As pandemic restrictions in Britain begin to lift, we’re looking forward to getting together with friends and family over long, lazy evenings in (hopefully) the summer sunshine. Even if you’re not a natural chef, the many new and innovative meal kits born in lockdown mean everyone can sit down to a restaurant quality meal, shared with loved ones. Here’s our pick of the best.
THE RIVER CAFÉ
Swing by one of London’s best-loved restaurants without leaving your kitchen, courtesy of The River Café’s Michelin star-quality box sets. Try Cornish Red chicken stuffed with lemon, rosemary and bay, roasted in The Sette’s navy oven dish, or a slow-cooked tomato sauce with tagliorini – mopped up, of course, with the best focaccia in the city. If you’re in the mood for a celebration, add the restaurant’s signature limoncello to your basket and finish off with a classic espresso.
A variety of box sets available nationwide, starting at £100.00 for a simple supper for four. Order here.
THE CINNAMON CLUB
Vivek Singh and his team at The Cinnamon Club in Westminster have been whipping up modern Indian fare for the last twenty years, so you know you’re in safe hands with their anniversary menu. Stock up on side plates and bowls to display this six-course feast in all its glory, including Singh’s all-time favourite dishes (think tandoori spiced prawns and tamarind glazed duck) along with chocolates made exclusively for the club by ground breaking chocolatier, Paul A. Young.
Available for delivery in and outside London every Friday, £160.00 for two. Order here.
What could make a better present for a loved one (or yourself) than dinner for two from Petersham Nurseries? Delivered to your doorstep, Petersham’s meal kits focus on fresh, seasonal produce and come with simple instructions for assembling and finishing the dishes yourself. Pick from goat’s cheese pithivier, Haye farm porchetta and steamed date pudding, paired with wine from Petersham’s own cellars. Don’t forget to light your table for atmosphere and break out your favourite accessories.
Standard and vegetarian menus available nationwide, £135.00 for two. Order here.
Sometimes, you don’t want a big fuss, just a really excellent dinner you can create at home in under five minutes. Enter Pasta Evangelists, artisan suppliers of the freshest pasta kits around. Choose from a weekly menu of 15 delicious recipes, dropped off on any day you choose, complete with directions. You can sign up for regular deliveries whenever it suits you and skip, pause and cancel your subscription any time. All you need to do is break out a bottle of champagne (which goes fabulously with pasta, we’re told). What could be simpler?
Delivered across the UK, seven days a week, from £34.00 for a one month subscription. Order here.
If you’re already a dab hand in the kitchen, look to Gunpowder Spices for cleverly curated ‘chests’ of fresh spices. Sourced organically wherever possible and toasted, ground and blended in-house, Gunpowder’s spices are produced in small batches, to ensure maximum freshness and flavour. We love the square jars, which look chic and fit neatly into cupboards so much better than the supermarket’s usual round ones. What’s more, once you’ve used up your kit, you can buy eco-conscious refills for a ten per cent discount. If you’re an Ottolenghi fan, consider this essential shopping.
Spice chests start at £45.00 for a full set and £4.50 for a custom set. Order here.