Still with Waitrose the market leader amongst supermarkets (certainly in terms of quality), and both have certainly raised general standards of the middle ground in recent years.
However, they still rarely sell the very best of anything, although larger branches have a 'Specialist' section consisting of a few good quality oil and luxury items.
Their 'Taste the Difference' range offers the standards expected from any good grocer, certainly nothing more.
Larger branches with fish counters, rely too heavily on fish that has previously been frozen. This has the disadvantage in that it can't (or shouldn't be) frozen again at home, if need be.
Like some other supermarkets, they stress about the length of time their meat is hung. However, the public need to realise that any flavour and tenderness gained from hanging, depends on the way this is undertaken, (matured for 21 days counts for little, unless the meat has been traditionally-hung on the bone).
Likewise the breed of chicken retailers offer, is as important as their claimed diet (i.e. Corn). Fast-growing chicken varieties will never have the best flavour whatever they're fed. If you've ever tried a 'Sasso' breed of chicken (possibly only available at Farmers Markets and top-quality butchers) you'll know what we mean - they are worth seeking out!
Their traiteur section is impressively comprehensive, and almost as good as Marks & Spencer's and Waitrose for some dishes; and certainly helpful to those short of time.
It's excellent that biodegradable carrier bags are now the norm and great efforts have also been made to use 'greener' packaging.
- Open: Mon-Sat 8.00-20.00; Sun 10.00-16.00
- Closed: some Bank Holidays
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