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I have the absolute pleasure of working in Spinningfields, my lunch hour is always such a tough choice as there are so many places to choose from! (It’a also less than idea on my waistline!)

So imagine my dilemma when I was faced with an additional option, and it wasn’t just any choice, it was Marks and Spencer’s Simply Food pop-up park! (See what I did there, ha!)

To be honest, it wasn’t a dilemma at all, being a massive fan of Simply Food, I knew I had to go and check it out! (Along with about 200 other people)

It was buzzing with atmosphere and there were so many people there, I was greeted by a live musician’s stunning vocal tones as a grass verge in the heart of Spinningfields opposite Gourmet Burger.


I was also given a voucher to save £1 if I spent £4, result! (I ended up spending nearly £10 as the choices were so endless!)

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The pop-up park will be there until 5pm on Friday. The idea behind it is to encourage workers in Manchester to get away from their desks at lunchtime and take a proper lunch break – we are trying to highlight the health benefits of doing so.

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The pop-up park opened yesterday and has been a great success so far. The Lord Mayor visited yesterday to encourage workers to come and join in.  

M&S is encouraging people to escape the office and make the most of their lunch hour at one of the M&S pop-up parks across the country. It’s time to relax, breath in the fresh air and take your time to savour your food whilst hopefully even catching a few rays of sunshine.

M&S Nutritionist, Claire Hughes, explains why the power a proper lunch break should not be underestimated.

“Powering through your lunch hour without a proper break might seem like a great way to grab back some precious time but it’s actually counter-productive. People who skip lunch usually end up more stressed, less productive and put themselves at risk of health issues.”

It’s good for your health – 5 reasons to reclaim your lunch hour

  • Eating whilst distracted by work can lead to ‘mindless eating’, which can cause people to overeat and/or eat the wrong foods, impacting on weight control.
  • Sunshine stimulates the body to produce Vitamin D and encourages the production of the ‘feel good’ hormone serotonin which helps maintain a positive outlook all day.
  • Getting away from our desks and moving around helps prevents poor posture and other potential problems like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which can be caused by long periods of sitting.
  • Working through lunch creates stress, and trying to eat during a stressful situation can develop digestive problems if the habit persists.
  • Powering through your lunch break actually hinders performance. The mind and body need to rest and refuel in order to recharge for a productive afternoon’s work and to keep stress at bay.

Located in Spinningfields, Manchester until 26th July, the park will be open daily from 10.00 to 17.00. A range of tantalising food can be purchased from the onsite M&S Simply Food store. Then sit in a green oasis of calm, take your time to savour your food, relax and breathe in the fresh air. Perhaps even challenge your friends to Giant Jenga or the buzzwire Forever Fish whilst catching a few rays of sunshine, fingers crossed.


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