With the UK now in its second coronavirus lockdown, which started on 5 November, people are reassessing their options for quick and easy meal delivery services, especially as we head towards Christmas.
After all, who wouldn't want the convenience of being able to access healthy, wholesome and balanced meals for the whole family without leaving the house?
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From vegan dishes to Friday night takeaways and delicious desserts, take a look at our pick of the best meal delivery kits and boxes to get you started...
This top-rated service uses only 100 per cent free-range, ethically sourced British meat and sustainably caught fish to deliver fresh, nutritionist-designed recipes to your doorstep wherever you are based in the UK. So if you need to add more easy-to-make, healthy dishes to your repertoire, check out Mindful Chef. They've also just partnered with the British Heart Foundation and introduced a range of recipes to keep your heart healthy, from a cod with salsa verde and tomato millet dish, to a Mexican chicken and black bean bake. You'll know if your recipe is BHF-approved by looking out for the red logo in the recipe booklet.
Prices start from £4.50 per meal, visit mindfulchef.com.
If you're looking to expand your culinary skills by trying global cuisines, then a Simply Cook box provides four recipe kits and step-by-step instructions to help you recreate some of your favourite dishes in 20 minutes. Add 4-6 items from your fridge or cupboard to the spices, herbs and sauces that come in the box to create everything from Thai red prawn curry to jambalaya and grilled halloumi salad. After a £3 trial, each box costs £9.99 with free delivery.
Prices start at £9.99 per box, visit simplycook.com.
Looking for plant-based meals? Planty customers simply build their own box with either 6, 8, or 10 plant-based meals which can be delivered to your door on your chosen delivery date. All meals are fresh-frozen, so all you need is an oven or microwave to reheat it and dinner is served! Choose from dishes such as Mac ‘no’ Cheese, BBQ Banana Blossom Burrito and Wild Mushroom & Truffle Rigatoni. For a one-off purchase, prices start from £43.20 for six meals.
For more information visit planty.uk
This fab meal delivery service literally does what it says on the tin! The website has a whole bunch of restaurants to choose from that offer delicious eat-at-home kits, including cult favourites Pizza Pilgrims, Mac & Wild, Kricket, Dirty Bones, The Cheese Bar and Shoryu Ramen. It'll be hard picking which restaurant you want to 'dine at' from the comfort of your home, especially when there's a selection of kits to choose from within each restaurant. We sampled the Venimoo Burger Kit for two from Mac & Wild, which takes away all the fuss of sides and focuses on just the whopper of a burger - a beef patty and venison patty stacked on top of each other. The instructions on how to cook and assemble the burgers were straightforward and within a few minutes, our burgers were ready to chomp on. With American cheese, Bernaise sauce, Red Jon sauce and caramelised onions, these dirty burgers were just perfection and ideal for a messy date night.
Venimoo Burger Kit for two costs £19.90, visit Restaurant Kits.
Those who like to eat little and often should take a look at dedicated snack delivery service Graze. After you've told them your snack preferences, Graze will personalise your box and deliver it either twice a week, weekly or fortnightly. From cinnamon pretzels to lemon flapjacks, there are plenty of different options available. Boxes cost £4.49 but it's currently offering the first box for half price!
Prices start at £4.49 per box, visit graze.com.
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With a variety of different options for different needs - think the Family Box to create fuss-free dinners or the Rapid Box for meals that take under 20 minutes - HelloFresh is one of the UK’s leading meal delivery services and is currently serving all of the UK.
Prices start from £3.44 per meal, visit hellofresh.co.uk.
Abel and Cole
As well as offering weekly organic essentials such as milk and eggs and pantry must-haves, Abel and Cole also allow customers to order specific fruit and vegetable boxes. Simply pick what ratio of fruits to veggies you want and the fresh seasonal produce will be delivered to your door. To minimise carbon emissions, they only visit an area once a week so cannot offer delivery time slots.
Prices start from £16, visit foodonthetable.abelandcole.co.uk.
Ormer at Home
Want to eat restaurant-quality food but don't feel like going out? Mayfair-based Ormer at Home has started delivering to addresses in London (zones one to three), made by the restaurant's executive chef and Great British Menu finalist 2020, Kerth Gumbs.
One menu highlight is the cote de boeuf, perfect for two to share, which is accompanied by truffled wild mushrooms, caramelised shallots and triple cooked chips. The fresh yellowtail ceviche is another must-try, while the Ormer Mayfair apple crumble is perhaps the prettiest dessert you'll ever eat in the comfort of your home. The signature dish, as featured on MasterChef 2017, comes with a mixed spice sauce. Simply heat it up, pour it over the deconstructed apple crumble and watch the white chocolate melt. Delivery is available through Supper or Deliveroo, from Wednesday to Saturday 12pm – 9pm and Sundays from 12pm – 7pm.
For more information visit flemings-mayfair.co.uk
Instead of spending hours in the kitchen, Tastily delivers healthy pre-made meals that can be ready in just three minutes in the microwave. Each week, customers can pick between 4-12 meals from a rotating menu of 16 dishes – all of which contain at least three servings of veggies. From Mexican Beef Barbacoa to Red Thai Fish Curry, the menu features cuisines from around the world, designed by a Michelin-starred trained chef.
For more information visit tastily.co.uk
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Designed to refuel your body and mind, Balance Meals offer six different five-day food plans based on your individual needs, activity level, and schedule. Keeping your meals fresh, the brand will split your order into two weekly, contactless deliveries nationwide using premium courier services. Want to try before you buy? Good news, Balance Meals offer a two-day taster trial for £49 with options for meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans.
For more information visit balancemeals.co.uk.
If you're a big fan of dirty burgers and haven't checked out Warwickshire-based company Libertine yet, you need to do so stat. The National Burger Award winner deliver their make-your-own- kits nationwide, offering four delicious burgers for the very reasonable price of £25. The kits are extremely easy to use, with all ingredients individually packed and the streaky bacon already pre-cooked. The only amount of cooking you'll have to do is flipping the beef patties on your grill for four minutes on each side. Then stack each burger with American cheese, pickles, ketchup and mustard. The dirty burgers are some of the best you'll try at home, plus when they're served on a Libertine graffiti greaseproof sheet of paper, you really will feel like you're dining in a burger eatery.
For more information visit libertine-burger.myshopify.com
Riverford is known for delivering fresh, seasonal, organic veg straight to your door, but you can also choose fruit boxes and organic meat boxes. If it’s a meal kit you’re after, you can get recipe boxes, including the exact ingredients needed for exciting, seasonal meals. It is available nationwide.
Prices start from £9.45, visit riverford.co.uk.
Vegan? This meal delivery service is for you. Allplants delivers plant-based, healthy frozen meals that are ready in minutes. Choose six meals from 22 different options such as a BBQ burrito bowl or spiced aubergine tagine, select your delivery day, and voila! Available nationwide.
Prices start from £4.99 per meal, visit allplants.com. £10 off first orders with code WFH10 + free weekday delivery.
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The Gousto menu offers over 50 recipes to choose from on a weekly basis, including some of Joe Wicks' Lean In 15 recipes. And it can cost as little as £2.98 per serving!
Prices start at £2.98 per meal, visit gousto.co.uk.
If you're looking for something a little different, Gousto has released a new offering called DNA Dishes, enabling home cooks to dine with their family tree after taking a free DNA test, worth £99 and being served recipes inspired by their results.
Professor Green and AJ Odudu
The unique DNA dining offering has been developed in partnership with genealogists Living DNA, and curious cooks can sign up for a free at-home DNA Dishes kit at dnadishes.com. Taking part is as simple as sending a test swab to Living DNA for expert analysis, with Gousto then dishing-out personalised recipe ideas inspired by your results.
You can access the kits throughout October at a discounted rate of £59 (RRP: £99).
One Fine Dine
Got a special occasion to celebrate? Or simply missing fine dining? Then One Fine Dine is your answer. The online catering company, which specialises in delivering Michelin-star quality food straight to your door, are launching their Christmas menu this week – that's Christmas dinner sorted if you don't fancy cooking this year. There is no cooking required; dishes are pre-cooked and only require warming up in the oven or microwave. The fun bit is channelling your inner Masterchef and presenting all the ingredients like a pro. Don't worry, the pictorial flash cards give clear instructions on how to plate your food so there really is no way of getting it wrong. On the festive menu this year are turkey paupiette – delicious turkey wrapped in streaky bacon with a sage and chestnut stuffing – and a gorgeous beef Wellington, served with black truffle and thyme jus. Duck and chicken liver parfait, and smoked salmon with panacotta and caviar, also make up the starters. Make sure you leave space for the very festive dessert, a deconstructed Christmas mess you'll have a lot of fun putting together, and a very appetising Buche de Noel that's almost too pretty to eat. As you would expect from Michelin-style food, dishes are extremely rich, creative and full of flavour. This is a home-making kit for a truly special occasion.
For more information on packages visit onefinedine.com
Japanese noodle restaurant, Shoryu Ramen, is releasing DIY kits so you can make their signature Ganso Ramen at home.
The kit, which serves two people, includes 12-hour tonkotsu soup, original ramen noodles, char siu BBQ pork belly, beni shoga red ginger, and spring onion and kikurage mushroom garnish, while there is also a vegan option available.
Delivery is either on a Wednesday or Friday and can be booked up to 2 weeks in advance.
Meal kits cost £20 each, visit japancentre.com
From a seasonal fresh fruit and veg box to lasagne or chocolate cake, Potage offers an array of different meals or ingredients that can be ordered in advance or on the same day. The handmade dishes are delivered chilled in either individual pots or large sharing platters, and they can be frozen and eaten at a later date. Not only can you order everything from breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks, but Potage also gives you the opportunity to make a donation to NHS Charities Together with the promise of a box of its best-selling brownies as a thank you for your contribution.
Prices start at £9 per meal, visit potage.co.uk.
Fresh Fitness Food
Particularly good for any gym bunnies who want to keep count of their macros, Fresh Fitness Food delivers meal designed by nutritionists, prepared by chefs and tailored exactly to your unique nutritional requirements. It is now available for those outside the M25.
Prices start from £23 per day, visit freshfitnessfood.com.
With various travel plans having been put on pause for 2020, you can still satisfy your cravings for authentic Italian Cuisine with HelloFresh, the UK's leading recipe box delivery service. This November, HelloFresh are teaming up with restaurant group Carluccio's to create a special experience at home, and bring a taste of Italy to kitchens across the nation.
Delivering nationwide from 7 November, HelloFresh customers will be able to learn to cook Italian food from the comfort of their own homes with a Carluccio's classic, The Chicken Saltimbocca recipe.
Priced at just +£2.49 per portion, visit hellofresh.co.uk
No. 1 Food Prep
The nationwide delivery service offers consumers, fresh, clean and consciously curated meals with convenience packed full of nutrients and probiotics to help support immunity. There are 3 size options to choose from: The Lite (small), The Balance (medium) and The Max (large). What's more, the brand currently has an amazing initiative - for each order placed they will be delivering a freshly cooked meal to an elderly person in the area, so you can feel good about your purchase.
Prices are approx. £16 per day, enter code 'Safe15' at checkout for 15 per cent off, visit no1foodprep.com.
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Pick your perfect portion size in one of four different menu plans - Classic, Vegetarian, Pescatarian and Free-From - designed by expert chefs and nutritionists. Your daily box will include breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks, making mealtimes a breeze.
From £22.99 per day, visit balancebox.com.
After entering your details, Fit Kitchen will suggest bespoke, healthy meals perfectly matched and balance to your profile and lifestyle - a great option for those with specific goals in mind.
Prices start at £4 per meal, visit fitkitchen.uk.com.
If dining out at one of your favourite restaurants isn't an option right now, then fear not. Plateaway is an online meal delivery service that has a whole roster of restaurants to choose from, including Patty&Bun, The Little Pasta Company, Bancone and Dirty Bones. Or if you're just looking for a little sweet treat to finish your meal at home, they have dessert-focused options too. The concept is simple and stress-free. Choose your favourite meal kit from a restaurant, wait for it to be delivered to your door (some venues only deliver on certain days of the week), and then follow the few step-by-step instructions on how to prepare and plate up your food.
We sampled The Little Pasta Company's date night meal box for two, consisting of mouthwatering pappardelle with beef and red wine ragu. Fresh pasta makes all the difference, and accompanied with burrata, a rocket and pine salad and a selection of cured meats, it really did feel like we were tucking into a restaurant-quality dish. There was limited cooking and washing up and the whole meal was ready in five minutes (and devoured in the same amount of time!)
Prices start at £4.60 per meal, visit plateaway.com
The nationwide healthy meal prep delivery service has introduced the 'KBK Just Prep' plan for those in self-isolation or unable to make regular trips to the supermarket. The plan includes meals that contain ingredients known to help boost the immune system and is jam-packed with fresh fruit, vegetables and meat. Customers can order on a one-off basis, where you purchase two-week plans every week, for as long as needed. The plans are currently available at a discounted rate with 15% off each week’s prep plan, bringing the cost to £85 per week. Each week-long package contains six days’ worth of healthy, well-balanced meals with three meals per day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Prices start at £4.72 per meal, visit kbk.co.uk.
London's first and only food-waste-fighting fruit and vegetable subscription box is super popular and the London-based brand are now accepting new orders. You can choose from either a fruit box, vegetable box or a combination which contains nine varieties of veg and four types of fruit and helps save 1,803 litres of water.
Prices start at £9.45 per meal, visit oddbox.co.uk.
Smith & Brock
Top restaurant supplier Smith & Brock have launched Knock Knock, a new grocery box home delivery service, providing Londoners with chef quality seasonal produce. Packed full of delicious fresh fruit and veg, artisan bread, sausages, fresh eggs, milk and more, Smith & Brock’s produce is often used by award winning chefs to create Michelin star menus at top London restaurants.
Prices start from £18.50, visit knock-knock-groceries.com.
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Created by head chef, Michal Snela, who previously worked in Michelin starred restaurants alongside Marcus Wareing, these are the crème de la crème of meal delivery boxes. The company delivers daily: that's five meals in a box, breakfast, lunch and dinner plus two snacks. There's no cooking required – just microwave the meals to heat them up.
The nutritious dishes use seasonal ingredients containing no processed meats, additives or preservatives. The company has strict hygiene procedures in place and uses sterile, airtight containers.
The Love Yourself Meal Box, is available to buy online from £21.00 (daily) at LoveYourself.
London's newest pasta place, Fidelari, is one to try! They produce the best handmade pasta in the capital by sticking to age-old Italian traditions with a contemporary twist. All you have to do it choose your favourite recipe from their menu and everything is made from the kitchen, wait for the kit to be delivered - cook all the ingredients, and done!
For more information, visit fidelari.com
Now this isn't strictly a meal delivery service, but it is one very fast way of ordering groceries on the go. Beelivery means you can have snacks, drinks, essentials and more delivered to your door within 45 to 90 minutes of pressing 'order' - how speedy is that? Plus, it's is available to use 24 hours of the day, whether you fancy a midnight snack or can't be bothered to pop out to the shops on a Sunday morning.
To place an order, simply register for an account on Beelivery.com or download the Beelivery App from the App Store or Google Play. There is a minimum order value of £12, and delivery starts from £1.99. Food and drink prices are a little on the high side, but if you need something last minute, this convenient app's a goer.
Special occasion food delivery options...
Who doesn't love a good pasta dish? Pasta Evangelists offers a weekly menu of ten recipes to choose from, which take as little as five minutes to prepare. Choose from dishes such as gnocchi with lamb ragu or wild mushroom triangoli, with plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options available. Homes across the UK can have the chilled recipes delivered not only to their door but even through the letterbox!
Prices start at £6.75, visit pastaevangelists.com.
Cheese lovers need to get their hands on one of Homage2Fromage's delivery boxes. Eat kit comprises six generous portions of cheese (British, French or Mediterranean depending on what you're after), posh crackers and either chutney, honey or olives. But you don't just eat the cheese - you play a 'guess the cheese' game too and the winner gets a prize!
Prices include free delivery and start from £40 for two people. Visit homage2fromage.co.uk
Farmison & Co.
When you go to a restaurant, do you usually lick your lips over the steak menu? Now we're staying home more, you might be missing your swanky steak and chips, but do not feat because Farmison & Co. can help you out. With plenty of boxes on offer, you're in for a treat. We'd be going for the pepper-crusted sirloin beef with potatoes box (pictured). This is enough to feed six people which works perfectly alongside the government guidelines.
Boxes start at £14.95, visit farmison.com
Patty&Bun DIY Kit
Patty&Bun launched a home DIY kit during lockdown and it's absolutely divine! The set includes all the ingredients that they use in their shops to make the burgers, all you need to provide is the lettuce and tomato! The beef is free-range, the buns are made to a bespoke recipe, and everything in between is lovingly produced in their Hackney-based kitchen.
The DIY Kit is priced at £25, visit pattyandbun.co.uk.
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Shake Shack DIY
If you're based in London or Cardiff, you're in luck. You can now create your own Shake Shack burger at home. For the first time ever, UK Shack fans can order ready-to-cook kits so they can recreate the classic ShackBurger within the comfort of their own homes. The best part? Shake Shack will donate a portion of sales from every kit to Action Against Hunger to benefit the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Coronavirus Appeal.
Priced at £25, each Shake Shack DIY ShackBurger Kit features ingredients to make 4 signature ShackBurgers. Available on shakeshack or Deliveroo.
La Tua Pasta
La Tua Pasta supplies many of the country’s best-known restaurants with delicious fresh pasta. After branching out into home delivery at the start of the first UK lockdown, it's now a permanent offering! Choose from filled pasta, fresh pasta sauces, antipasti, desserts (Chocolate Tortellini anyone?), and easy meal kits – including vegan-friendly options too – all delivered nationwide. They've also just launched new Christmas-themed meal kits with dishes including Crab & Lobster Tortelloni. Mmm...
Prices start at just £3.00 for a 250g bag of fresh pasta and go up to £63.50 for 12-portion family meal kits. Find out more at Latuapasta.com
And now for dessert...
Pan-n-Ice DIY Ice Roll Kits
The Pan-n-Ice DIY Ice Roll Kits are the perfect way to fight the lockdown blues, providing customers with all the tools they need to recreate this mouth-watering experience from their own homes. The bestseller named the Ultimate Pack (£79.95), which is as tempting as it sounds includes vanilla ice cream ready to combine with Nutella, Biscoff, Reese’s and Kinder Bueno, just to name a few. Also included are toppings for every sweet tooth's dream – chocolate sauce, sprinkles, Ferrero Rocher, popping candy, Mikado Sticks and rainbow drops.
Available at pac-n-ice.co.uk.
If you're looking to finish off your meal with something sweet, how about Creme London - one of the capital's highly sought after artisan cookie businesses. The cookie connoisseurs have launched a new nationwide ‘deliver-to-your-door’ service for the mouth-watering, gooey and chocolate-studded giant cookies the brand is famed for. The packaging has been specially designed to help the cookies retain their freshness and signature gooey texture, and there are four flavours to mix and match from to fill your bespoke box.
Available at creme.london.
Now this is one for the children! Piglets Pantry, based in West Sussex, deliver handmade sausage rolls, cakes and biscuits to addresses in mainland UK, but they've also just launched their kid-friendly packages for the smallest members of your household. Each £10 box is filled with yummy treats, including mini sausage rolls, a scone with clotted cream and jam, and an adorable piglet cupcake. Also included are a gingerbread piglet and shortbread piglet, plus sprinkles, chocolate drops and marshmallows for the little ones to decorate.
Find out more at pigletspantry.co.uk
Lewis & Baker
If it's pudding you're after, checking out Lewis & Baker, who make a selection of mouthwatering sweet treats including brownies, flapjacks, shortbread and traybakes. This large caramel shortbread traybake, pictured above and priced at £19.99, comes in one big slab so just divvy up the slices yourself. They come in a variety of sizes, and if you're looking for a gift, they do a 12 pack cake selection box. All of their products are our idea of heaven!
Find out more at LewisandBaker.co.uk
Pudding specialists The Proof are an East London bakery and pudding house, who specialise in all sorts of yumminess, from their very own 'Proofiteroles' to baked New York cheesecake, triple chocolate brownies and apple and blackberry crumble. We sampled the delectable sticky toffee pudding, which was laced and dripping with extra rich toffee sauce and served with Hackney gelato. Heaven in a box! The bakery also does a vegan version.
Find out more information at The-Proof.com
Wash it down with...
The Bottle Club
Looking for more of a liquid lunch? Try The Bottle Club - a premium wine, spirits, beers and minerals website offering the finest beverages in the UK. Whether you're after wine, champagne, whiskey or all of the above, The Bottle Club is where it's at.
What to expect: At the time of going to press, there was an epic discount on the Palm Rosé by Whispering Angel. Crafted with grapes from Provence, the world-renowned rosé-producing region in the South of France, The Palm has all the hallmarks of a quality Provençal rosé: dry, light and crisp with a signature ballet slipper-pink hue. Priced at £12.99 instead of £17.99. Bargain!
Get involved at thebottleclub.com.
If you're looking to do something kind for someone else, maybe you could order in one for a neighbour who's struggling. It would be a great example of #HelloToKindness.
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