Friday, 7 February 2020

Marks & Spencer Clapham Junction Store | AD



If you're yet to go to the recently refurbished Marks & Spencer store in Clapham Junction, then quite frankly, what are you doing? ... You're missing out! Being a local gal living in Battersea, I often pop up to Clapham Junction and wander along St John's Road and Northcote Rd. So, when I noticed that my local M&S was closed for a while, I was starting to worry - Little did I know what was to come...

Upon entering the store, it's clear the see the huge transformation from how the store uesd to look. First impressions, it feels so much bigger, brighter and just altogether more fresh. When describing the store, my favourite phrase and probably best way to describe it is: 'it's like shopping in the future' and it really is! There is an ubundance of fresh fruit and veg ready to be picked (the majority of it being plastic free too), a gorgeous flower section as soon as you walk in and the smell of freshly baked goodies throughout the store which is simply mouth-watering.


Let's be realistic, grocery shopping, doing the 'weekly shop' or just popping out to 'pick up some essentials' always feels a bit like a chore or an un-enjoyable / very forgettable experience. But, since going to the M&S store in Clapham Junction, I've honestly found myself getting a little bit excited about doing my food shop. Don't worry, I'm very aware about how sad that sounds but... that's the truth.

My housemate and I often do our shops together and yes we may pick up different things and not neccessarily always cook together but every time I mentioned I was going to M&S, she was super keen to come with me. To me, that speaks volumes about the store and what it has managed to achieve in becoming 'an experience' (either that, or my housemate just loves my company... I'm not so sure).
 


There are so many elements within the store that make shopping more of an 'experience'. The first, and most obvious being that there is a Herb Garden fridge in-store where they grow fresh herbs. It's quite something! The herbs are harvested every Monday & Thursday but otherwise, it's the perfect conditions for the herbs to grow in-store before being picked and ready to be bought. We were given a brief talk about how it all works by one of the staff specialists in-store.


In fact, throughout the store you will find each area has their own 'specialist' to look after that part of the store and be the 'fountain of knowledge' to help you find exactly what you need. Which brings me onto the People of M&S Clapham Junction - Every single time I've been into the store (and that's a lot ha!) I've been seriously impressed with the service and just how attentive and kind the staff have been. A HUGE tick for customer service goes a long way and it really shows.

The 'experience' element doesn't stop there though - Everything throughout the store has been maticulously thought through. A few examples to go and check out: You can select your own eggs, there's a wine tasting station in the wine section (just scan your M&S Sparks Card to try), there's an incredibly cool pizza oven where you can pick up freshly cooked pizzas to take home with you, there's an H20 Water re-fill station where you can fill up your water bottle to help reduce the use of single-use plastic, there's often a sampling station at the front of the store when you walk in to try the latest or most exciting product... These are just a few examples but it's great to see how every little detail in-store has been thought about in order to give you / us / the customer a brilliant in-store shopping experience.




Recently, M&S provided me with some delicious food for various occasions. The first being, my Birthday back in December. Now... As I get older, I realise the importance of doing something nice and special with my closest friends (& Dudley my dog - don't laugh). So, I popped into M&S to pick up some goodies for us to all enjoy to celebrate gaining a year to my life. I immediately knew where I was heading to in the store too - That big, sparkly, glitter ball pizza oven for some freshly cooked pizzas - I knew they'd go down a treat with my friends but also wanted something a little bit special and the freshly cooked element makes it just that little bit more delicious and special. 


Other items I picked up for my big day: A rainbow cake & candles, some salted caramel teacakes (because teacakes are my fave thing ever - just ask my family), some marshmallows and some Bubbles (I'm not a big drinker so actually thought I'd try something new and picked up their non-alcoholic prosecco which was really good and I'd definitely get again for special occasions). 




We can't talk about Marks & Spencer without mentioning the insanely good food...
I tried so many new and different products that I know I'll be coming back in for more soon. Some of my favourites were the following:

- Freshly baked bread from the bakery for a tasty and fresh breakfast. I often share #ToastTuesday posts on my Instagram page (@littleluxuryfoods) so I scooped up a new Fig & Hazelnut Sourdough Loaf, topped it with some extremely creamy salted caramel cream, stewed cinnamon apples (picked from the fruit section), toasted hazelnuts and a drizzle of honey (see below)




M&S Clapham Junction has made picking up delicious food so easy for me - I often work from home and (i'll be the first to admit) sometimes I end up working through lunch and totally forget to eat or at least something wholesome and decent enough to fill me up, so popping into the store to go to their 'Food To Go' section has been a god-send. The range is massive to choose from so it'd be hard to get sick of having the same thing every day or everytime you go into store to quickly pick something up. From breakfast, snacks, sandwhiches, salad pots to sweet treats, sushi, hot dishes and drinks - they quite literally have it all. AND they cater for those with dietary needs too, so there are Plant Kitchen and Free From options which is brilliant to see.



Not only has it been brilliant for lunches but it's also been great throughout the beginning of the year and trying to be more healthy in my choices. So, I also tried some of the Plant Kitchen range - Which, if i'm being completely honest about was a bit skeptical about. Possibly because I'm not Vegan and thought well, it wont taste the same BUT boy was I surprised. Okay, some things I probably wouldn't go for again but others are going top of my shopping list - Like these Mac n Cheese bites and also the Cauliflower Popcorn - WOW.
I'd heard such good things about the range so had to give it a go and I was also lucky enough to go to one of M&S's Supper Clubs where I tried lots of tasty delights from the range there. Moral of the story - Give it a try because, like me, I think you'll be pleasently surprised!


I also noticed that they do these 'Cook With' M&S range of boxes in the fridge section - Basically, a huge range of boxes containing every ingredient you need in order to make one of their delicious recipe ideas... I mean, how clever and helpful is that? Not only does it save time but they are very decent in price so it definitely works out if you wanted to try the recipe again (as some ingredients go a long way - ie. a whole bottle of sauce or some flavour shots pack of 4). 
So, I went for a Thai Chicken Noodle Broth - Admittedly not something I would've decided to make on a whim if I didn't a) know how to and b) have all the stuff I needed right there in front of me.
I can honestly say, I love this! It was unbelievably easy to make, my kitchen wasn't turned upside down afterwards (as is often the case) and the meal was so tasty!! (see below for how mine turned out). 



With everything considered, the experience of shopping at my new and very much improved M&S Clapham Junction store is second to none. It is now my 'local' for all my needs and cravings and both myself and my housemate do our weekly shop there together. It's a much nicer experience than any of the other supermarkets around the area and it doesn't break the bank either. 

I'd love to hear if you've been into the store yet and how your experience was - so please comment below or reach out on Instagram (@littleluxuryfoods).

Thanks for reading!
L
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*All views and opinions are my own and are a true representation of my review for this product/service.

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