“I went to an Aldi in Spain and it was so much fancier than the ones in London, it looked more like a Waitrose”


The breathtaking sunlight streaming through the all-glass walls, the aisles of fresh fruit and the sweet scent of the flowers lined at the entrance: the Spanish Aldi is, quite simply, not only a league above its counterpart English, but probably all English supermarkets in general.

Shopping while on vacation abroad is one of the simplest yet most exciting experiences of the whole trip. Not particularly sophisticated to say, admittedly; but strolling through aisles strewn with local produce, crunchy flavors of the wildest spectrum – the seaweed is very nice, actually – and what’s almost always cheaper than booze “at home” – what’s not fun about that?

Shopping in England is a chore; a necessary and ultimately unpleasant experience. On vacation, however, travel is transformed. Is it something other people feel when they come to our supermarkets? After my first trip to Spanish Aldi, I’m sure the Spaniards, at least, definitely don’t.

READ MORE: I went to the Peckham pub selling ‘the cheapest pint in London’ but it still cost me £3.20

We were a two hour drive from Malaga and the nearest Aldi was based in the town of Estepona, a two minute drive from the seafront. Flanked by a Lidl one minute to its left and a Carrefour to its right, my friend joked that it was the most scenic supermarket valley he had ever seen.

Which was true for the five of us. The Aldi was particularly handsome, a statement no Briton meant. But with a skyline of the mountainous terrain of southern Spain behind those four flashing yellow letters and a water fountain perched at the entrance, it was as if we had stumbled upon some kind of tongue-in-cheek movie set. , in which a low-cost supermarket had the exterior appearance of a designer mall or high-end boutique.

Look at this water fountain in front of the parking lot! I miss her already

And the movie set comparison continued in a different twist as we quickly learned how difficult it was to get into the Aldi.

“Good thing I spent a lot of time playing Grand Theft Auto,” my friend said thoughtfully as he surveyed the scene. “Looks like we’re going to have to cross the sidewalk to get into the parking lot.”

“To be fair, it’s siesta time,” someone else said, before adding that if we all end up in the reckless driving ring to gain access to an Aldi, I hope prisons in Spain are even half as glamorous as their supermarkets.

Two minutes later we were inside. Forget what has been said about Spain’s Aldi looking like a futuristic designer mall; inside it looked more like a museum of food, law and order.

The Gold Standard of Supermarket Experience

Not a single room out of place, the aisles were wide and bare, with yellow sunlight streaming through the glass walls. In the UK, our supermarkets are saturated with white light, the floors often sticky, and even Waitrose and M&S are no strangers to overturned displays and spilled cans and bottles. In Spain, however, everything was perfect. It was even almost a bit shocking, how perfect the layout was, how synchronized the whole operation was.

And it wasn’t your usual affair of quirky alleys selling hot dog makers. Instead, flowers were on display for as little as five euros and freshly squeezed orange juice for three euros. British Aldi brands were also different – Spanish Aldi is no stranger to big brands such as Pringles and Haribo. Cheaper alternatives to fame from Aldi and Lidl, go!

Price was in line with UK Aldi. Our bill at the end – five days for five people – came to 150 euros including plenty of beer and rum.

Wonderful locally sourced Spanish fruit and veg have gone, naturally, cheaper than in the UK

Even the children behaved well. Instead of asking for chips and chocolate, a child pointed to her mother and asked for an apple. Jamie Oliver’s dream!

It is a testimonial from the Spanish Aldi that a week later we are still talking about the wonders of the place. I even wrote an article about how much I liked it. Spain, home to some of the world’s greatest basilicas, museums, castles – and, although not as eye-catching for its tourist board, the world’s largest Aldi.

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