The current worldwide ‘situation’ has found each of us missing the most specific things – from seeing friends to a leisurely trip to Pret on a five-minute office break via everything in between. For me, it’s restaurants and pubs I’m pining for at night and on weekends.

Although lockdown is disastrous for the food and drinks industry, and it seems like we’re quite some time away from long, sit down meals in our favourite haunts, many companies are adapting to ’the new normal’ and upping the game with a series of novel delivery initiatives, getting us as close to the action as possible from our own homes. About Time had the truly awful task of testing out various food and drink delivery initiatives, here’s what we found:

1. For Meat: Donald Russell

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What: Fareshare Support Selection (£40)

The 411: Donald Russell knows a thing or two when it comes to meat; the premium butchery based in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, focuses on selection, maturation, and crafting the cuts of meat by hand. The butchery boys have put together a Fare Share box featuring 4 steaks, 16 sausages and 8 burgers – enough meat to feed North London. Twice over. In order to seal in freshness, lock in the goodness, and to preserve the meat, all the contents are professionally frozen and arrive well insulated so you can put straight in the freezer or defrost and cook with. They’re Scotland’s finest butcher for a reason.

Hot Tip: The pork and black pudding sausages are sensational in a thick tomato sauce woven between fresh tagliatelle. And with each box sold, £5 will be donated to Fareshare – the UK’s largest charity fighting hunger and food waste.

Buy: Grab a box here

2. For Fresh Fruit and Veg: Pale Green Dot

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What: Veg and Staples box (£20)

The 411: Fruit and veg boxes are now ten a penny, with every man and his dog offering some sort of delivery box. Pale Green Dot doesn’t just supply you with produce, the green-fingered team grow the crops themselves and distribute farm produce straight to your kitchen, seven days a week. Championing minimum waste, maximum taste, and the lowest carbon footprint possible, Pale Green Dot offers a variety of boxes such as weekly subscription packages, dairy crates, along with essential boxes (think a variety of cheeses, dairy, and other wonderments). The veg and staples box has everything to keep you going during lockdown, including the essentials (milk, eggs, bread), local fruit, coloured veg, and root veggies.

Hot Tip: You can really taste the quality and freshness here. You’ll not be waltzing down Sainbury’s veg aisle for quite some time.

Buy: See here for home deliveries 

3. For Sweet Treats: Bakedin


What: Cinnamon Bun Set (£8)

The 411: Judging by social media, people have been turning their attention to baking during the covid-19 lockdown. If it’s not sourdough, it’s banana bread, brownies, or anything from Nigella Lawson’s website. If you’re a baking novice, Bakedin has all the bases covered as they’ve put together handy boxes with all the ingredients and step-by-step guides in order for you to knock up a range of cakes, including cinnamon buns, lemon drizzle cake, and chocolate cheesecake brownies. Nothing says Sunday morning like a warm, gooey batch of homemade cinnamon rolls.

Hot Tip: There’s also birthday cake packages if you’re celebrating your special day in isolation.

Buy: Purchase a box here 

4. For Condiments: Tracklements


What: Introduction to Tracklements Bundle (£20.85)

The 411: If there’s one thing we’ve learned in isolation, it’s this: you can never have too many condiments. The king and queens of sauces, spreads and jellies, Tracklements, have put together a starter pack of condiments to help elevate your home-cooked meals to the next level. The starter pack includes all the store cupboard essentials: fresh chilli jam (perfect with scrambled eggs), traditional mint sauce (hello, leg of lamb), apple and sage jelly (delicious in a sausage sarnie), caramelised red onion relish (stick it on literally anything), sweet mustard ketchup (swap ketchup for this on burgers), and original onion marmalade (the ideal partner to slabs of brie and crackers).

Hot Tip: The sweet mustard ketchup is a game-changer. Tracklements use mustard seeds currently grown in Suffolk to give this condiment a lovely little kick.

Buy: Grab here

5. For Fish: Forman and Field

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What: The Fishy Favourites Bundle (£44.95)

The 411: Forman & Field are here to help, with their fabulously fresh, restaurant-quality fish, available for next day delivery to homes across the United Kingdom. The family-run smoked salmon business – that dates back to the 19th century – specialises in top-grade fish, specially selected meats, and British produce. For a taste of the ocean, the fishy favourites bundle is your one-stop fishmonger selection, containing only the freshest fish of the highest quality. The selection contains: 200g of their world-renowned London cure smoked salmon, fresh Scottish salmon (2x 150g), line-caught tuna marinated in teriyaki sauce (2x 150g), raw peeled tiger prawns (1kg – individually frozen) and marinated mackerel in garlic (200g). Quite possibly enough fish to see you through the lockdown.

Hot Tip: Taking the fuss out of meal times, you can also order dining packages made by Forman & Field’s team of top chefs who have done all the hard work – so all you need to do is reheat and tuck in.

Buy: Get a box here

6. For Cheese: La Latteria

La Latteria

What: Burrata (From £8.30)

Why: If it’s dairy-based goodness you’re after (and let’s be honest – who isn’t?), La Latteria knocks out cheese the traditional Southern Italian way, sourcing their milk from small sustainable local farms, selected for their traditional working methods and dedication to their animals. Made in London, by a small team of expert cheese crafters, the burrata is a must-buy. Gloriously plump and utterly creamy, the burrata features fresh shredded mozzarella fior di latte mixed with panna (a UHT specialty cream imported from Italy) in a classic mozzarella fior di latte shaped as a purse. There’s a whole host of other cheeses to try like the savory/sweet stracciatella, the fan-favourite mozzerella, and the nutritious ricotta.

The 411: Nothing beats burrata drizzled with olive oil and served with hunks of decent bread. Ooo-er.

Buy: Don’t miss burrata here

7. For a Recipe Box: Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh

What: Recipe Box (from £1.49-£2.49 per person)

The 411: With the UK currently mourning the loss of their weekly long-leisurely brunches, Hello Fresh has come to the rescue with their brand-new, flavour-packed brunch recipes. Designed to take the fuss out of cooking one of the most indulgent meals of the day, the boxes turn the mid-morning meal into an occasion with their easy-to-follow recipes. The weekly recipe boxes, available for delivery across the UK, feature crowd-pleasing bites like shakshuka with feta and flatbreads; scrambled eggs with cheesy crumpets and creamy truffle mushrooms; avocado and bacon on toast with peanut and maple syrup buttermilk pancakes; and truffle mushroom frittata with asparagus and truffle zest.

Hot Tip: It’s not a trip to Ottolenghi, but trust us – it’s the next best thing.

Buy: Purchase a box here 

8. For Cakes: Darts Farm

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What: Cake Box (£9.99)

The 411: In these uncertain times, a slice (nay, wedge) of homemade cake and a cuppa is as comforting as it gets. If you’re not keen on banging out your own crumbly creation, or schlepping to your local Tesco, Darts Farm delivers homemade bakes direct to your door. Handcrafted using traditional methods, heritage recipes, and only the best ingredients, you can purchase a trio of cakes like the Buxton lemon and elderflower cake, divine ginger cake, or the Buxton fruit cake. The website in an Aladdin’s cave of artisan produce, spanning meat, fish, bread, and homemade products from some of the best producers in the business.

Hot Tip: The fruit loaf tastes fantastic on its own or with a doorstop layer of salted butter.

Buy: Click here 

9. For Snacks: Mighty Small

Mighty Small


What: Working From Home (£30)

The 411: Mighty Small is a new UK-wide online food delivery service dedicated to small, independent, local startup and challenger brands, with loads of fun and quirky food and drink products crammed inside their boxes. The aptly titled Working From Home box has every snack under the sun to see you through a day working from your kitchen table. This bundle is chock-a-block with more than 14 heavenly sweet treats, savoury snacks, and delicious drinks to perk up your working day; from elevenses to that afternoon slump – there’s a perfect range of pick-me-ups, including pretzel bites, energy-boosting gum and all-natural gourmet sweets.

Hot Tip: Wholey Moly’s cacao and hazelnut cookie is the stuff of baked dreams. And it’s gluten-free and vegan friendly, don’t you know.

Buy: Purchase here 

10. For Middle Eastern Vibes: Belazu

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What: Belazu Hamper (£57)

The 411: Belazu concentrates on three things: sustainability, locally sourced produce, and the best ingredients. Decades in the Mediterranean cooking and Middle Eastern cuisine game, the company creates parcels that will help you create own edible masterpieces inside your four walls. The Belazu Hamper is a good starting point to aid your Middle Eastern-inspired meals, and features 11 chef-quality ingredients, winning a grand total of 20 Great Taste stars between them. Work your way through the 1.34 Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Beldi Preserved Lemons, Tagine Paste, Verbena Harissa Paste, and Verdemanda Olive Oil, among others.

Hot Tip: Since the lockdown was implemented, Belazu have diversified their offering, and now sell parmesan, dried chickpeas, and rice as well as fresh pasta from their neighbours, La Tua.

Buy: Grab here