We love nothing more than going out to restaurants, bars and pubs. But if you’d rather stay at home in the current circumstances, by choice or necessity, meal kits have become the next best thing.
Meal kits offer a chance to eat a restaurant-quality menu, with most of the hard work done by the professionals in advance.
Offering ready-prepared dishes or ingredients that only need basic cooking, heating or assembly at home, restaurants have shown ingenuity in the face of adversity with the kits: kitchens being used, the staff kept in employment and local suppliers supported.
Plus, of course, it’s a chance for diners to support the hospitality industry at a time when it needs our custom more than ever.
From steak and burgers to Sunday roasts and afternoon tea, you can recreate a top restaurant experience in your own kitchen with these easy-to-use kits from renowned local restaurants.
It’s a great feeling of achievement to be able to create such professional looking dishes in your own kitchen, without really needing to do much work. Though you don’t have to tell your guests that, of course. They’ll think you spent hours slaving away over a hot stove.
And it’s not all about food, as you can also now get the best wines and spirits delivered directly to your door. The kind of quality tipples you’d usually only find in the top restaurants and bars.
Expertly prepared food and matched drinks, in the comfort of your own home – plus the chance to support your favourite local businesses. It’s no wonder home kits are becoming so popular.
Here are a few of our favourites to try.
This luxury local five-star hotel has launched its own meal kits created by award-winning executive head chef, Dave Ashton. You can go for a five-course dinner for two, including wine (£60), or try afternoon tea with freshly baked scones with jam and cream, sandwiches and desserts, tea and prosecco (£50). Or treat yourself to the ultimate four-course Sunday roast for two (£40) which includes topside of beef and all the trimmings, followed by sticky toffee pudding.
We love Honest’s perfectly pink burgers, made with British beef from their own butchery. Using chuck and rib cap (the fatty bit that’s skimmed off a ribeye steak) means the burgers are juicy, chunky and taste properly beefy – and the meat is chopped, not minced, which means it’s full of flavour. Now, you can make bacon cheeseburgers at home with a kit serving two or four that also includes rosemary salt for Honest style chips, from £15 plus £6 nationwide delivery. Gluten free option available.
The secret to Sam’s famous corned beef hash is in the long brining in a secret recipe marinade – 10 days in all. But you don’t have to wait that long, as it can now be delivered ready prepped to just finish at home (£19, including dessert). The online shop also offers the famous Chop House steak and kidney puddings, and Sunday roasts with all the trimmings.
The first rule of the Grape to Grain Wine Club? You tell EVERYONE about this ace wine club!! This is superb monthly wine subscription service where they carefully select supercool venos they think you should be whomping. Choose the makeup of your monthly drop (all red, all white or a mix up) and how many you want them to deliver to you (currently 3 or 6 bottles a month), and they do the rest. And it’s FREE nationwide delivery. Cheers!
Gin fan? Offering subscriptions from £45, Bolton’s Simon Sharp, or the Captain as his customers have started to refer to him, will drop off his cargo on your doorstep if you live in the North West: a bottle of the craft gin of the month, some high-quality mixers, garnishes specially chosen for the gin, and tasting notes, all in a nautically themed package. Simply choose whether you’d like the delivery every one, two or three months.
Hawksmoor, unsurprisingly, is doing the Rolls Royce of meal kits (£125) for the ultimate steak night. You get two British fillet steaks from the same grass-fed traditional-breed cattle they use in the restaurants, along with bone marrow gravy, creamed spinach, chips, and sticky toffee pudding. Plus drinks including a sour cherry negroni and a couple of beers, plus a bottle of Rosso Braida, an elegant Italian blend that matches perfectly with fillet steak.
Taking ‘home dining’ to the next level, Northcote now travels to the home of its diners with its latest ‘Northcote at Home’ offer, comprising a personal chef, an experienced team and the option of a sommelier – allowing guests to enjoy the exclusivity of Northcote without stepping foot outside. Available subject to COVID restrictions, it provides guests with the option of savouring stunning Michelin star food and matched wines – perfect for a dinner party with your support bubble, gourmet BBQ or a luxury afternoon tea.
Northern Soul are delivering their famous grilled cheese sandwiches as ‘grill-it-yourself’ kits. The UK’s first grilled cheese restaurant is one of the Northern Quarter’s most popular places to eat. And chances are, if you’re one of their fans – and let’s face it who isn’t? – you’re missing their grub. The good news is, Northern Soul launched a DIY kit so you can have a go at recreating those ‘killer eats’ in the comfort of your home. They call it G.I.Y – grill-it-yourself. It’s just like DIY but more enjoyable. And there’s a tasty dish for you to eat when you’ve finished.
The ‘Don’s At Home’ experience is the first the restaurant has offered in its 36 years serving Manchester foodies and focuses on a selection of its most popular pasta and pizza dishes. Customers can choose from nine different ‘Don’s At Home’ boxes, each containing all the fresh ingredients needed to recreate their chosen pasta or pizza dish at home. Inside each DIY meal kit will be a choice of either two or four portions worth of fresh pasta or pizza dough, a restaurant-made sauce and any accompanying toppings or seasonings, as well as instructions from Don Giovanni’s head chef to help you achieve the same high quality from home that they enjoy in the restaurant.
This marvellous Mediterranean restaurant opened in Prestwich village precinct recently and has been wowing locals with their small plates and sherry selection. All the food at Paloma is sourced from exclusive Spanish, Italian and other Mediterranean artisan producers and delicatessens all who have won many Great Taste Awards. And there’s clearly no skimping on quality here. So, if you live in Bury, there’s no excuse when it comes to supporting your local independent restaurant through the lockdown. Salud!
Manchester’s first and only dedicated craft lager brewery has gone from strength the strength since their launch and have now grown their offering to three different styles, all available for home delivery. Choose from either a crate of 12 or 24 cans, and then take your pick of the traditional Union Lager or either of the new Black Lager or Union Pale Ale. Delivery is available across the whole UK within 48 hours of order.
Introducing its Click & Collect and Home Delivery experience, Northcote
Two gourmet boxes are available, each including the signature Northcote bread and six irresistible hand-crafted chocolates, designed to serve two.
Choose from the four-course Autumn Gourmet Box, comprising two appetisers: North Sea Cod with Curry, Pomegranate and Almond and Coriander Sauce and Caramelised Celeriac Consommé, Tiny Raviolis with Celeriac Pearls and Tarragon. For the main course, delve into the Truffle and Brioche stuffed Roast Chicken, served with Leg Bolognese, Wild Mushrooms and Lyonnaise Potato before ending the evening on a sweet note with the Orchard Apple ‘Cheesecake’ and Salted Caramel Sauce.
Collection slots are limited to a total of 40 and are available on Fridays. Both gourmet boxes are also available for home delivery nationwide through APC Overnight.