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Reviewed: A night out in Bridport’s new Lidl

IT WAS Saturday evening so I decided to give the long-suffering Mrs Bladder a bit of a night out. I swanned her along to take a look at Bridport’s new Lidl; do I know how to show a girl a good time or what?

I read somewhere or the other that it is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, probably gabbled by some joker protesting about something or the other. Well, if St Andrew’s Road from about the vets to the Vauxhall garage fits that description, I really wouldn’t want to visit an Area of Outstanding Ugliness.

Sorry Lidl, your new shop is situated at the centre of a dump. In fact, if Bridport were a human body St Andrew’s Road would host the haemorrhoids. Still, it’s not their fault.

Of course I went prepared. Even I know that this is a German shop so, to make the lass feel at home I marched up to the first assistant I saw and asked in a polite sort of way, “œkannst du mir bitte den weg zum Pferdefutter?” I realised I had made a mistake when she turned and replied “yer wat?”

Ah, German-owned but staffed by locals. At half time it was Lidl one, Red Bladder nil.

So I took a look around whilst Mrs Bladder peered down her nose and tried to pretend that I was a total stranger – she often does that.

The first thing I saw was a bit of a surprise. Tungsten light bulbs, yes the old-fashioned proper bulbs that you don’t really see much these days. That will bring a fair few in, I thought.

Ready iced Christmas cakes, a lot of demand for those is there?

Then I got a shock. I had been told that this is a cheap shop and really only offers goods for the less discerning.

Before my eyes, I saw whole lobsters, partridge, venison, pheasant, ostrich steak and quails.

So there’s a lot more than baked beans and burgers in Lidl. In fact I would imagine that just about anyone could stuff their face to full satisfaction from the wares available in this rather small but well-rounded supermarketAt the moment there are more DIY tools and what-nots in stock than I could shake a stick at, I don’t really know what any of them are for or what they do so I passed them by. My beloved one gets a bit jumpy if I start looking at tools and things and starts thinking terms of forthcoming floods, power cuts or other disasters should I actually get my hands on any.

There are also a fair few television sets available at, what looks to me, to be, very good prices.

Then the highlight of this, or any, evening. The booze department.

I felt a bit let down to be honest. The choice is very limited. The selection of beers and wines is nowhere near as comprehensive as those offered by the local competition and the spirits all seem to be from unfamiliar brands. Mind you, to be fair the whole shop is full of brands that are unfamiliar to me. I don’t actually do an awful lot of shopping. Not since I got landed with those dodgy bangers in 1959 I don’t.

So I paid for my souvenir purchase of some beer and asked the expert if she would go again and do a bit of bare-knuckle, down-to-earth, proper shopping there.

“I might” was her less than enthusiastic response. So I took her off to a pub for a glass of something. I felt she deserved it and I felt the need. Mind you I often do.

So, Lidl? They flog stuff and a lot of it is at fairly low cost. They certainly offer a far wider range than I would have imagined and I daresay the place will soon have a dedicated following. Good luck to them – at least they have given the area few more jobs and that can’t be bad.

PS For those of you not familiar with the lingo of our Teutonic cousins I asked the young lady for directions to the horse fodder. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

The Red Bladder is a former national newspaper journalist (tabloid & broadsheet).

7 Responses to “Reviewed: A night out in Bridport’s new Lidl”

  1. Bill Stanley

    Well let’s hope that neither of the members of the St Andrew’s Road Residents Association read that little diatribe

  2. Brian Hesketh

    It seems perfectly proper that Lidl’s staff have been trained in the correct idiom for responses to people who are clearly confused as to the range of their stock, or perhaps more accurately, the confused state of mind which might lead someone to demand horse fodder in a non-equine supermarket?

  3. Maddie Grigg

    I am a Lidlphile. I love their chocolate, their ice cream, their panettone (great for making luxury bread and butter pudding but they didn’t have any in there on Saturday), selection of antipasti, tagliatelle (the best, and cheapest) and Emmental. Their wine is often pretty good – a little while back Mr Grigg and I stocked up on a case of very good, half price Vaqueyras for about £6 a bottle.
    I have not looked at the centre aisle of non-food items since buying a notebook and finding the pages were made of graph paper.
    I have still to convince some of The Enchanted Village folk of Lidl’s greatness, but that’s fine, then there’s more room for me. As far as I’m concerned, Bridport’s Waitrose is just Scummers in a different coat.

  4. Horst

    Ok, good try of a satire. But missed the point. Lidl is not creating jobs in Bridport. Go there in six months time and see that of the 25 on opening day there will be only four left then. But to “create” four jobs in Bridport, by then they have extinguished already the one or the other shop in town which means a few people lose their job. Sure they sell lobsters and Co. And shrimps and… But hey, that food is not the no 1 quality. Cheap lobster for the people! Nice from a farm and fed with whatsoever. Ok, with the booze you got. Another attack on people’s taste. But when you poor, you even drink sludge. (See famous busy Wetherspoons in this case too). And one thing before I go. Don’t try to be clever. I estimate that there are no more than 20 percent of the English they have got a clue of any foreign language. If you been in Germany, you know, they all understand at least, wo ist das Hundefutter?

  5. The Red Bladder

    Satire? No, not even a try at it, not, I’m afraid, within a country mile of satire. However if satire is to your taste I would thoroughly recommend the greatest work in that field – Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. After close to 300 years it is still as fresh and relevant as on the day it was written. A wonderful work which shows humanity at its very best and worst. The edition edited by Michael Foot, yes that Michael Foot, is superb and available from Penguin. His footnotes explain all period details and many of Swift’s contemporary allusions. A work of only some 50,000 or so words but never once does he refer to Lidl – now there’s the basis of a conspiracy theory for you! As for the poor drinking sludge, of course we do – I seldom touch anything else.

  6. Lidl worker

    This article has frustrated me, i not only work at LIDL in Bridport but I am also a local resident. (No guessing who I am). You say that St Andrews Road is ugly? By the picture it looks like you visited us at night? Behind Lidl there are vast amounts of fields, rivers and farm land. The place is known as Happy Island! I spent many a time as a kid playing over there and from where I am sitting now i can see right over to Eggadon hill which is outstandingly beautiful. I have lived in concrete jungle so this is far from ugly.

    The supermarket may be slightly different to say Morrison’s or Tesco’s but it not out to target the same clientele. I am proud to work there. Admittedly I never entered Lidl until I started working there but I can honestly say it’s brilliant. The meat and fresh fruit vegetables especially. The majority is produced in England or what can be and is extremely fresh. The store has seen a rise in profit people are becoming more aware on what we have to offer, families, local businesses and clubs.

    I am offended by your article.

  7. The Red Bladder

    As you will see the date of this photograph is late November and it is evening, hence dark. Indeed I do know Happy Island and the fields and have often walked my various dogs along the banks of the Asker over the years. I was describing the road. As hideous a dump as you would find in a long day’s wander. Why anyone would want to protect it is way beyond me. Eggardon is indeed a pleasant spot but is only visible in the far distance. I agree with you about the variety and quality of the goods on offer, as I mentioned in my original piece, however I have not returned – shopping is not my department and is something I prefer to leave to an expert.

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