The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - CONTENTS - TOM DOOR­LEY’S

We’re Waitrose-less on this is­land, but never fear; Tom Door­ley has Marks and Spencer al­ter­na­tives

I sup­pose shop­ping re­mained much the same for sev­eral cen­turies; you went to the gro­cer, the green­gro­cer, the apothe­cary, the sta­tioner, the butcher, the poul­terer, even the chandler.

I’m just about old enough to re­mem­ber – around 1967 - my mother buy­ing loose but­ter from the Mon­u­ment Cream­ery in Dublin; but the rest of our gro­ceries were de­liv­ered once a week in the ma­roon van of Find­later’s. It was the twi­light of an era. The way we shopped was chang­ing and soon it was the age of the su­per-mar­ket.

Across the wa­ter I hear there’s an in­ter­est­ing trend emerg­ing. Peo­ple are do­ing by far the vast majority of their shop­ping in Aldi and Lidl (just like here) but also go­ing to the su­per­premium su­per­mar­ket Waitrose. Shop­ping be­hav­iour has been po­larised be­tween the best value (for most of the shop) and the of­ten breath­tak­ingly dear (for the veni­son paté and pick­led wal­nuts and the odd loaf of Poilâne).

De­spite the prices, I will con­fess to be­ing a fan of Waitrose – I wan­der around their big branch in West­field in London ev­ery few weeks, in a kind of daze. Their wine se­lec­tion is not as fab­u­lous as it once was, it has been culled, but the qual­ity is ex­cel­lent.

We don’t have Waitrose on this is­land, but we do have Marks & Spencer, a place in which I think we all like to spoil our­selves oc­ca­sion­ally. And their wine se­lec­tion is pretty im­pres­sive (and re­fresh­ingly ad­ven­tur­ous) th­ese days. The era when their se­lec­tion was dull and safe is long, long gone.

Here are a few sug­ges­tions in lieu of Waitrose...

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