Many people believe, very vocally, that Tesco and M&S coming to Aberystwyth will kill the town.
Independent traders won’t be able to compete, and we’ll be left with a wasteland of charity shops, chain stores and bookmakers.
So last weekend Bethan & I boarded the sometimes-hourly train to Shrewsbury.
This has a big M&S, and a Waitrose, plus a big out of town shopping centre – so it must be ruined already, surely?
We would probably starve to death, since I don’t eat MacDonald’s.
In fact, we were fine.
The wonderful fruit and veg shop by the station had damsons, giant pomegranates and fresh bread after 3pm!
Perhaps good businesses can thrive when the big shops pull customers in?
Check out those perfectly poached eggs, with rich golden yolks.
They want paying for the eggs in their shop, but they’re top quality.
The black pudding was perfectly porky too.
It may be a salad, but with black pudding, two eggs, bacon & potatoes, it’s really a healthy-looking, posh all day breakfast that delivers plenty for £9.
It doesn’t look so big there, but she professed herself delighted with the big flavours of “tomatoes that taste of tomatoes for once”.
Again, the top-quality ingredients blended tastily.
Isn’t that magic (unless you don’t like baby seamonsters staring at you).
She was delighted with this, finding the prawns meaty and “lovely”.
That’s a lot of food for £12.
There was plenty of juicy pulled pork in the bun, but on the plate there was a generous portion of what we might call “Pulled Crackling” – pieces of pork that had been crisped up more in the oven.
These were very tasty, as was everything with it. The homemade bun was sweet and attractive, wasabi creme fraiche powerful, the chips good, and even the picked vegetables added a nicely acidic note.
Bethan and Sarah had the Prosecco (£4.50 for 125ml) while Paul & I had a refreshing freshingly squeezed orange juice (£2.80)
In fact, there must be about twenty places I’d recommend (at least four in the market alone).
And if Aberystwyth does end up a strip of charity shops, we can’t just blame Tesco.
4 Butcher Row