Category Archives: Supermarkets

Waitrose at Nine Elms, Battersea

Fresh Meat and Fish counter

I find the Little Waitrose shops unsatisfactory as they seem to specialise in sandwiches and ready meals – none of which I ever buy. And they always seem to be out of stock of the specialities I’m after.

Fruit and vegetables singly and in packets

The nearest big Waitrose for us is at Brunswick Square but it’s often difficult to find a parking space and the underground car park is cold and miserable. Traffic is often very difficult driving to the Kings Cross store.

Delicious-looking sushi

We were therefore delighted to find the new 18,000 sq ft Waitrose at Nine Elms which opened last November. It has a large easily accessible car park, a coffee bar – as well as free drinks if you have a My Waitrose card.

Situated in the rapidly developing new embassy district to which the US and Netherlands Embassies will be moving, once the rumoured 2000 homes are completed the store will no doubt be a mecca for foodies.


Waitrose Riverside Aspect
Waitrose Canal side  Aspect

Roadworks made the drive to the King’s Cross Waitrose last Friday a nightmare but it was worth it.

Waitrose 5
The Jorja Longboat on the Regents Canal with the old St Pancreas Station on the far horizon

Opened September 24th 2015, it’s everything you expect of a Waitrose – clean and well-stocked with  friendly knowledgeable assistants.

It is situated in what was the Midland Goods Shed built  to handle carts bringing goods and produce from all over the country.  The East and West Handyside canopies  were added to keep the rain off carts and carters waiting to unload. It was the site of the temporary King’s Cross station when it was being rebuilt. In 1951 Queen Victoria boarded her special carriage for her journey to Balmoral.Cleaning

And you can even drop in your laundry and dry cleaning on your way to work!!

Supermarkets to make your mouth water

Vegetables in our local Tesco
Vegetables in our local Tesco

There’s no doubt that our local Tesco is going upmarket. Its produce is better and I have now started to buy meat there but unlike the big Spanish supermarkets I need a shopping list, rather wandering around and getting inspired

Pick your own
Pick your own

I think the big difference, for example in this Basque supermarket Eroski,  is that except for potatoes and oranges all the produce is laid out for you to choose.  Doesn’t matter if it’s been handled by someone else – you’re going to wash it anyhow. Everything is so much more tempting. When we go to visit Louise I often wish I was the cook – but I don’t cook in her flat and she doesn’t cook when she comes to us.

Best of all are the big covered markets like the one in Valencia, where we had a long weekend with our daughter Jane and stayed in a hotel. There was every kind of delicious looking food on sale  and I regretted that we hadn’t taken an apartment instead where I could cook our dinner.  You wouldn’t have to plan the next meal and take a shopping list – just wander around and be tempted.

Pilgrimage to Bayonne

The Carrefour at Bayonne
The Carrefour at Bayonne

When we go to visit our daughter Louise in the North of Spain we always cross the border into France to go to the commercial centre at Bayonne and the large Carrefour supermarket. We have found English substitutes for many of the groceries we used to buy there but there are still things that are hard to get in the UK – a much larger range of Tefal bakeware for example.

So competition from Lidl worries the French too
So competition from Lidl worries the French too

I was surprised at this large display of competitive pricing in Carrefour. With Lidl scoring so highly in customer surveys for both price and quality  regular supermarkets may be feeling the pinch in these hard times.