Takeaway Paradise

Its very easy to be a bit snobbish about the abundance of food outlets on any high street in the UK, very easy to pretend that there was ever a golden age of high street shopping when a person could stroll at their leisure and find a huge variety of independent shops selling everything from a bathplug to a suit length, but if those things ever existed outside of our own imaginations then the reason that they are no more is simply because no-one ever went into town with the express purpose of buying a bathplug and a suit length, either at the same time or separately.

No, the reason that so many takeaway food outlets take up such an inordinate percentage of shop frontage on high streets is because there is a demand, and who among us has not availed of their services, my hand remains firmly down for I avail myself of their services frequently as my job takes me on the road to every point of the compass in this country of ours.

In fact for all the sneering and looking down your snobbish nose at Greggs the Bakers I openly and freely admit that I think they are a bloody good shop for a quick cheap coffee, a Belgium Bun (how much sugar, who cares) and whilst in there a pasty or pie, and why not – they sell salads too but, erm, not prominently.

I first became aware of the phenomenon of Greggs when living in Forest Hall Newcastle in the 1970s for one of only a few of their outlets at the time was located within a few strides of our office door and they took the best part of £1 off me every lunchtime for a meat square or scotch pie and a custard slice, “Greggs of Gosforth” as they were known then nourished me through those times of living in contractors digs in a strange city with its own language – I’m still very partial to a custard slice (how much sugar, who cares).


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