I went to Marylebone yesterday for an appointment with my eye surgeon, and I am very happy to report that my trabeculectomy has worked and I don’t need to go back for three months! My health initiative has been to try and walk 10,000 steps, at least, three times a week with or without my hounds, so I thought I would take some pictures of my journey by foot to Green Park underground.
With a fully charged iPhone at the ready, I headed down via Manchester Square where the Wallace Collection is located, weaving in and out of small roads and crossed into Portman Square where I worked for a TV company many moons ago. I decided to pop into my favourite branch of M&S and see what was ‘new in store’ – my local store is Colliers Wood.
I had a wander around but nothing grabbed me. I also did a recce in the food section – they had some interesting small tins of Turkish ginger ‘for the connoisseur’ as it was labelled, and a pistachio spread from Italy. I bought the spread in Partridges a couple of years ago and it is divine. It’s approximately £5.00 for a small pot but is delicious in cakes, yogurt and even just spread on toasted sourdough!
Before leaving the store, I passed the tasting counter of M&S new food products. A lady was already there trying out a sample dish when I pitched up. She grumbled to me that she thought it was awful, being plucky, I tried it too – it was breaded coconut prawn. It was okay but I was trying to say to the assistant, as it was a tasting counter, I assumed that they must want feedback…
‘I think it would be better if it was a coconut dressing and not in the batter…’ This drew a rather blank look from the two girls behind the counter, so I followed up with ‘I am only mentioning this as I used to be a chef…’
The reply was somewhat thrown at me, as one of the girls said in a very sarcastic voice ‘Good for you!’ I was only trying to give constructive feedback about a product that I thought was missing a trick…clearly wasted.
Why have a tasting section if you are not interested to see what your customers actually think??? Of all the times I have been to M&S I think this was the first occasion that I have been so rudely spoken to by a member of staff!
After that incident, I decided I would window shop from then on. I crossed over Oxford Street and wandered down Davis Street, taking in South Molton Street, Bond Street, Albemarle Street, Burlington Arcade and Piccadilly and on my route I noticed all the lovely window decorations, sweets and food reminding us that Sunday is Valentine’s Day, here are a selection of some of the windows I passed.
I also chatted with the man at the Flower Stall on New Bond Street (Florabunda), a family business who have sold flowers on this spot for forty years. It was forty years ago that I worked in this area for an advertising agency called Greys Advertising in Conduit Street, I would have bought flowers all those years ago from his dad, now that’s a trip down memory lane.