With a history of catering to rail travellers that dates back to their original Euston newsstand in 1848, WH Smith is an absolute fixture in major stations up and down the land. They offer a wide range of reading materials, and a selection of drinks and luncheon items.
I was eating on the run today, and decided to step away from my usual staples of either Upper Crust or the Bagel Factory. Smith’s selection isn’t brilliant, nor is it particularly cheap (does a single pork pie really need to cost £2.85?), but I spied an all-day breakfast sandwich, so decided to opt for that.
In a first for quests, the service was via a self-service checkout, so there was zero human interaction, whatsoever. This is a decent idea for the busy travellers on the go, I guess.
Having negotiated the simple tasks of scanning, pinning and so on, I boarded my Fife-bound train, and settled down to munch my sandwich.
It had bacon, egg, sausage and tomato elements to it, which had a reasonable amount of inoffensive flavour. The bread wasn’t great, but it had enough “matter” to it to provide a useful service as an item to chase away midday hunger.
There’s obviously an opportunity for their quality to be considerably enhanced, but with a captive audience of rail travellers, perhaps they don’t have much of an incentive. If they need one, I can confidently confirm that Upper Crust and the Bagel Factory offer substantially better quality and value.
So overall, WH Smith performed its required function, today, but didn’t offer much inspiration, beyond that. They are primarily providing reading material for train customers, but they should really be serving something with a bit better quality, as what they have on offer is quite sad. I suggest you grab any required victuals from other outlets, on your next stop in Waverley station.
Blythe scores WH Smith
2/5 for food
2.5/5 for presentation
3/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 10.5/20
Today’s questers was: Blythe
I ate: all-day breakfast sandwich
I drank: nowt
I wore: travelling pinstripes
Total bill: £2.85