Only those of us Brits living a train, plane or boat ride away from M&S can possibly understand the irrational joy that I (and many others) experienced earlier this year, when the store re-opened its flagship Brussels doors after ten years in scone-less exile.
In a matter of weeks following the May opening, I:
a) became addicted to cottage cheese (weird I know);
b) managed to convince myself its ok to buy pre-chopped veg in microwavable bags (the packets are so appealing);
c) stocked up on four different shades of brown sugar, none of which I’ve used yet…but I’m definitely going to start baking soon….and;
d) was photographed by a tourist doing a little jig in the wine section, where I’d discovered four different bottles of Shiraz to choose from, all under 5€….
Early June prompted a conscious effort to vary the time of my visits. Its never a good sign when the staff start to greet you by the name on your credit card… After a few weeks craving crumpets, I was pretty much over the shakes, totally cured of my cottage cheese addiction (kind of) and had even dusted off my chopping knives.
Today ‘s return to the food-hall wasn’t what I’d describe as a relapse. More a celebratory test of my will power and something of a necessity as I’d run out of oregano. Isn’t oregano an essential element in any respectable larder (or shelf on top of the microwave in my case)?
Happily, no one recognised me as I wandered up and down the aisles admiring lightly dusted lemon sole fillets, loads of varieties of cheddar, salad meals with weird looking ingredients I’ve never heard of and calorie counts everywhere (not so great).
I was brave, dodging the ready roasted chicken and turning the other cheek to chocolate muffins and some ridiculously rich caramel cheesecake. I’m sure it would have been sickly sweet (in another life…?!) I gave in to the Shiraz. It really would have been stupid to go pay more elsewhere….and settled for a yummy looking lentil mix. I actually do love lentils, but hate cooking them.
Feeling rather virtuous…and hungry, I wandered home to open both items. So imagine my disappointment when I tipped the lovely lentils into a bowl, to find that the contents were a massively disappointing misrepresentation of the lovely lentil with red & yellow pepper, red onion and feta cheese picture on the packet !!!! GUTTED. Tomorrow I’m going back for ready roasted chicken, chocolate muffins, cottage cheese and a fight……