Pret a Manger @ Warwick Uni
About 5 weeks ago, the Pret A Manger on campus finally opened. Warwick students were bustling with excitement at yet another place to get their much-needed coffee fix, not to mention the range of cookies and cakes that students simply can’t refuse. As I was already a huge fan of Pret, I jumped at the opportunity I was offered to do a review of the Pret on campus. So, towards the end of week 8, my friend and I went to Pret a Manger and bought as much food as we could. I decided to divide the review into 4 categories; food, drinks, service & vibe, and sustainability.
Falafel, Avo & Chipotle Flat Bread (VG)
As a vegan, I am always amazed at the range of vegan options that are now readily available in high-street chains. Pret a Manger, however, tops all of the others. This Falafel flatbread is just one of the many options that Pret provides and it really is amazing. It’s very easy for cafes and restaurants to provide simple ‘falafel and hummus’ wraps that are often quite plain and flavourless. Pret switches things up by using sweet potato falafel, sliced avocado and chipotle ketchup, topped with red peppers, sweetcorn, coriander, onions and salsa. The flatbread is bursting with flavours and the generous portion size means it is a perfect option for lunch. The only downside of this meal? It’s almost impossible to eat it without making a mess… but hey, go ahead and make a mess, nobody will judge you!
Very Merry Christmas Lunch (VG)
Since we visited so late in November, there were a range of Christmassy options on the shelves. Now, it’s no secret that I absolutely LOVE Christmas, so when my friend pointed out a vegan version of Pret’s Christmas sandwich, I just had to buy it. The Very Merry Christmas Lunch sandwich is very merry indeed, filled with vegan stuffing, caramelised pecans, grilled carrots, crispy onions, spinach, and a delicious port and orange cranberry sauce. Could this sandwich be anymore christmassy?! Now, I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of onions, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the crispy onions in this sandwich, they added a satisfying crunch but weren’t overpowering in flavour. I definitely recommend this sandwich if you want to get into the Christmas spirit!
Pea & Mint Soup (side) (VG) & Stone Baked Losange Soup Baguette (VG)
I decided to buy the smaller size of the Pea & Mint soup, since I had already bought a flatbread, a sandwich and a cookie… but I instantly regretted this decision. If you haven’t tried Pea & Mint soup before, you may be thinking it sounds like a weird combination. It was quite roughly blended, a thick green soup (which doesn’t sound appetising at all, I know, but it is total comfort food and a great way to trick yourself into eating healthily! No, seriously, when was the last time you had some leafy greens on your plate?). Overall, I really enjoyed the soup and will definitely be buying it again, in a larger size next time!
Alongside the soup, I bought the Stone Baked Losange – a small baguette that goes perfectly with any of Pret’s hot food options. It was really good and just the right size for the soup. They also have gluten-free bread options!
Dark Chocolate and Almond Butter Cookie (VG)
Literally anyone who knows me can tell you that this is my all-time favourite cookie ever. When this was released, I was still living in Dubai. The first thing I did when I got to the airport in the UK was find a Pret and buy this cookie. After all that waiting, I was not at all disappointed! This cookie is quite possibly the best cookie on the market, not just for vegans either. It’s essentially a double-chocolate cookie, soft on the inside and crunchy round the edges. It literally oozes chocolate sauce… also, for those of you who aren’t keen on dark chocolate, please take my word for it when I say it isn’t bitter or too dark at all – I can’t stand dark chocolate but this cookie amazing. The only downside to this cookie is that on more than one occasion, I have turned up to Pret, only to be devastated by the fact that it’s sold out. These little beauties sell quickly, so go and get one while you can!
Macaroni Cheese Prosciutto
My friend bought another one of the Pret hot options, the Macaroni Cheese Proseciutto. Pret uses tubetti rigati pasta (which I had to google because I didn’t know what it was), with a mature cheddar béchamel sauce, little cauliflower florets and Italian prosciutto. The whole pasta dish is topped with Italian cheese and baked in the oven, served hot. My friend was very impressed by this “fancy mac & cheese”. As students, we tend to have cheap, quick, and easy meals, so we are no strangers to mac & cheese… it’s just that our mac & cheese doesn’t usually contain special Italian cheeses and meats. My friend agrees that this meal is a really good lunch option, he also thought the cauliflower was a nice touch!
FYI there is also vegetarian version of this, which replaces the Italian prosciutto with freshly prepared British kale. Look out for the bright green box – you can’t miss it!
Pret’s Christmas Lunch Sandwich
Since I was getting the vegan Christmas sandwich, it made sense for my friend to get the meat version of it. Pret’s Christmas Lunch Sandwich is filled with free-range turkey slices, pork stuffing, baby spinach leaves and crispy onions – all topped with port and orange cranberry sauce and mayo. The sandwich had very christmassy vibes, and it was described as “a whole Christmas dinner in a sandwich”. Now we’re just wondering if they could somehow get a Yorkshire pudding in there…
Cinnamon Danish (V)
A classic bakery choice, the Cinnamon Danish at Pret does not disappoint. It’s sweet, buttery, filled with cinnamon, and shaped into a pretty swirl. What’s not to love? In Denmark, this sweet treat is known as a ‘kanelsnegl’ which translates to cinnamon snail! Cinnamon rolls, swirls, danishes or whatever you want to call them, are often served with a white icing glaze. Although the Pret cinnamon danish doesn’t have this, it remains a favourite of ours!
Pret’s Rhubarb Lemonade
Pret has their own range of ‘Pure Pret Stills’ and ‘Pure Pret Sparklings’ – their own soft drinks served cold in colourful cans. I chose the ‘Rhubarb Lemonade’ as I was intrigued by it. Other options include sparkling Grape & Elderflower, Apple Fizz, and Ginger Beer. The Rhubarb Lemonade was amazing, it was both sweet and refreshing, I’ll definitely be buying it again!
My friend had the Hot Chocolate and he said it tasted as good as it looked. It was rich, chocolatey, and sweet. We were eating in, so it was served in a Pret mug, but at this time of year, they also have the Christmas-themed to-go cups, with cute little snowmen on them!
Pret Hot Chocolate can also be made vegan! Just ask for soya milk, or their rice-coconut milk!
SERVICE & VIBE
The Pret a Manger at Warwick is right in the middle of campus, just next to the Warwick Student Union building. It’s in a good location and is easily accessible to all the students on campus. The service in Pret is honestly great, the cashiers are very polite and helpful if you have any questions regarding their products / allergens. The overall vibe in Pret shows that it is a student cafe, you have a good balance between people studying, and friends catching up over coffee. If you want to work there, they have rows of tables with plug sockets for your phone / laptop, and the noise level isn’t too bad if you have your headphones in. Also, it obviously gets a lot busier around midday, so if you need a peaceful place to study, avoid Pret at lunchtime!
Pret a Manger is one of the high-street chains that are making big steps in terms of sustainability. They are dedicated to reducing plastic, encourage recycling of their packaging, offer more vegan / plant-based options, donate unsold food to the homeless, and donate to charities (10p for every soup, 50p for every Christmas lunch!). They also only offer compostable cutlery (wooden forks, knives, spoons) and paper straws, plus they encourage customers to bring reusable coffee cups for a 50p discount on their hot drinks! Pret a Manger is making real efforts towards sustainability and you can find out more about it here!