Do the French really love M&S?

Helen, one of the problems with the British 'obsession' with food is that they love it - cooked by somebody else. Most French cuisine is disappointing, along with English, Greek, Italian, Thai, you name it. The difference, it often strikes me, between the UK and France is that diversity has been embraced far more by the British Isles in general than France. Is it not ironic that the short step between say Annecy and Geneva across the border in very much Francophone Switzerland are two culinary worlds. Whilst the former is pretty international for France, the latter is fantastic. Just about all of Great Britain has so much on offer it is sometimes almost overkill. Yet I suspect that in terms of everyday food far less attention goes into what people eat than it does here in France.

I never really got the hang of M&S food. Why spend time buying pre-prepared food when part of the shopping time can be given over to cooking it, knowing exactly what is in it and from where. Wherever I have lived I have been a market shopper rather than a supermarket shopper and see the former becoming far more expensive than the more competitive latter. Just put it down to taste and perhaps whim. M&S is a novelty, let us see if it lasts. If it does I shall eat my hat - I suspect Suzy (see below) has a recipe for me considering what kind of material it is.

when stuck, the "indian tea" from carrefour does the job, and also cottersley's from inter.

" french women are by definition well dressed and beautifully groomed, and that french cooking has to be better than british. It aint necessarily so!"

Here is where I take issue.. you're saying that one is "better" than the other, and that people have it all wrong. National pride and all that, I get that, but, while both cultures are different, does one have to be deemed "better"?

People often ask "which is better, Australia, or New Zealand", or "where should we go, New Caledonia or Vanuatu" We cannot say one is better than another, because while different, they are both unique. The cultures are for sure, different, but there is no "better"...

It is what gives rise to the type of people who think that your are better or worse because of where you were born, and quite frankly, it's getting old.

By the way, Zoe, after years of getting our daughters to bring us tea, we now find that Yorkshire Tea, found in our local Intermarche and Carrefour, fits the bill.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’ve eaten some superb meals in France, and certainly for less cost than would have been the case in U.K., even if such had been available. I was responding specifically to the reported comments of Agnes Poirier, the french correspondant based in London. I think we should always question the accepted ideas; i.e.that french women are by definition well dressed and beautifully groomed, and that french cooking has to be better than british. It aint necessarily so!

oh, how sad, Helen, I do love a blanquette when OH cooks one, as for deserts... I believe a lot more work and care goes into french cuisine.

If anything, your entire comment is "sniffy of French food".

Nobody is being sniffy, it's cultural differences, and one i, for one, warmly welcome.

It’s time the French stopped being so sniffy about British food. We have lived here for 14 years and long ago stopped being impressed by foie gras and confit de canard, or by the interpretations of such universal dishes as boeuf bourguignon or coq au vin as served in local restaurants. I prefer my own versions. The British are these days obsessed with food, and are constantly being urged on to higher standards by such TV programmes as The Great British Menu and The Great British Bakeoff. M&S food may not represent the pinnacle of culinary achievement, but their ready dishes far surpass anything I have found in supermarkets in this corner of France.

lol. Judith, to me the carrots and parsnips are Irish, but, you know anything different is just "anglo saxon" to some folk.

yes oops - I believe in eating the whole animal :)

Think you men swede, brushed leather (suede) is normally only eaten at dinner time ;-)

we just had carrot & suede for lunch - very close :)

Mashed carrot and parsnip is sooooo Irish, I am Irish.

judith, I also get my underwear from home, and wonder at times what sort of bodies French ladies have.(even though I live with one)

food-wise, I get my teabags sent over from Ireland, I occasionally but tea in Lidl, and their bacon, and apart from that.. I eat in French. nothin wrong with that.

I love when people come over for dinner and go "oh, mashed carrots and parsnips, that's sooo anglophone. "

Our french friends think M&S clothing is marvellous value for the quality, but most have purchased from the UK whilst on holiday. I have introduced English food to them at parties - this is a rural farming area - and they like it. A particular passion is sausage rolls (even though they have a sort of sausage roll canape here) and mince pies - even I find those hard going! And they all know about Stilton Cheese and Shortbread.

SO Ouest shopping centre in Levallois-Perret

Where is the new shop? I am not too interested in the food as I think the French cater for us very well, it's knickers I want!!!!

I was just in the new M & S store today with my friend, and let me tell you, although you don't hear everyone speaking, so not necessarily knowing who was english and french, my impression was we were the ONLY ex pats in there, and the staff were having a mighty hard time keeping the shelves stocked. I also ate at Pret a manager which my friend introduced me to, not knowing this outlet before and it was chockers...M & S is a huge success...

Thanks Nick......guess where I'll be going tomorrow.

I do not like Marmite, nor do my children, we do not use black tea as it is and never from teabags anyway, M&S clothes, including socks and knickers, for me are awful, so do not need. Having said that, I am going out to buy crumpets, perhaps some Stilton and even a couple of other items tomorrow without needing that store...

Yes Suzy it's 600m² and includes most of what you'd find in the UK

Aha,another cox orange apple lover.I've seen coxs in the market,grown in France but they dont have the same delicious taste as english ones. Is the Levallois food store bigger than the Champs Elysses which is useless. We go there occasionally for bangers and bacon. Last time there I tried to explain to a french lady who was looking suspiciously at a scotch egg,just what it was.She put it back. All my french friends loved M&S for the scones,biscuits and fun sweets. Unfortunately the british food on sale in the supermarkets just enforces the french idea that we eat horrible food.I want to stand there and explain that we do have good food. But it never gets over to this side of the channel. M&S did some good.