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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!!