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Wednesday, 9 September 2009

flat pack berries 'n gravy with that?

Inspired by the arrival, through my letter box, of the 2010 IKEA catalogue I took the bus up to the north of Nottinghamshire to visit my local IKEA. It must be about two years since I've been there and around seven or eight years since I 'enjoyed' regular visits with my ex-wife. Way back then we would go in for some candles and come out with a whole new wardrobe for me to lovingly bolt together (often with the door or draws the wrong way round!).

This time it was on a food quest and a leisurely stroll round the colourful and labyrinthine sections. I have fond memories of enjoying their cafe food and the basic fun of choosing a small, regular or large meatballs. However, as I got off the bus I was astonished to see that a whole new retail park had sprung up on what was once scrubland and many years worth of local littering and burnt out cars.

Although the choice of foods has expanded in the cafe I still decided to go for the meatballs option. The staff were very friendly and as I queued up I heard the woman serving say 'berries 'n gravy with that?' and 'fries or potatoes?' at least six times to six lots of people. She must say that in her sleep. lol

My 15 meatballs and potatoes 'berries and gravy with it' and a coffee came to just under a fiver, that's five pounds for anyone overseas reading this and was pretty enjoyable. When I paid at the desk I asked the lady if trade had increased for IKEA since the opening of the retail park adjacent. She thought that it had, because to her mind, more folk came to their IKEA cafe because the food was cheaper.

Walking back through the store I smiled to myself with memories of the amount of storage containers we must have bought as a couple over time. We were running our own businesses over the time of our relationship and a visit to IKEA would bring on an attack of the Muppet chef, silly Swedish 'hurdy birdy lurdy' style impersonations and a giggle at the brand names for their goods. All good fun.

On the way out (remarkably empty handed) I purchased a pack of their marzipan and chocolate cakes and a pot of blueberry jam as a pressie for my neighbour. Yummy.


Marian Barker said...

Aw - what a lovely post

Janette Jones said...

Last time we went there was when I saw you, a couple of years ago. I used to go all the time when I worked in Eastwood. Hopefully next time you go, we will have moved and you can call in for a cup of tea on your way back!

French Fancy said...

I've gone all sentimental now, Phil. When the first Ikea opened off the North Circular Road in London about (must be a bit over) 20 years ago, my mum and I went along and got very excited by our lunch of Swedish meatballs. We then spent a great afternoon browsing around and buying odds and ends. When we returned about 6 months later we had to queue to get into the carpark, that is how popular it had become and there were crowds everywhere inside - we fled.

When I read your post I got a bit teary - hope it didn't smudge your blog.

Dedene said...

I haven't been to Ikea for years. It's funny because I remember that the food at Ikea here in France was always more expensive. Maybe that's changed. Have you seen the Ikea kit for building your own car?