life in london

10 Oct

london 1.43pm 16.1C overcast but dry tuesday 2017

today i went to the free lunch offer given by pret, to celebrate the opening of their third veggie only store in exmouth market, near mount pleasant.

when i got there at 11.45pm,(they open at 12pm for today, the official open is tomorrow) i could see allready a long queue even before i got off the bus 38. the place is only accessible by bus, and only one direction is opened , the buses do not run in the other direction because of some road works;  and yet so early allready there was a queue, about 75people according to the lady who came after me, with her group of friends. they were all young people, and i wondered if they are working how are they able to get to come… but now i have a chance to think of it, sitting in the marylebone library after all that , i think they are students. there must be loads of students in london, and they should be able to get a meal  because the offer is for 500 free meals to be given out today. 

the offer is for a cold drink, or a hot one, (long queue for the hot coffee as it has to be freshly prepared) , whilst the sandwiches were all pre done and you just pick them off the shelf. you can get either a cold  or a  hot sandwich. i picked a hot one, a wrapped burrito -like offering. no idea what it contained haha and a dessert, i picked a cup of pieces of fresh fruit.

whilst waiting for the coffee, someone came up and told us we can come back later, as there is a leaflet for a free coffee inside the bag they gave us. i did not want to wait, so i took the soft drink instead and went off. i found out that burrito i got was  filled with red peppers in a chilli tomato sauce. quite nice. did not find out how much they cost originally.

there was a street market of food stalls outside the pret, and when i was sitting in one of thebenches , a chap who bought food from one of them came to sit and he told me he bought potatoes and cheese served hot in a plastic container. i wonder if their business will be affected by this new branch of pret that has opened right on the same street as them.

after i finished the food, and walked to the bus stop, i could see the queue was the same length , and it was about 1pm.

it seems the young are into vegetarian. but one of the young guys there when asked if he was vegetarian said no, so it is possible not to make too much of it. after all free food is free food, haha. i am not vegetarian and yet, here i am, waiting in line like them. haha. well we meat eaters are not going to stop eating vegetables… in that we are different from people who call themselves vegetarians. perhaps we should call ourselves omnivours, rather than meat eaters haha. and perhaps vegetarians should call themselves herbivores. haha.

but it is notable there are not many older people queueing up.i could not see my old couple who had been there for most of the freebies so far. pity that because i was hoping to find out from them any more freebies that she can find out via twitter. and to ask them if they know of one that i found out… a pop up involving nuns in shoreditch. you have to write to them to be invited so an invitation is not guaranteed.

it is a curious thing that pret is doing a veggie only store. they have others with meat sandwiches as well as veggie, so to open a purely veggie one seems rather restrictive. but this store is the third of  their 3 veggie stores in london (the first one opened only as recent as 2016 according to the logo on the usable bag they gave us to put the food in.) this one  is a totally new location that is not a previous pret store. and it is in a rather hidden area of london.

i am of the old school, i think meat is  better value for money than veg. haha. in that if u want me to buy it, i would buy a meat sandwich. though even then, it would take some persuading to buy it in the first place, rather than just to cook it myself, or make it myself. these sandwiches dont need a lot of expertise to make.

in fact, i got a lesson on how home cooked meals are so muchbetter value. simon cooked a stir fried beef with tagliatelle. and it was just like stir fried chinese flat noodles … so i asked him where he got that tagliatelle, it was from sainsburys 500mg 95p. he said. it is cheaper than flat noodles 400mg from chinatown for £1.35. so i might replace these instead. the taste and texture is very similar.

the chinese ones are made from rice, these are made from durum. i think in all honesty there is a distinct difference in taste, fried rice noodles have that fried flavour and smell that is quite unique i think. but at a pinch you can use tagliatelle. 

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