It barely needs repeating that the Covid-19 outbreak poses an existential threat to hospitality. I don’t think anyone will forget those dark days in March 2020 when restaurants in the UK collapsed like dominoes – some followed Rene Redzepi of Noma’s lead and simply closed, whilst others, having been left in limbo by the government, adopted social distancing measures and fought to the bitter end until they were forced to close on Friday 20 March and able to secure some relief from the government’s assistance package. But like the strictures of poetry, or even a tweet, imposed limitations can force one to become creative and think outside of the box.
As Albert Einstein once said, “creativity is contagious: pass it on.” It has been heartening to see restaurants very quickly pivot their businesses into delis, take-away services or, like Otto’s or Redemption Roasters as just two of many examples, providing their food or drink to the NHS for free. All of this is helping to keep a modicum of sanity, keep businesses ticking over, keep people employed and ease the burden on supermarkets in this unusual time. We all have to play our part but it doesn’t necessarily mean missing out on good food altogether.
We don’t know how long we’re in this for and so we have to adapt to the “new normal”. Whether you want to try and emulate a fine dining experience at home or simply avoid the supermarket queue, the following is our curated list of restaurants and shops doing take-away and deliveries, mostly in London with a few highlights in the rest of the country. A few caveats: this is not an advertising feature but our editorial recommendations; secondly, the situation is changing rapidly (e.g. Tredwells To Go was decommissioned after just 7 days). We’ll try to keep this list updated but please note it is only accurate as at the last date indicated below. If you have any comments or suggestions feel free to send us a message on our social channels.
We’ve also peppered this list with a few wine delivery suggestions too. The Wine Society decided to temporarily wind down services and supermarkets have been unable to cope with demand but there are alternatives out there!
We were fans of Islington’s 12:51 when it opened and pleased to see chef James Cochran has launched his ‘Around the Cluck’ delivery service. Buttermilk jerk chicken, his trade mark scotch bonnet jam, vegetarian dishes, beers and a small wine selection all available for delivery for evenings only, Thursday to Sunday. Website: https://www.1251.co.uk/
Pastaficio Al Dente
The Fitzrovia pasta specialists will deliver via the usual means (Uber Eats etc) and have a wonderful selection of daily specials. They also do pasta cooking tutorials on their Instagram account, including a foolproof cacio e pepe, if you want to use this time to hone your own cooking skills. They also sell dried pasta (currently as prized as bog roll). Website: https://www.pastificioaldente.com/
Hide by Ollie Dabbous
Enjoy Ollie Dabbous’ Michelin-starred cuisine and Hedonism wines from a surprisingly substantial take-away menu (though isn’t exactly cheap). See here: https://www.hide.co.uk/
St John (wine only)
The St John Bakery briefly offered a delivery service but, like the honourable mentions below, has wound down already. Nevertheless, St John Wines is still running – yay! Order your wine here: https://stjohnwines.com/
Quality Chop House, Quality Shop and Quality Wines
It opened briefly, then it closed, then it reopened. The grocery shop and butcher in Farringdon is open from Wednesday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm, with only one household allowed in at a time. The wine shop next door is also open and there are live wine tastings on Instagram each week. Online shopping is available for ‘QCH at Home’ staples to warm up at home, groceries, wine cases and those all-important confit potatoes – orders need to be made by midday on Thursday of each week for delivery on Fridays. https://thequalitychophouse.com/
Honourable mention: Tredwells To Go
Tredwells To Go has sadly discontinued already (at the time of writing). It was good whilst it lasted but we mention it here anyway in case they start up again.
One of our favourite French deli/wine bars in Tufnell Park (see our Palate Cleanser review here), they will deliver cases of 12 wines and food boxes with more saucisson, Comte and quiche than you shake a baguette at. They have recently expanded their offering to include basic groceries such as eggs, butter and bread. You can collect or they will deliver to any address within a 15 minute drive/2 mile radius.
Ladies and Gentlemen Underground Bar
The Ladies and Gentlemen cocktail bars in Kentish Town and Camden can deliver cocktails to your door. And rather fittingly for former public toilets, they have supplies of bog roll too. See: https://ladiesandgents.co/#
When we first reviewed Primeur we weren’t too happy about their lack of coffee but (last time we checked) they’re doing a wonderful thing for the local community by delivering boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables for £40 per box. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Darby’s have a small but perfectly formed delivery menu of dishes to reheat at home, a bakery, deli and butcher’s. Go to their Instagram account for their daily menu: https://www.instagram.com/darbyslondon/
Café de Nata
The South Kensington Portuguese bakery is open for all your Pastéis de Nata needs (with branches in Hammersmith and Soho). Home deliveries available via Deliveroo and Uber Eats. See http://www.cafedenata.com/
The KT never fails – John Bercow and Ken Clarke’s hangout and famous of course for the ‘Remainer Curry House Plot’. Open for deliveries and take away every day except Tuesdays. http://www.kenningtontandoori.com/
Farm-to-plate butchers Ginger Pig with outlets in Borough Market, Clapham and elsewhere in London are doing deliveries within the M25. Speak to Sam: email@example.com
From Tuesdays to Saturdays, midday to 9pm, if you live near Vauxhall, enjoy a potato, taleggio and rosemary gratin, posh sandwiches and set menus similar to Jackon Boxer’s other venture Orasay. https://brunswickhouse.london/
For high-end Indian food, Benares at Home offers a delivery and collection service every day except Sundays: https://www.benaresrestaurant.com/
Les Doucers de la Tentation
The Maida Vale French bistro will do deliveries and collections for the local area from 12pm to 8pm, with 10% of gross sales going to the NHS.
Jackson Boxer’s Notting Hill restaurant delivers to the local area on Monday evenings and from Tuesdays to Saturdays, midday to 9pm. Set menu options are available. https://orasay.london/
Our Dalston favourite will do free delivery of cases of wine on all orders over £50. They’re also very quick and can deliver the next day if you ask nicely. Website: https://www.newcomerwines.com/
From Wednesday to Sunday, Pidgin’s delivery service ‘Homing Pidgin’ provides a high-end three course meal for you to reheat at home for around £25. Note these sell out very fast. Wine is also available. Website: https://www.pidginlondon.com/
This Shoreditch wine shop run by the exuberant Luca Dusi is fully embracing the need to keep calm and carry on. They deliver wine, aperitivi and “Italian survival packs”! Website: https://passionevino.co.uk/
Honourable Mention: Brat
Michelin-starred Welsh-Basque restaurant Brat briefly operated a deli, takeaway and wine delivery service but we understand this is currently offline. One to watch if it comes back so it’s best to check their Instagram account for updates: https://www.instagram.com/bratrestaurant/
Highlights from the rest of the UK
Food by John Lawson (Southend)
This Southend restaurant has turned itself into a temporary organic market for the local community. Website: https://www.foodbyjohnlawson.com/
Manchester ‘Indian Soul Food’ restaurant has a ‘Mughli and Chill’ stay at home service. See: https://www.mughli.com/
Planted (Brighton / London)
Brighton-based plant food company Planted will deliver all manner of vegan-friendly salads and meals to reheat at home. They also deliver for free in south and east London. Website: https://www.weareplanted.com/
Vanderlyle To Go (Cambridge)
Former MasterChef finalist Alex Rushmer’s Cambridge restaurant has a contactless delivery service within 3 miles of Cambridge, from Tuesdays to Saturdays. Advisable to book ahead as the available slots go fast.
Another former MasterChef contestant, indeed the winner of 2015, Simon Wood’s eponymous flagship restaurant in Manchester is delivering to the local area: https://woodrestaurantgroup.com/
Poet At Matfield (Kent)
This delightful Kentish gastropub is offering a delivery and collection service. Order by 7pm on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday for collection from the next day onwards. https://thepoetatmatfield.co.uk/
Lussmanns Restaurant (Hertfordshire)
A restaurant in the Sunday Times’ top 100 UK restaurants, Lussmanns has a to go service offering classic dishes: https://www.lussmanns.com/
Last updated 30 April 2020