I’m not sure exactly why we love it so much, but there can be no doubt: the Brits adore a lunchtime meal deal. There are Facebook pages dedicated to it, there are angry recriminations when any retailer dares to change their selection, and it’s constantly the hottest of topics (even if the sandwiches are cold): which one do you go for?
Usually, it’s a choice from ‘the Big Four’ – that is, Sainsbury’s (£3), Co-op (£3.25), Tesco (£3) and Boots (£3) – but now, steaming into view, comes a new gunslinger in town.
Yes: M and bloody S have joined the party.
They’ve announced a brand new meal deal – a sandwich or salad, snack, and drink for £3.50. They’ve previously had limited-time meal deals, but those have cost a wallet-busting £4 and, well, were for a limited amount of time. This new offer has “no end date” according to an M&S spokesperson. The saving is apparently £1.70 on buying the items separately.
Could this really be true? Press releases lie all the time. And there’s this thing called Fake News, not sure if you’ve heard of it? There was only one way to know for sure.
Strangely, there were no queues outside but on we went, preparing ourselves for the expected bedlam inside. Would we have to elbow past half of London to get to the chicken and stuffing sandwiches?
Hmmm. Quite surprising. On the other hand, it was 11am. Maybe people were still reeling from the shock, refusing to believe that, in this post-Brexit vote time of a weak pound and price increases across the board, M&S had decided to gift this deal to the undeserving British public.
But, people. Believe.
But what do you get in the deal? I’m highly partial to one of those lovely muffins. Any joy?
Unlikely, but are those amazing massive packets of crisps, including the crack-esque sour cream & jalapeno combo mix, included?
A dream too far.
But wait – suddenly, a shock went through my body; my blood ran cold - may they be making up the money lost on this new meal by cutting down on the other deals elsewhere?
God, no, not the two tubs for four quid deal? Please, in the name of all that is holy and right, no?
Nope, upon further inspection, apparently your choices in the meal deal are as follows:
Sandwiches: roast chicken and avocado; chicken and bacon; chicken and stuffing; roast chicken salad BLT; free range egg and bacon; poached salmon and watercress; smoked salmon and soft cheese; Cheddar cheese ploughmans; brie, grape and cranberry; Wensleydale cheese and carrot.
Crisps & Popcorn: salt and black pepper; Red Leicester and onion; salt and vinegar; prawn cocktail; Lightly salted; big crinkle salt and vinegar crisps; big crinkle flame grilled steak crisps; sour cream and chive bakes; salted popcorn; sweet and salty popcorn.
Drinks: Florida orange juice; diet Florida orange; sparkling mandarin; sparkling white grape; Coca-Cola; Diet Coke; Coke Zero; diet lemonade; cloudy lemonade; sugar free cranberry and lemonade; sugar free ginger beer; sparkling water; still water.
Solid. We’ll take it.
But before we go, just one more thing.
Ain’t no visit to M&S complete without a chew on a Percy.
(Main image: M&S)