The Joy of...Lidl

This particular post has been, I think, a long-time coming - the ideas simmering in the background for months but never feeling quite ready to emerge.
The time has come though - to share wisdom, to introduce the uninitiated and convert the unconvinced.
Although Tesco still has the hold on supermarket shoppers (mainly, I'm sure, due to the high number of stores across the country) many are now catching on to the delights that are perhaps belied by the brashly bold signage of Lidl. Below are what I think are just a few...

  • Chocolate - everything from dark; white; milk; with orange bits; with strawberry bits. Perfect for baking.
  • Bread - Not all stores have a bakery section, but when they do, there are tiger loaves, ciabatta and  seeded rolls to be had, as well as pretty good jam doughnuts and cheese twists. Then there's the bread-slicing machine which is the best thing since, well, sliced bread.
  • Fruit and veg - I think this is where Lidl excels. Seasonal, great value and a fantastic variety (think purple-sprouting broccoli, lychees, asparagus, kale, echalion shallots, papaya and giant pomegranates). Even their pears - £1 for six or seven - seem to be unfailingly juicy.
  • Dairy - buckets of Greek yogurt; creme fraiche; Scottish butter and 2-litre cartons of milk for 79p (you can get organic stuff too). Then there's the cheese - mozzarella and parmesan are especially good value.
  • Flowers - jewel-bright tulips that last for what feels like weeks for £2; and huge bunches of carnations (why do so many people hate them?) and chrysanthemums (so what if they're associated with death - chop them up and put in jars).
  • Store cupboard - chickpeas, porridge oats, coconut milk, tropical granola and earl grey teabags are all excellent.
  • Toiletries - a recent discovery is the men's eau de toilette which, amazingly, smells exactly like Hugo Boss - Boss Bottled, but costs just £4. Shampoo, conditioner, hand soap and shaving gel also very good.
In the interests of balance, I feel though, that the negatives (of which there are few) should be pointed out:

  • A big one -  the prosecco is £7.29. Seems excessive when the shop on the corner and most supermarkets - even Waitrose - have bottles for less than £7 (every little helps). Best go to Aldi if you can, which does a rather tasty version for around £5.50.
  • If you have bought say, more than six items, there can be what feels like a panicked mad-dash to put everything in a bag and you have to scoop things up to the shelf at the window to sort yourself out.
  • The staff can sometimes look as if they are incubators of the plague.
But go forth and see for yourself, if you can, and spread the word. You might pick up new trainers, a musical instrument, a toolbox or reasonably-priced skiwear on the way...


Popular Posts