What? Well! Supermarkets, department stores, superstores and the like all have a Christmas in July. What is it? Well, it’s quite ridiculous but magazines like Good Housekeeping etc. are writing their Christmas articles now so need to know what’s the best of stuff out there. So the stores hold events showing off their Christmas wares. Loads of bloggers go too. Probably works the same with fashion. Anyway, although I am a blogger I don’t do sponsored posts, reviews etc. Much as I’d love to get lots of free stuff to review and fings, it wouldn’t be in the spirit of of what The Complaining Cow does.
Because of this I tend not to go to these kind of events. More missing out! But, yeah it was Tesco so had to be done didn’t it? Got to find something to complain about. (See The Complaining Cow’s history with Tesco for lots of stories of complaints, taking them to court, meeting and then interviewing the CEOs and stuff.)
I asked for an invite! They said yes! Told the Media team I would try and find something to complain about! Head of Corporate PR said it was Christmas so don’t try too hard! Like I need to try?
So, whilst all the other bloggers and journalists gather their best bits from all the events I bring you a piece just on Tesco warts and all!
When I arrived they had dedicated the Head of Media Relations, Shoshana and the Chief Customer Officer Alessandra (I interviewed last year) to show me round the event! I wonder if this was because they were more worried about what I might say more than anyone else and thought pre-warned is pre-armed. Well wanna see what I found? Read on, there’s some nice pictures after all.
A door, yep a welcoming Xmas door to the festivities. I should probably say though that I went to the end/exit to meet Shoshana, because that’s my sense of direction and idiocy. She sensibly came and got me and took me to the front! Anywhere where was I, other than lost? Oh yes the front door. Glass of prosecco on the way? Don’t mind if I do.
Right, chocolate. See that gap? Obviously happy to oblige when asked to “Try one”! Very yummy, hand decorated but frankly who cares?! Belgian choc biscuits £4 bit steep would they have been cheaper if not hand painted? 12. Making them 33.3p each. Yes that glass is mine.
Here comes a complaint. Not allowed to try the chocolate penguin 🙁 Not allowed to try the double chocolate marshmallows 🙁 Not allowed to try those little cakes 🙁 (all on the row behind the table).
Cotswolds is the theme this year. So you can expect to see scenes from the Cotswolds. You’ll see that through the decorations, paper, cards and china. Interestingly they have designed products so that if you break a bauble, for example, or just want to add to your collection next year, they are keeping designs similar so you don’t have to buy all new sets. Not that I would do that anyway! Far too tight to buy different decorations for the tree every year! Not sure whether I like the designs or not. On balance I think I like them. Will I be buying anything from the range? Possibly but I prefer funny cards. They are still doing very similar if not the same Christmas paper as last year. (And cheap plus my book looks good wrapped up in it! 🙂 )Probably buy that because obviously I liked it. That and I’ll have last year’s gift tags to go with it. Have to say the glasses and other tableware were tasteful though.
Tesco has its own inhouse design team who knew? Well probably quite a few people but the majority don’t and that includes the people at the event. They design all sorts of stuff throughout the year, but here they were showing off all the design stages of their pictures etc.
Ha! Best table in the room Alcohol!
I tried a low alcohol sparkling wine! (0.5%) Last time I tried a non alcoholic wine was when I was pregnant, took one sip and threw the rest of the glass and bottle away! But this wasn’t bad, bit sweet but low/no alcohol needs sugar as a preservative.
Of course I liked the most expensive prosecco on offer. Finished the glass I had and took a glass of that round the rest of the tour! Apparently Tesco is the biggest provider of Prosecco – well wouldn’t it be being the biggest supermarket on the planet? That said, I have a feeling my neighbours and I contribute to the sales rather too much…. Anyway, can’t say it was worth twice the price of their range of prosecco at the other end of the price spectrum but then I probably have a very immature palate?!
£3.50 for that salmon bagel! Well it looked nice but seriously £3.50? Apparently I wasn’t the only one to comment on the price. Apparently it is because the salmon is gin-and-juniper cured and another piece is oak smoked. Buy a bottle and some salmon and do it yourself? Oh and don’t forget the “candy striped beetroot” ‘cos obviously that is worth paying for right? Where’s the rolling eyes emoticon gone?
Mind you, next to this were some very good sausage rolls.
OMG! They were vegan. Blimey! Maybe it wasn’t those I tried. Surely? Perhaps I’m muddling them up with some little pork pies, they were good! Can’t remember the detail though sorry!
I called the below the Tummy Rumbler table. Also known as Quite The Teaser. Very good looking prawns, pork burger things (they were good, buying them) and other stuff which you can’t see very well because my picture is rubbish. Did make me want to have some people round though! It all cooks at the same time same temperature. More time to spend with guests drinking prosecco! They did do that last year so it aint new! Okay, looking in the Tesco marketing whatsit the pork burger things are called “Tesco Finest Hog Roast Crackling Sliders” Oh, they have apple and cider chutney in them. Don’t like cider and apple chutney. What happened there then? That’ll teach me to keep telling my son to try new foods when I don’t.
Right, now. This Italian meats table was all very good lots of new stuff. Tesco staff have been on jollies to Italy and experimenting with stuff! I have to tell you the proscuttio soaked in prosecco was really very good! Very moist. Looked it up to buy but it’s not available yet 🙁
Toys, variety of new products, including pooing unicorns. Amused me anyway.
Christmas treats for your pets anyone? Advent calendars? They sold hundreds of thousands of these Christmas pet items last year! I suppose if you buy treats then getting an Xmas bone isn’t very different but please tell me why, if you actually buy an advent calendar for your dog?!There were Christmas jumpers, The usual stuff. Cute winter coat for a little girl though. £16 navy blue based on the Royals (roll of eyes emoticon) but cute and good value, well certainly less than the one bought for Charlotte Windsor. Don’t suppose that came from Tesco.
Then came the last room. This is where the tummy rumbles became seriously audible. Have to say the stuff around looked fantastic and I wasn’t the only one that wanted to tuck in!
If you are veggie then er have some cauliflower in pastry. £6 I’m not sure I have a comment.
Puddings. Phone ran out of charge! What a time to go! So here are some pics from the promotional whatsit that was in the goody bag:
Just, just, look they looked fabulous in real life ok?! And yeah I have got a complaint. To put all that out and only have a few profiteroles out for tasting was cruel. Cruel I tell you. And there isn’t a picture of the Xmas tree cone chocolate hoojamaflips. Now, they are superb.
But last year I went to a Tesco thing to catch early viewing of the adverts and they had the chocolate cone tree hoojamaflips out for tasting. I don’t like Xmas pud and decided I wanted them for my pud come 25th December. I went to order and they didn’t have any. The lovely manager at Lea Valley even tried to find me some. I was assured that this year there will be enough. Someone is in big fat serious trouble if I don’t get them this year.
Good selection of cheeses, didn’t take a photo wasn’t impressed by them putting them all on a grand piano frankly. Not what a piano is for.
On approaching the big table I saw Dave Lewis (Tesco CEO). I don’t know if he saw me but he disappeared very quickly. He wasn’t going to get away with it so I emailed him! In fact I told him that I was told Tesco is the biggest prosecco supplier and that was down to my two neighbours and me and that he was welcome! Even though I still hadn’t received an invite to test prosecco and chocolate truffles! He has tried to assure me that he didn’t run (one assumes he walked quickly!) and that we could have had some impromptu prosecco tasting! Well now he owes me!
Home time. Got a nice goody bag, flipping heavy to carry though. Can’t show you a photo ‘cos I accidentally ate some of the contents on the tube home and drank the half bottle of wine when I got home. But here’s someone else’s pic!
— Harrison, Con and Bex (@Kidzcoolit) July 4, 2018
So there you go. My work here is done.