Marks and Spencer

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Marks and Spencer

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Review of "Marks and Spencer"

published 13/06/2003 | pattiemason
Member since : 25/11/2002
Reviews : 20
Members who trust : 1
About me :
Pro Convenience and quality
Cons Expense
very helpful
Value for money
Layout & presentation
Selection & range

"Ready Meal Heaven"

Over the last year I’ve become a bit of an expert on Marks and Spencer foodhalls. It’s the nearest supermarket to my work, so convenient for lunchtime sandwiches, quick snacks and those evenings when you know there’s nothing in the fridge at home.

Marks and Spencer have had some image problems over the last few years, mostly to do with being a bit staid and boring, especially in the fashion department. However, there’s nothing dull about their foodhalls, especially if it’s convenience you’re after. They have an extensive selection of good quality ready prepared meals, where the only cooking involved is removing the cardboard box and piercing the film with a fork before popping in the oven and putting your feet up for 20 minutes.

There are a number of ready made ranges, from the usual Indian and Italian range to the more original Café Culture range which is a selection of dishes that you might find on the menu in your local brasserie, such as braised lamb shanks or Galician meatballs with spicy potatoes. The other fairly recent addition is the Steam Cuisine range, this is a selection of healthy low fat options that you can steam in the package in the microwave. Dishes include things like salmon with minted new potatoes and vegetables, or Thai style chicken with noodles.

Perhaps their best range is “Count On Us” which is calorie counted and low fat. Again, there’s plenty of choice - fish, chicken and meat dishes. My personal favourites are the Ham and Mushroom pizza (390 calories, or 6 Weightwatcher points) and the Vegetable Stew with Dumplings which is basically winter vegetables in a rich gravy sauce with two dumplings, great for chilly winter evenings and only 340 calories (6 WW points). The range extends to sandwiches and desserts as well.

Apart from ready made meals you can also find a decent selection of packaged fish and meat if you like your cooking a bit more creative. There’s also a fruit and veg section in most foodhalls though they do tend to vary from stall to stall in terms of choice. To be honest I wouldn’t buy my fruit and veg here, whilst it all looks very nice it’s pretty expensive and often doesn’t taste as good as it looks. When you’re paying £1.99 for four apples it’s not enough that they’re shiny, they should also have some flavour.

They also tend to stock the general basics in these foodhalls, bread and jam and butter and milk. However, choice is pretty limited and everything is own brand, so you can’t buy Marmite or Kellogs Cornflakes and that kind of stuff.

The service does tend to be good here, staff in my local branch are always helpful and polite and even at the busiest times there are plenty of tills so you rarely have to queue.

I really like M & S foodhalls, but it’s not the place to do the weekly shop. The ready meals are great and there’s plenty of choice, however they are expensive (between £3 and £7 approximately) and if you eat them too frequently they do begin to taste a bit same-ish. M & S foodhalls are not supermarkets and they’re not really for everyday use, but when it comes to ready prepared meals they win hands down.

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Comments on this review

  • melee679 published 16/07/2003
    great for summer fruits too, they always have beautiful berries, cherries etc, much better quality than some of the main supermarkets stock. yum. m Xx
  • Collingwood21 published 13/06/2003
    Have you ever tried their in store bakery bagels? They are divine!
  • mumsymary published 13/06/2003
    Marks and sparks is too far away from work to convenience shop. I usually buy in tesco's
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Product Information : Marks and Spencer

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Listed on Ciao since: 09/11/2000