I love shopping, especially when I travel, to me it is part of the experience. I especially love clothes shopping, and because clothes fit so perfectly in a suitcase there is no reason not to pick up a few souvenirs. Over the years almost all my souvenirs were clothes, fridge magnets and the clutter of other souvenirs where never my thing. Clothes however I needed anyway making it easier to justify spending money on, so it was sweater that reminded me of Cannes, a dress that reminded me of Byron Bay, that scarf from Salzburg well you get the idea.
When I lived in Halifax where shopping was more limited it was especially exciting because it gave me the opportunity to buy clothes different from what everyone else had back home. Now living in London it is more about scouting out little one-off shops for something special. Now that I have lived in London for a while I have grown to love many British stores so I thought I would tell you about a few starting with good old M&S.
M&S, Marks and Sparks, that’s Marks and Spencer
For those of you from Dartmouth who can remember a time when Micmac Mall had wood paneling may remember when there was a Marks and Spencer there too. I remember the store, bright, well organised, laid out like a mini department store (it wasn’t a full size M&S) including a small food section of mostly frozen foods. I loved going in occasionally to explore the offerings of from the foreign land of England that I was so fascinated with.
During my visits to England over the years I learned M&S could be found in the centre of towns of a certain size and it was a good place to pick up the basics. Need a serviceable shoe for work, tights, underwear , socks, slip, hankies – M&S has you covered. The main draw for me over the years has been the food department, with their really nice tasty fruit, good ready to cook meals, great place to grab a lunch, and yummy deserts (sticky toffee pudding or Banoffee pie anyone?). I was certain that if I ever moved to England I would become fat and broke (it’s not the cheapest grocery store in the land). Lucky for me since moving here I haven’t lived anywhere that has made it possible to do my regular grocery shop there so it remains somewhat a treat. I particularly love their £10 meal deal for 2 which includes a main, side, dessert and a bottle of wine. Seriously good.
Today I was pleasantly surprised when on the way to the M&S food section hall I passed through the cosmetics sections and saw Leighton Denny nail polish, a stylish, colour trendy nail polish I like for its formaldehyde, toluene and DBP free formula. So I explored a little further and found that there are some great brands hiding away in the M&S cosmetics section, including the French brand NUEX and the French perfumery company Fragonard (I discovered them years ago on a trip to the French Riviera and brought home a few souvenirs). I also found they have a Greek brand called APIVITA. At the moment I am trying to switch over all my cosmetics to something kinder to the environment and healthier for me. Finding APIVITA, which has a philosophy of a healthy alternative holistic approach to cosmetics, was a great find for me (if anyone has used their stuff let me know how you got on).
Hopefully this pleasant discovery is due to changes happening at M&S. With more like changes like this the rest of their store may become as appealing as their food section.