Review: Cambridge Supermarkets

JANIS BURNS tells us which supermarkets cut the mustard.

Asda Sainsbury's Supermarkets tesco Waitrose

Having never considered myself a “fussy eater” I moved to Cambridge, Hughes Hall to be precise, and was astonished to discover that my dislike of a fruity sauce with each and every course of each and every meal fulfills the criteria for title of fussy eater. Being unable to bear college meals I soon became an expert in the field of Cambridge supermarkets.

Tesco, Newmarket Road
The worst supermarket in Cambridge. This branch of tescopoly is the worst I have ever had the misfortune to visit, yes folks this supermarket is consistently more atrocious than Sidney Street Sainsbury’s on the Sunday before term begins. This particular store attracts the most ill mannered customers in Cambridge. Forget a polite “I’m ever so sorry” when some idiot with their brood of four under fives bangs into you as they suddenly decide to do a rash 360 with their overflowing trolley. A disgusted “stay away from my child paedophile” look is the order of the day here. Pointing out the error of your fellow patron’s ways is a risky business as one can never be sure that this customer hasn’t been seen taking a swipe at the estranged father of their third child on Jeremy Kyle. These customers think they are above Asda but not blessed with enough brains to realise that Sainsbury’s is actually cheaper and better quality. The staff are rude, clearly detest their job and aggressively shout “Clubcard?” i.e. the supermarket equivalent of “Computer says no”.

Verdict: AVOID AT ALL COSTS.

Asda, Beehive Centre
Now Asda is an interesting supermarket socially. Amongst those Cambridge students who were born and raised with silver spoons in their mouths a look of intrigue will spread across their face as they enquire about this never before heard of supermarket. The middle class Cambridge student will however give you a look of disgust and you will spend the remainder of your degree trying to lose your newly acquired pauper tag, that is assuming you actually give a shit about what someone who has been coached all the way to their Cambridge place thinks of you. Staff are friendly and other customers, who are key to successfully negotiating the disorganised and often sparsely stocked aisles, are not up their own arse.

Verdict: A stressfree grocery shop but may lack actual groceries.

Waitrose, Hauxton Road
It upsets me to admit that this is my personal favourite. The epitome of the upper class grocery shop in Cambridge, you will find yourself surrounded by champions in trolley etiquette. Their essentials range is worthy of its hype and has won me over on quality and price. My only complaint is their over coached check-out staff, I’m really not interested in regaling them with how my day has been nor what I am going to be doing that night, please just let me pack my bags in peace.

Verdict: Grocery Heaven.

Sainsbury’s, Sidney Street
The main student supermarket. This store is convenient for the majority of the student population and boy does it know it. The closely packed aisles, the baskets with wheels, the city centre location all adds up to hell on earth. A normally placid individual, I despise the person I become when I enter this store. I tut my way up and down the aisles, swearing under my breath at the autistic students failing to cope with the (limited) choice offered. How I long to glide through the aisles like a hot knife through butter but instead find myself acting as a human bowling ball cursing as I go.

Verdict: AVOID AVOID AVOID.