I get asked a lot about the things I miss most when I’m outside the UK and I find myself giving the same answer a lot these days. Apart from my friends, the culture, the amazing opportunities and all that jazz… there is one thing I miss massively that’s 100% naughty, self indulgent, and also mildly ridiculous. But hey, I always tell the truth here. It’s M&S Food. No really, it is. It’s always the first place I hit up when I arrive back in London. There’s one at Heathrow airport and I grab a basket of my fav foods as soon as I touch down so that I have treats to look forward to back in the flat. Of course Marks & Spencer is like nothing we have in the USA at all. You guys know I’ve spoken about their clothing for years, 12 years to be exact, and it always shocks most people who don’t live here that you can shop for a great cashmere sweater in the same place where you would buy your dinner. Maybe you’d find it even more shocking to discover you can also buy a couch and a duvet in the same store. It’s basically a one stop shop and trust me when I say it’s worth the stop.
So, I’ve been giving this same answer for eons. I love M&S Food. But yesterday, someone responded with, “ok, I’m headed there next month, what are the top ten things I have to go in and try.” This list was formulated to give an answer to one person and then I thought, “what the hell, let’s make this official, create a post with pictures to support the answers.” A top ten list was born and this is it.
I’m sure you know me well enough by now to know that this isn’t going to be a tour of healthy foods. It’s exactly the opposite. These are the indulgent foods, the treats. If you’re on a health kick you might want to look away now.
This is my shopping basket for ultimate foodie fun at Marks & Spencer food…
M&S Cereal Milk Clusters Bites
These are relatively new to the M&S sweet food tub treats aisle. I want you to imagine your favourite sugary cereal in bite sized hard chunks, because that’s exactly what this tastes like. It’s a weird walk down memory lane and the first one you pop into your mouth will have you questioning your choice of sweet treat. But never fear as within moments you’ll be reaching for another, and another, and another…
M&S Welsh Rarebit Cheese Bake
I fell in love with Welsh Rarebit after a purchase from Fortnum’s. I then sealed my fate as a lover of this cheese with a more affordable option from M&S. Makes me feel a little less guilty eating this regularly. If you have never tried Rarebit before…. my gosh I wish I was in the room the first time you dunk a piece of crusty bread into this pot of perfection. The mustardy sweet with honey cheese is like a weighted heated blanket for the soul!
Marmite It’s Dinky Cheese Pinwheels
I’m going to tell you something that might be as controversial as marmite itself. I eat these cold. Ok, not so controversial but I’m the only person I know who does. Of course it’s perfectly fine to do so but it seems most people aren’t barbarians and prefer to heat them in the oven. I’m lucky if I can get home and have even one left in the box for the reheating to begin. Since my Marmite obsession began last year (thanks, Steve), M&S has definitely been scratching that itch. They have Marmite cheese, cream cheese, and more (that you’ll see below). I basically eat something Marmite at least once a day now because of M&S. But, these are perfect. They are a flaky, slightly crunchy pinwheel of cheese and Marmite in perfect harmony!
M&S Serrano Ham and Manchego Rollitos
For about five hot minutes in 2021, Steve and I went on a high protein diet out in the country. We went to M&S and grabbed a couple varieties of these Rollitos and were instantly obsessed. They make for great high protein diet snacks or easy last minute party appetisers. Or, if you’re like me, they work well with a glass of red wine and a rom com. That’s Saturday sorted.
M&S Salted Caramel Cookies
Back when I worked in an office, one of my colleagues would bring in M&S cookies every Friday as a “we finished the week” treat. She’d bring in a variety and they were all amazing but I would always try to get into the kitchen early enough to secure a salted caramel cookie for myself. They are, in my opinion, the best of the bunch and they taste amazing with a cup of tea!
M&S Teacakes – any variety
Right then… teacakes! Another thing I didn’t know even existed until I moved to the UK. Embarrassingly, I didn’t even try one until 2020! Lockdown opened my eyes to so many things. There are five or six different flavours of M&S teacakes and I, hand on heart, can tell you that there isn’t a one of them that I would say no to. Marshmallow on a cookie that’s been covered in chocolate…. how can anything at all be wrong here….?
M&S Roast Chicken & Bacon Sandwich
I really hope someone does a study on what your M&S sandwich choice means about you. I reckon it would be more insightful than a horoscope reading. Everyone has their sandwich choice at M&S. Everyone. It’s like knowing what your favourite colour is. Well, mine is Roast Chicken and Bacon. It’s delish and I can’t explain exactly why I love it as I do. The salty bacon with a the cold roast chicken in a bath of mayonnaise might not be to everyone’s taste but it’s right up my alley!
Marmite Hot Cross Buns
So these are limited edition, brought out for Easter only, but my goodness they are amazing! A word of warning, however. These are to be eaten in small quantities. I can barely make it through a whole hot cross bun. They are wildly indulgent and you get the marmite hit you need from one half of the hot cross bun. Also, make sure you have a good toaster so that they crisp up perfectly, ready for a butter spread. Ok, I gotta get this finished. I’m now drooling on the keyboard.
M&S Milk Chocolate Toffee Popcorn
When I’m not scoffing down cereal bites, I’m sucking on the “choc-tof-pop.” Yup, it has a nickname so I can scream it down the M&S aisle as I’m checking out, reminding whoever I’m with to grab a few bags because I’ve inevitably forgotten myself. Convenient then that they are located just at checkout… so don’t panic if you don’t see them jumping out at you in the sweets aisle!
M&S Sour Cream and Jalapeno Combo Snack Mix
If you like your potato snacks with a punch, this it the bag for you. But be warned, this pack deserves the jingle that Pringles carry. Once this bag is opened, it doesn’t get closed. It’s eaten in one sitting and it’s terrible! But man oh man is it good.
M&S Best Ever Burger
No word of a lie… this actually is the best burger. The label is absolutely correct. When I buy burgers for BBQs, this is what I buy, because it’s the best! Says so!