Hit & Run: Downhill in denim

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Seth Wescott is a lot of things – a bit of a dude, pretty hot on a snowboard and, perhaps, the first man in Olympic history to win a gold medal while wearing jeans. At least they looked like jeans. The American competitor, who nabbed gold in Monday's thrilling snowboard cross final crossed the line in a pair of baggy ski pants with a faded denim finish, jeans pockets and rivets.

In the great tradition of unlikely fashion hybrids – think jeggings (denim-effect leggings), skeggings (skirted leggings) and the mankini (don't ask) – Hit & Run hereby christens Wescott's deceptive threads, "jalopettes". That's jeans crossed with salopettes, obviously.

It turns out snowboard manufacturer, Burton, supplied the pants for US boarders to wear in training but, as Wescott's team-mate, Nick Baumgartner told reporters this week, "To wear jeans in the Olympics? I don't think you can get any cooler than that." Simon Usborne

Greggs expectations

Ah, the seductive glint coming off that familiar, blue and white sign. The counters replete with sugary pastries, sausage rolls and sandwiches. It could only mean one thing – Greggs, the high-street bakery, at lunchtime. A long line of people cram in, all after a slice of the shop's reasonably-priced goods, low-cost food that has allowed the company to enjoy a recession-busting four per cent rise in business over the last year.

But not content with cornering the budget lunch market, Greggs' top brass have set their sights on those who eat a higher class of meal. In November, the firm's chief executive Ken McKeikan announced plans to open 600 new stores across the country; on Monday he stated that a number of these, including two dozen to be rolled out in London, would be "new look" – wood fittings, soft lighting and with counters sited further back to allow customers freedom to browse. With their swish seating, the hope is for them to compete with Starbucks, Pret A Manger and Subway . "Our appeal is much more universal than people give us credit for," said McKeikan. "We have everyone from barristers to builders."

Given such upmarket aspirations, how does the chain's nosh currently fare? Is it going to sate the refined appetites of our nation's upper crust? "It's good, it's cheap," says 33-year-old Martin Tesh, a local labourer queuing to be served in the Greggs on Queensway, London. Let's see if a selection of that shop's food meets the same approval in our own taste test.

Jam doughnut, 47p

A generous, even spread of jam contained within dry dough. "Middle-of the road," says one member of The Independent's tasting team.



Chicken bake, £1.29

A pastry square containing creamy innards. "Not a patch on the chicken and bacon lattice" (more on that below).



Chicken and bacon lattice, £1.29

A lattice of pastry containing delicately smokey meat; "looks and tastes like a squashed pie".



Sausage roll, 87p

A Greggs linchpin. Flaky pastry and peppery meat, but be warned: it could lead to heartburn.



Belgian Bun, 60p

This medium-sized delicacy is garnished with a cherry, sultanas and thick icing. Sticky thumbs up.



Sausage and bean melt, £1.25

Puff pastry pocket containing a helping of filling, comprising baked beans, sausage, and, worryingly, a small amount of salad. "It does make you a bit thirsty," says one office connoisseur.



Chicken salad sandwich, £1.94

The perfect amount of mayonnaise that makes every mouthful stick to your teeth, enough salt to grit a road and crunchy lettuce. "Right amount for crunch but not for taste." Rob Sharp

Comments