencer Food hall, I've tried the most fruity orange lemonade I've ever seen- a good reason to present you the food hall with all the other bunge of delicious products. The Marks and Spencer Food hall is a shop that sells groceries all under its own brand Marks and Spencer. As far as I can think back, I've only had good experience with the Food hall. Mostly I visit them when I travel, because there plenty of food halls also at motorway services. In nearly every food hall we find a fridge with sandwiches and salats and other fresh products, sometimes there are also fresh fruits and cool drinks-like my sparkling florida lemonade. This is a really really tasty orange lemonade which I can highly recommend because I've never tried something like this before. Moving on in a food hall, we also find biscuits and sweets, as well as crisps and other snacks. Sure the products are more expensive here than in a normal superstore, but I believe they really have better ingredients and are more healthy. Unfortunately no one can pay for these prices on the longrun, but I think the products are something nice to spoil yourself- I would recommend only to buy there sometimes, otherwise it would become to expensive.

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                        09.01.2010 05:05
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                        Save a few extra pounds for a shop in here as its worth the indullgence.

                        If I had the chance I would now shop here all the time, the reason being is that with food one should not compromise on quality and I truly believe the this store doesn't. The good thing is this that the prices are now reasonable too. The main foodhall I shopped in was the one in Bath, but i now use the one in Birkenhead as its now my new local. Both of them, I'm glad to say maintain consistency in the service they offer. In store there is a lunch counter which sells sandwiches/sushi and a variety of luch time option but has its own meal deal which is only £2. The quality you get for that money though is excellent and I would recommend it to anyone who previously thought it'd cost the earth. Apart from that, despite having a small frozen section, majority of the food on sale in the fresh food section is refrigerated. This is handy as its easy to prepare and you get the sense that the time between packaging and in the chiller placement is small. Ok I'm not going to say that some of the items are not expensive, but every time I have paid a lot of money for something in there, it has been worth every penny. The store has also catered to the times though and scattered amongst the more luxury items, there is a value range and to be honest I cannot really say the taste is still excellent, the value ham to use but one example. There is a alchohol section which stocks all the necessary "essentials" and you can always find a good glass of wine in there if needed. I would not recommend going on a beer run there though because in this section is where they have not necessarily offered cheaper options. Neverthless the tinned food, preserves etc finish off this excellent store brilliantly and you can be rest assured that you will always have some exotic options combined with the necessary essentials.

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                        06.01.2010 17:31
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                        great foodhall and buy special meals and prepared meals easy to cook

                        Im pretty impressed with the overall image, pricing and quality of the marks and spencers food hall selection and beleive the prices now rival quite a few supermarkets. If you want something special to eat, or fed up of the normal everyday then go to marks and get something thats pre done and to the best quality also. Ok yes it is slightly more expensive than the majority of other supermarkets, but youd be surprised with many items just how cheap they are and of course they do the fabulous two dine in for £10 which is an absolute winner, especially when it also includes a bottle of wine! I have recently also come across their vegetarian selection and I must say I was very impressed. Im not a vege but had one staying with me and we wanted to have a special meal and it was a beautiful meal to say the least. Really good vegetarian selection, not huge but what they have is very tasty and certainly not boring at all. The meat is expensive and the chickens seem to vary in price as I have got them there for £4 but they go up more often that coming down. I rarely buy fresh meat there but they do some great deals on breaded chickens, mince and such. Go there for a special meal idea that you dont want much preperation for and youll be in for a winner, but an everyday shop this is not.

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