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Booths Opens: It's Massive

Confidential swings into MediaCityUK's giant new store, borrows £20 and drinks all the beer

Published on October 20th 2011.

Booths Opens: It's Massive

SLEUTH made it down to the opening of Booth's in MediaCityUK on Tuesday.

His jaw dropped.

He should have known better. Booths has been called the northern Waitrose, but that should be reversed. Waitrose should be called the southern Booths - but not as good. 

Ignore the fact he'd had about 25 lunches that day and was slightly befuddled from the liquid accompaniment, he couldn't believe the scale of the place.

Sleuth had thought it was going to be like one of those city centre corner Sainsbury's or Tescos. A few bits of microwave stuff, some dodgy mayo mashed sandwiches, cans of Stella in six-packs and McCains chips.

He should have known better. Booths has been called the northern Waitrose, but that should be reversed. Waitrose should be called the southern Booths - but not as good. 

It's all here for a big shop that's big on quality but not expensive either across two floors. 

Sleuth would like to quote the press release he had thrust into his hand here in case he forgets anything.

'The shop will provide a wide range of fresh food and groceries as well as an excellent range of wines and ales.  The ground floor will offer a butcher, fishmonger, cheesemonger, delicatessen and florist as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. Upstairs will be a full range of the daily basics including Booths' Everyday range which helps make Booths just as affordable as any other supermarket.

'The vast majority of our fresh food is sourced within the four counties we operate in; Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria and Yorkshire. If you want a true taste of the country - the freshest vegetables from Hesketh Bank, seasonal salt marsh lamb from Morecambe Bay or the most traditionally produced artisanal Lancashire cheese.'

To sum up Booths MediaCity will create 100 new jobs in Salford Quays. The shop covers 15,000 square ft over two floors featuring a butchery fishmonger, delicatessen, wine merchant, cheesemonger, and floristry.

Sleuth thought it was interesting that Booths is the only supermarket to forge links with Slow Food, the very slowly growing international association that celebrates heritage and artisan produce and the food cultural traditions of particular world regions.  

Still all this admiring of food and meat made Sleuth thirsty - especially the scale of the artisan wine selection and the 200 beers on offer. But he didn't want any of the opening-party Champagne as that would make him giggle and fall over, so he took a long hard look at the beer samples being given out. These were thimble sized.

He sidled up to Jennifer Middleton, the charming lady publicising the opening.

"May I have a full bottle of beer, please," said Sleuth,"it would be good for my health." Jennifer said yes. "Oh and can I please borrow £20 as I have no cash and I need to pay the cab outside and then get home after that?" said Sleuth. Jennifer said yes. Thank God.

This is where Sleuth needs to get serious - with the developers of the whole area.

Dear Peel Group, why are there no cash points in MediaCityUK anywhere near Booths or the Holiday Inn?

Dear Peel Group how can anybody find this side of MediaCityUK in a car unless they already know where they are going?

The signage is poor and the sense of arrival is poor as well. On the canal side it's marvellously done, on the land side - the direction from which, Sleuth reckons, most people will come as he knows few people in Manchester with boats - there is no gateway to the place. 

Yet folks if you love food, have a trip out to Booths in MediaCityUK. You'll love it. When you find it.

Booths MediaCityUK is at The Garage, Red, MediaCityUK, Salford,  M50 2BS. 01617133750

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week, it's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. We give £25 for every story/rumour and piece of absurdity you find for us to print. Sleuth sometimes even gets serious. We ask for the money back if any legal action follows. Follow Sleuth on twitter @Sleuth For last week's column click here.

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61 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousOctober 20th 2011.

Where is it?

Street name? Postcode?

'MediaCity' is a 200 acre development, am I supposed to hovel thru' it all?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 20th 2011.

go to Media City. Look at the Holiday Inn. Then left. easy.

RevaulxOctober 20th 2011.

The Booths in the converted train shed at Windermere station is the most beautiful supermarket in the world, inside and out.

SleuthOctober 20th 2011.

Sorry, it's up there now. The address is mad by the way. Garage. Red. Eh?

1 Response: Reply To This...
the Whalley RangerOctober 20th 2011.

That was part of my point. Are we reinventing the wheel again?

My hunch is some have not yet read Asterix in Britain...

AnonymousOctober 20th 2011.

It is expensive like for like but the quality is far far superior to anything the big 4 offer and even Waitrose. If this is anything like the Knutsford store, you'll see seasonal veg in there you didn't know existed... romanesco cauliflower was in the other week, looks like something from Star Wars!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Calum McGOctober 20th 2011.

Yay they are so tasty!!! Bought one in Castlefield market the other week. Count me IN!

jenbobOctober 20th 2011.

excited! I've sacked off my ocado delivery and I'm going tonight!

AnonymousOctober 20th 2011.

Nailing some Wensleydale with Cranberries and a nice white loaf as we speak..... Viva Booths!

Harry CheeseOctober 20th 2011.

Girl cheese - cheese with fruit, read the Alex James interview here. Yuck. Mind you the Reblochon I had last night was marvellous - from Booths.

Liam O'toole shared this on Facebook on October 20th 2011.
AnonymousOctober 20th 2011.

Cut me open and I bleed LIDL! Shopping as it should be.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 24th 2011.

And so you should be cut open!

AnonymousOctober 20th 2011.

It is great, particularly the fish and cheese counters. There are of course some negatives, particularly the lack of parking (I drive past on my way home from work but can't just 'pop in' for something) and the fact the beef is ruby red (aged just 21 days). Also, they sell Ruster's burgers.

Calum McGOctober 20th 2011.

Looks awesome - and as it's on my way home, I think I'll pop in!

Daisy WhitehouseOctober 20th 2011.

I have had a Pieminster chicken and tarragon pie with peas, mash and gravy for my lunch from Booths! Brilliant.

tblzebraOctober 20th 2011.

For those who can't fathom the address/location, Peel Group's Wayfinder guide is here to help.


Try not to look at it for too long, it makes your eyes hurt.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Andrew StevensonOctober 20th 2011.

That doesn't help if you're driving there. I guess they're expecting most of their trade to come from those working on/in Media City.

tblzebraOctober 20th 2011.

Exactly Andrew. My sarcasm was obviously too subtle.

Simon BinnsOctober 20th 2011.

It's next door to the studios, down the side of the ITV/Uni building.

It's not that hard to find. There's still not that many buildings on site yet.

AnonymousOctober 20th 2011.

I'm going to check out the beer isle this evening. I worry that this may end badly, because the place is walking distance from my house. :)

Simon SmithOctober 20th 2011.

What a sign of the times.

A massive new public sector employment area opens and it's a posh Booth's that chooses to move in to feed them. They'll have researched the wage levels of those in the buildings around their store.

We'll soon become a two tier society. Those employed or pensioned by the state sector will be carrying on as normal while the rest of us do the austerity bit.

Of course, on Nov 30, this branch of Booths will be quiet - all the workers around it will be on strike to attempt to protect their fantastic, index-linked pensions which the rest of us pay for.

9 Responses: Reply To This...
Calum McGOctober 20th 2011.

I'll be in there spending some moolah.

ChrisOctober 20th 2011.

Don't be so bloody miserable, Simon

Simon SmithOctober 20th 2011.

I just think it;s very intereasting from a social point of view that Booth's, a supermarket which wouldn't normally have touched Salford with a bargepole, arrives just as an alien colony of well paid state employees arrives.

The only other Booths I'm aware of are in Kendal, Knutsford and Windermere.

Go on, someone tell me the Salford store isn't an oddity and there are ones in Toxteth, Burnley and Hattersley.

Chris MurphyOctober 20th 2011.

Not for the first time, does SS fire off before checking his ammo. There's at least three in Preston,( that well known centre of affluence!) and about three in Yorkshire, where they love to waste their money.
Since when did a low social standing equate to wanting to eat shit food,? someone as right on as yourself should remember that Marx wanted everyone to travel first class, not third class.
People go to Booths for quality at the right money and what's wrong with that? A tin of Heinz soup is the same quality wherever you buy it and at whatever price, but bread,veg, meat and fish should be bought at the best quality that you can afford, not at the lowest price just so that you can wear the leftie of the year badge with inner pride.
I'll take it the chip on your shoulder is more Mccains than Hand cut.

Simon SmithOctober 20th 2011.

You're right, there are 3 in Yorkshire - at Settle, Ilkley and Ripon.

The Salford Booth's has not been built for Salford, but for a tiny ghetto of affluent government staff surrounded by one of the poorest areas in the country.

Good luck to Booth's with their new store. I'm sure they are right to quickly zero in on a new area of privelege, one that has been created by public money.

However, the circumstances of its arrival says a lot about the divided state modern Britain, and adds to the sense of an monied elite paid by the state to broadcast to the proles.

When the docks were full of good old fashioned, money earning, private industry, with exports pouring out of Trafford Park, Booth's were nowhere to be seen.

IzzyOctober 21st 2011.

Why are you so God damned negative and bitter all the time?

SquirrelitoOctober 22nd 2011.

Right Kids? Jeez, Simon, you come over like Rik off the Young Ones. Get back to your Socialist "Worker" trestle table.

AnonymousOctober 26th 2011.

Not sure what simons point it as I thought that the BBC pensionscheme was not that generous any more and totaly seperate and diferent to the public sector pensions which are the cause of such hoo haa at the moment.

AnonymousOctober 26th 2011.

Simon, you demonstrate very little knowledge or understanding of EH Booths. Shooting from the hip doesn't help anyone.

Evan DanceOctober 20th 2011.

Congratulations Simon. It took quite a few rants before a chippy chip on the shoulder dumped on the mood. Or so I thought and then you contradicted yourself in the last paragraph. Good work.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 21st 2011.

Ah, Confidential's very own Hyacinth Bucket.

Simon puts so much stock in living in possibly the dullest town known to man, that it must be quite upsetting to see Booths by-pass Altrincham for somewhere infinitely more interesting and dynamic.

And the attitude displayed in the half-witted denigration of the public sector leads to developments like the Trafford Centre and all the damage that place has wreaked on Altrincham town centre.

So Hyacinth..., I mean Simon, you and Peel's monument to vulgarity are most welcome to each other. I on the other hand may well drop by Peel's monument to the media industry (the jury's still out on its aesthetic qualities) and see what the new Booths has to offer.

AnonymousOctober 20th 2011.

Yes Simon, students (in the building next door to the store) and people who like to stay at Holiday Inns are well-known for their extravagant spending.

Good on Booths for taking a bit of a risk and opening somewhere outside their comfort zone.

Andrew StevensonOctober 20th 2011.

I went on the opening night too but obviously after Confidential had polished off all the pastries in the 5th photo as that table was empty ;)

Impressive and definitely at the posh end of Booths. Very interesting comparing the range with what they have in other stores. Lots of gorgeous-looking British rose veal, beautifully butchered, for example. Though oddly BWS didn't seem as high end as (in particular) meat and fish.
Anyone remember Selfridges food hall when they first opened in Manchester city centre? Anyone remember the fish counter in Selfridges food hall when they first opened? Lots of flash fishy stuff. Didn't last long. I hope Booths have done their demographic research better than Selfridges did.

This is the first supermarket I've seen over two storeys. It'll be interesting to see how that works, as I can't quite see myself pushing trolley round and having to wait for the lift, esp if I realise I've forgotten something.

Thoroughly agree on finding it. I right pain. I spotted it, but trying to find roads to it - in the dark, I should add - was very irritating. Then when I got to it, Booths own car park seemed to be protected on three sides by no-entry signs. If you actually - legitimately - find the road(s) which lead to the car park, the entrance is drive on the right. Was it designed by a foreigner?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Calum McGOctober 20th 2011.

You must be too posh to have ever shopped in a two-storey Tesco or ASDA then :) Can't wait to have a nosey tho!

Lynda KendallOctober 21st 2011.

I couldn't find this elusive road to the car park and ended up in the multi story. £3 for 2 hours and nothing to say anything would be refunded even though there were shopping trolleys on each exit for booths. I take it the refund on spend is from the car park in front? If you can get in?

AnonymousOctober 29th 2011.

Never been in tesco on market st then?

Wine manOctober 20th 2011.

As a regular shopper at Booths i can tell you that the standard never drops but they do some time sell out just like other shops,
Good to see you found the car park and got your money refunded at the checkout as i see some one said the parking was poor i would have thought a shop with its own multi story whould be enoughparking for most customers.
As for Simon Smith i bet you shop at Sanisburys?

Bernadette KellyOctober 20th 2011.

Slueth should be sure to call a taxi from his own phone next time, or at least be there when the taxi turns up. Cabbies can harrass the innocent phone owner when they are stood up.

SleuthOctober 20th 2011.

Oh dear. Forgot about that. I did ring the taxi company the following day.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Bernadette KellyOctober 20th 2011.

no worries, you just owe MW a pint for the abuse withstood

Simon SmithOctober 21st 2011.

Funny how some comments disappear!

My last one did, even though it was written in my usual, polite, non-offensive style.

AnonymousOctober 22nd 2011.

I love the new store - a pleasant change to see good quality produce on offer. However, I'm a little disappointed there's no restaurant; apart from the inadequate facility in the foyer of the BBC that serves food on paper napkins.

Come on Booths we'd love you to open a restaurant that serves good quality hot food.

Jonathan SchofieldOctober 22nd 2011.

Funnily enough I tweeted that idea about an hour ago. I so agree Anon. A cafe there would be fabulous for the Beeb and for the visitors to the shop and the area. A proper deli-style licensed place with cracking home-made food. It would be an absolute guaranteed success and natural meeting place for people in MediaCity.

Mark WhileOctober 22nd 2011.

Yeah sleuth a pint wouldn't go a miss... Booths is definitely where I will be shopping from now on... A foodies heaven!!

AnonymousOctober 23rd 2011.

Ok you have all had a few days to pay a visit "apart from SS who is sitting in his tent at the St Peters sqwat "
what did you think of the best corner shop in Manchester?

AnonymousOctober 23rd 2011.

Bloody good, great sirloin steak this evening.

AnonymousOctober 23rd 2011.

TThere is a Booths in Poulton le Fylde also...near blackpool

RayOctober 24th 2011.

Great news. Booths is a top quality operation, and despite the comments about posh this and upper class that, I frequently buy fabulously priced real ales from their stores - some as little as £1. So much for posh Booths

Calum McGOctober 24th 2011.

I popped in on Saturday for a quick nosey and thought it was fantastic. Really smart shop, very well presented stock and loved the quality of what I bought and saw - and even bought some cocoa powder that was 4p more than Waitrose - but for twice as much! It's not Lidl prices, but it didn't seem OTT either. Nice to see doors on all the fridges to save energy. Nice touch.

David Bannatyne shared this on Facebook on October 25th 2011.
CBOctober 26th 2011.

I found the car park (it is a ballache to get into). although I paid £1.80 for an hour and there no sign of a refund. Was prepared to bypass Sainsburys as my usual haunt but not paying that for parking each time/

Nickster123October 26th 2011.

There is a Booths in Penrith and trust me that is not an area paved in gold!! Can't wait to get to Media City and try it for my fairly poor but wanting good food self!!

AnonymousOctober 26th 2011.

I think this is ace news.

As a little boy I accompanied my Grandmother to the EH Booths in Blackburn shopping centre. From a young age I was intrigued by the coffee grinding facilities. I have since shopped at the Booths on Liverpool Road, Preston, the Penwortham Superstore, Sharoe Green, Clitheroe, Bowness, Kirby Lonsdale and Longridge.

I still shop there if I can. My parents were working class, and I'm definitely not posh, though I appreciate I am privileged. For me, that Booths have not set up in Salford previously is a reflection of the 32 years of neglect and deprivation of successive conservative administrations, and it is not within the competency of a grocer to enter a deprived area and resolve that, it is the Governments. They are a little more expensive, and I wouldn't be suprised if the likes of tesco are able to aggressively resist the entry of them into such areas, giving due cognisance to the cost cutting measures they adopt, and the huge land banks they sit on.

I do not possess statistical evidence to support why I shop at Booths. However, in my view Booths support local producers, they take care of their staff, who take care of their customers in turn. When they have deli counters, they are generally good. The butchers are ok. So tesco and asda may screw producers and allow you to spend less, but shopping their I never feel I get good value.

SiNovember 3rd 2011.

Bought 3 meals at Booths on Sunday - The pork/beef meatballs from the deli were totally great - even my 2 yr old ate them all, but the Beef Bourguignon and diced beef were sadly rubbish. I've seen better meat in Aldi!

The bourguignon was all fat rather than meat and the diced beef turned to rubber in the slow cooker within an hour.

Maybe that's what you get by going at 4:30pm on a Sunday at Tes*o etc, but I expected better from Booths...


James KayNovember 8th 2011.

Is 'artisan' the word of the month?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Christine KilbyDecember 6th 2011.

No, and it still just means hand made. The difference is usually double the price of something without this description.

movementNovember 8th 2011.

Near impossible to get to, no free parking, nobody there. More staff than customers when I went. Eek.

Christine KilbyDecember 6th 2011.

I remember Booths in Blackburn Shopping Centre when I lived up there 16 years ago. It was a classy place - doubt whether it survived the demise of Blackburn town centre though... I look forward to visiting the Quays branch very soon. Just what the area needs in my humble opinion.

Jake AstonDecember 7th 2012.

Specialist? LMAO

No unhomogenised milk
Tiny range of unpasteurised cheeses
Own Label sausages packed full of preservatives and additives
All the chorizos on the charcuterie stand all with nitrites added that are associated with cheaply produced continental and cooked meats
Cheese, Fresh Meat and Deli counters closed an hour before store closing time

Gave it a go but sorry guys - does not even come close to Waitrose or Harvey Nichols - and you have to pay to park!

Forget it!!!

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