Times are tough for eating out – but luckily, Britain’s hospitality industry truly delivers when it comes to dining, and drinking, at home.
Talented chefs, cocktail makers and wine experts up and down the country have adapted to the lockdown and made their offerings available to be enjoyed at home, through doorstep deliveries and click-and-collect schemes. And here we showcase some of the very best, from DIY meal kits from two-Michelin-star chefs to bottled cocktails from world-renowned bars.
This guide has four sections – general food, Christmas, afternoon teas and drinks. Scroll down to see what you fancy your taste buds being tickled by… in the comfort of your own home.
FOOD – GENERAL
Two-Michelin-star Le Gavroche (pictured) offers ‘at home’ boxes for delivery nationwide via Lake District Farmers
An example of a takeaway from Le Gavroche
Top chefs Michel Roux Jr, head chef at the two-Michelin-star Le Gavroche in London, and Jason Atherton, whose Pollen Street Social restaurant in the capital has one Michelin Star, offer super-tasty ‘At Home’ boxes for home delivery, via their meat supplier, Lake District Farmers.
The boxes, which start at £130, contain everything needed to serve a seriously mouthwatering three-course meal for two people at home, with bread and petit fours. The boxes contain part-prepared dishes created in the chefs’ Michelin-starred kitchens using top-grade meat from Lake District Farmers.
The hard work has been done in advance, and the boxes arrive cleverly packed with all meal components and instructions on creating the finished dishes. Available nationwide from www.lakedistrictfarmers.co.uk/boxes, with menus changing weekly.
Revered London restaurant The Wolseley offers iconic ‘at home’ experiences through its ‘home dining’ service of refrigerated restaurant meals ready to heat up – think wiener schnitzel and coq au Riesling – and its ‘home entertainment’ menu, offering ‘large celebratory dishes made for spectacular dinner party dining’, such as whole beef wellington and salmon coulibiac. Home dining is available nationwide and home entertainment options within eight miles of SW1W 8AX. Visit www.thewolseley.com/home-delivery for more. There is a minimum order of £40.
Venerated Mayfair stalwart Sketch sells four DIY meal kits, including an a la carte menu (from £13). Available to order for collection from Sketch at 9 Conduit Street, Monday to Sunday. Or you could have it couriered from the restaurant’s preferred service – Prestige Cars & Couriers ([email protected]). Visit shop.sketch.london/.
Super-swanky Knightsbridge hotel The Berkeley has pedalled its way into the home delivery market in delightful style, offering breakfasts delivered by bicycle, with bottles of Champagne an option. The menus cost £15 or £24 per person and are available for delivery in the SW1X area and collection from the hotel – Wilton Place, SW1X 7RL – seven days a week, from 8–11am. The service will run until January 2021. To place an order, visit www.the-berkeley.co.uk/whats-new/breakfast-in-bed-by-the-berkeley or call The Berkeley on 020 7201 1653.
Revered London restaurant The Wolseley, pictured, offers iconic ‘at home’ experiences through its ‘home dining’ service
Super-swanky Knightsbridge hotel The Berkeley has pedalled its way into the home delivery market
Neighbourhood Peckham restaurant Levan, pictured, delivers wonderfully delicious takeaways
A fan of legendary chef Joel Robuchon? Le Comptoir Robuchon, the Mayfair restaurant endorsing the legacy of Mr Robuchon with ‘modern, innovative and seasonal recipes’, has launched home delivery for the first time through platforms Supper London and Deliveroo. Visit www.robuchonlondon.co.uk/le-comptoir.
The author can also recommend the home-delivered food rustled up by acclaimed neighbourhood Peckham restaurant Levan. It’s wonderfully delicious. A beef bourguignon sharing menu for two costs £59, with tasty extras also available, such as chicken liver parfait (£7.90), caramelised onion brioche (£4.90) and crushed potatoes with tarragon dressing (£4.90). Visit www.levanlondon.co.uk for more or call 020 7732 2256.
Caravan is another London eatery with a well-deserved reputation for great food – and now the whole nation can enjoy it thanks to a cunning nationwide delivery service. Discerning Britons are currently riding the Korean culture wave, eating more Kimchi than ever before (exports from Korea to the UK are up 23 per cent) – and Caravan has caught on, offering a Kimchi pancake brunch box (£39) alongside a baked eggs version (£36), available through greatfood2u.co.uk/restaurant/caravan. And there’s more from Caravan available through Deliveroo.
Burger lovers need look no further than home delivery DIY kits from renowned London restaurant Honest, which supplies kits nationwide for £16.00, plus £6 for delivery. Visit shop.honestburgers.co.uk/products/honest-at-home. And through Plateaway you can order a Shakeshack burger kit. Who knew?
An example of Levan’s home delivery meal for two. Visit www.levanlondon.co.uk for more or call 020 7732 2256
Burger lovers need look no further than home delivery DIY kits from renowned London restaurant Honest
For continental cuisine, you’re well and truly covered.
Flour & Grape, based in the Bermondsey area of London and famous for its indulgent and authentic pasta, has launched Flour & Grape At Home. Deluxe pasta dishes to cook up at home in less than 10 minutes are available to collect from the restaurant, or those lucky enough to live within a five-mile radius of the famous pasta powerhouse can have it delivered it straight to their door. MailOnline Travel’s verdict? Ten out ten. Visit www.flourandgrape.com.
For nationwide pasta kit deliveries, Pasta Evangelists is a superb choice. Visit pastaevangelists.com.
Flour & Grape, based in the Bermondsey area of London and famous for its indulgent and authentic pasta, has launched Flour & Grape At Home
Chinese fan? Restaurant-quality authentic Chinese meals can be delivered to doorsteps nationwide courtesy of Liverpool’s Lu Ban Restaurant
Lucky Londoners, meanwhile, can order perfect pizzas and lush lasagnas from Napoli Gang, run by the team that brought the capital hit restaurants Gloria and Circolo. Visit napoligang.co.uk for more.
MailOnline Travel has sampled Iberica’s offering, available nationwide and created by top chef Nacho Manzano, and was very impressed. Our box included Juan Pedro Domecq Iberico bellota ham, Cecina de Leon air-cured beef, Iberico ham croquettes and pitu chicken rice. Yum.
MailOnline Travel has sampled Iberica’s offering, available nationwide and created by top chef Nacho Manzano, and was very impressed
Lucky Londoners can order perfect pizzas and lush lasagnas from Napoli Gang, run by the team that brought the capital hit restaurants Gloria and Circolo
For Greek food try www.therealgreek.com. Its DIY Souvlaki Kits are available nationwide and come with a set of easy instructions and all the ingredients needed, from homemade tzatziki to the restaurant’s original wrapping paper.
A hat tip, too, for the Ottolenghi Ready operation, which delivers the restaurant’s Mediterranean cuisine to homes across London. Visit ottolenghiready.slerp.com/order.
Aficionados of Asian cuisine pay attention, because chef Masaki Sugisaki’s lauded Chelsea Japanese spot Dinings SW3 delivers DIY courses to within a three-mile radius and offers click-and-collect. Visit www.diningssw3.co.uk. Glamorous Knightsbridge restaurant Sumosan Twiga also does home delivery. Visit supper.london/restaurants/sumosantwiga.
For epic Sunday roasts try West London pub The Tommy Tucker, pictured
And Rosa’s Thai Café, which has 21 restaurants in London, Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester, has launched Pad Thai DIY kits, which include everything you need to master the Pad Thai at home – Rosa’s Thai Cafe’s most popular dish. It has sold 1.4million of them. Visit greatfood2u.co.uk/restaurant/rosas-thai-cafe/.
Chinese fan? Restaurant-quality authentic Chinese meals can be delivered to doorsteps nationwide courtesy of Liverpool’s Lu Ban Restaurant and executive head chef Dave Critchley. Dishes on the ‘Heat at Home’ menu start from £10. Visit lubanrestaurant.co.uk/home-delivery for more.
Fancy settling down at home and feasting on fantastic Indian food? Former River Cafe chef Avinash Shashidhara now runs Fitzrovia restaurant Pali Hill, which has recently launched a home delivery service for the London area. The author of this article can personally vouch for Avinash’s skills in the kitchen. You won’t be disappointed. Visit palihill.co.uk for more information.
Top Indian cuisine is also available for home delivery from Kahani in Belgravia. The chef, Peter Joseph, was previously head chef at Tamarind in Mayfair, one of the world’s first Michelin-starred Indian restaurants. Visit www.kahanilondon.com. Delivery is within the M25 area.
The Dishoom team have launched a brand-new Vegan Sausage Naan Roll Kit, which is now available on the Dishoom Store for UK-wide home delivery. The plant-based kit contains everything required to enjoy two ‘first-class’ Vegan Sausage Naan Rolls with Masala Chai at home. The price is £16 excluding delivery. Visit store.dishoom.com/vegan-sausage-naan-roll-kit.
For Greek food try www.therealgreek.com. Its DIY Souvlaki Kits are available nationwide
Former River Cafe chef Avinash Shashidhara now runs Fitzrovia restaurant Pali Hill, restaurant and food pictured above, which has recently launched a home delivery service
Chic High Wycombe eaterie Lata Lata, pictured, does an ‘eat at home’ pick-up service
Do Middle Eastern flavours make your mouth water more?
Restaurant Arabica, which can be found in Borough Market and Kings Cross, can send DIY falafel kits, mezze, ready-to-bake Borek and store cupboard essentials across the country via www.arabicalondon.com.
Let’s now pivot fully away from London and explore eat-at-home options offered by businesses elsewhere.
If you’re local to the opulent Lucknam Park Hotel in Wiltshire you can collect Saturday night takeaways and spoiling Sunday roasts. To place their order, locals will need to call 01225 742777 or email [email protected]
The Hand Picked Hotels group has swanky properties up and down the country, from Kent to Edinburgh via the West Midlands, and offers a click and collect service of autumnal and winter treats from as little as £8.50pp.
Chic High Wycombe eaterie Lata Lata – which launched two years ago after a crowdfunding campaign – also does an ‘eat at home’ pick-up service. Co-owner Aimee Hunt told Mailonline Travel that ‘pivoting’ to this ‘has been a complete ballache’, but she’s confident ‘it breaks the mould a little’. She added: ‘Our customers seem to like it and it’s been truly cockle-warming to see their continued support in a pretty tumultuous time.’ Visit www.latalata.co.uk.
Residents of Greater Manchester can enjoy an at-home Sunday lunch kit created by the five-star Lowry Hotel’s award-winning Executive Head Chef, Dave Ashton. It costs £40 for two and is available via pick-up or delivery. Orders can be placed via the hotel’s website.
In the North East, Blackfriars Restaurant in Newcastle upon Tyne offers click-and-collect ‘hearty dishes using fresh local produce’ from £21. Visit www.blackfriarsathome.co.uk. And the city’s Michelin-starred House of Tides has introduced ‘@Home food boxes’. There is a weekly changing menu and all food boxes can be kept in the fridge for up to two days before using. Delivery is available to NE1, NE15, NE20 and NE34 postcodes only for a flat rate of £12. Visit www.houseoftides.co.uk/shop.
If you’re local to the opulent Lucknam Park hotel in Wiltshire you can collect Saturday night takeaways and spoiling Sunday roasts
Residents of Greater Manchester can enjoy an at-home Sunday lunch kit created by the five-star Lowry Hotel’s award-winning Executive Head Chef, Dave Ashton. Pictured is how the hotel presents it…
Newcastle’s Michelin-starred House of Tides has introduced ‘@Home food boxes’
The Hand Picked Hotels group has swanky properties up and down the country, from Kent to Edinburgh via the West Midlands, and offers a click-and-collect service. Pictured is the chain’s Ettington Park Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon
Caravan offers a Kimchi pancake brunch box (£39), pictured left, alongside a baked eggs version (£36), pictured right. They are available nationwide
Superstar chef Simon Rogan, who runs the two-Michelin-star L’Enclume and one-star Rogan & Co in the Cumbrian village of Cartmel, now delivers three-course classics nationwide (pictured)
Over in the Lake District, The Yan, famed for its exceptional comfort food, with everything made from scratch, right down to the ketchup, now offers The Yan Untethered – a nationwide delivery service taking comfort food like shepherd’s pie and bread and butter pudding to the doorsteps of people all over the country. Visit shop.theyan.co.uk.
And superstar chef Simon Rogan, who runs the two-Michelin-star L’Enclume and one-star Rogan & Co in the Cumbrian village of Cartmel, now delivers three-course classics nationwide. Visit simonroganathome.co.uk.
In Scotland allow us to draw your attention to the excellent Cairn café in Kilmacolm, just west of Glasgow, a very popular neighbourhood restaurant that’s beginning to get national recognition. MailOnline Travel stopped by during a Scottish road trip this year and we were blown away.
Owner David Armour said: ‘Our aim was always to create that “Daily Spot”, where the coffee, the service, the flavours were always on point. One of our longest-serving menu items is a perfect example of this. Affectionately known in-house as “The Black Pudding Stack”, we take a crispy morning roll, smother it top and bottom with our house-made chorizo jam and layer in North Ayrshire Black Pudding topped with a fried egg. It’s a flavour bomb – and the troops love it!’ Visit cairn-kilma.com. Click-and-collect only.
The excellent Cairn café in Kilmacolm, just west of Glasgow, is a very popular neighbourhood restaurant that’s beginning to get national recognition
You’ve had a hard year. So this Christmas put your feet up and let the nation’s chefs sort out the festive feast.
Hilton is ‘making it easy for you to have the perfect festive family dinner’ with its ‘Christmas Unhampered’ package – a chilled box that includes a turkey wellington and all the trimmings. The £150 box can feed a family of six and just needs to be cooked at home. Five pounds from every sale will be donated to Hospitality Action. Collect the meal from your local Hilton – 22 Hilton hotels are participating across the UK. Contact [email protected] or 01226 337 506 to order. Place your order between now and December 15 and collect between December 23 and 24. To find out more follow @tasteofhilton.
In Yorkshire, the talented team at The Black Bull, in Sedbergh, is offering click-and-collect and nationwide delivery for Christmas meals. Click here for more.
Ho ho ho my word: The Black Bull in Sedbergh is offering click-and-collect and nationwide delivery for Christmas meals
Wedgwood the Restaurant in Edinburgh, meanwhile, is one of the few independent restaurants in Scotland to offer UK-wide delivery of its festive five-course menu throughout December. The menu, which has been designed to finish at home (video tutorial is included), will feature locally sourced grouse ham, smoked halibut and pheasant breast and is priced at £125 for two. Visit www.wedgwoodtherestaurant.co.uk.
Other ‘at home’ chef-prepared Christmas meals are available from The Kimpton hotel in Edinburgh (Edinburgh deliveries only); The Little Chartroom in Edinburgh, owned by the BBC’s Great British Menu finalist, Roberta Hall-McCarron and husband Shaun McCarron (Edinburgh postcodes only, EH1 – EH16); Cail Bruich in Glasgow (delivery to all G postcodes within Glasgow); and Shoryu Ramen, which delivers Japanese cuisine around England, Wales and parts of Scotland.
The Rockpool, a beachside restaurant beautifully positioned between the dunes of Gwithian and Godrevy in Cornwall, is offering Christmas dinner, freshly prepared, pre-cooked and boxed in sustainable packaging, ready to reheat on the big day. Single courses are priced at £18pp or £32pp for a decadent three-course feast. Meals can be collected or delivered up to 20 miles away. Visit therockpoolbar.co.uk/food.
Noilly Prat, the original French vermouth, has partnered with MasterChef UK finalist Yann Florio to create an exclusive festive French fine dining experience that can be delivered straight to your door this December. The meal delivery kit ‘comes with everything you need to create a French-inspired five-course festive feast’. It’s priced at £75 per head (minimum two people) and available nationwide. Visit www.bonnefranquette.co.uk.
Several of the hotels, restaurants and partnerships mentioned further up also offer Christmas meals, from Jason Atherton and the Lake District Farmers to Hand Picked Hotels and Côte at Home.
Noilly Prat French vermouth has partnered with MasterChef UK finalist Yann Florio to create an exclusive festive French fine dining experience that can be delivered straight to your door this December. Yann is pictured here with the spread
No need to sleigh-ve over a hot stove at Christmas: Côte at Home does festive fodder (pictured)
Wedgwood the Restaurant in Edinburgh is one of the few independent restaurants in Scotland to offer UK-wide delivery of its festive five-course menu (pictured)
London’s Gentlemen Baristas coffee house can deliver an expertly crafted afternoon tea for two – nationwide
An at-home afternoon tea experience has been created by the world’s best pastry chef, Albert Adria and his first UK restaurant, Cakes & Bubbles in London’s Hotel Café Royal. Adria, of El Bulli fame, has masterminded a parade of ‘exceptional’ desserts and pastries, including his incredible ‘Cheese Cake’ invention, made with Baron Bigod cheese, hazelnut and white chocolate. The tea is accompanied by a bottle of Sophie Baron Grand Reserve Champagne. It costs £100pp and is available for delivery via Slerp and Supper to those that live within an eight-mile radius of the hotel’s Regent Street location. Visit www.hotelcaferoyal.com/afternoontea.
London’s Gentlemen Baristas coffee house offers a ‘very special expertly crafted afternoon tea for two’ for £30 that’s available for delivery nationwide, which includes some of its most-popular cakes, coffees and slices, and ‘scrumptious sandwiches made from the finest locally-sourced ingredients’. See the full menu here.
The Chesterfield Mayfair Winter Wonderland Afternoon Tea is now available for collection or delivery. It includes a selection of ‘delicious finger sandwiches’ and sweet treats such as Apple Jelly Snowballs, Gingerbread Man Cupcakes and Chocolate Yule Logs. Alongside these treats you can sip on warming teas, including a Chesterfield Chocolate tea. The tea costs from £40 for the traditional tea or £21.50 for the Children’s Afternoon Tea. Delivery is available from £10 to W1, SW1 and SW3 London postcodes only. More at www.chesterfieldmayfair.com/afternoon-tea.
London’s historic Waldorf Hilton hotel is brewing up, too. Its afternoon tea comes complete with a selection of sandwiches and savouries including smoked salmon, honey roast ham, mint crème fraiche and mature cheddar. It also includes The Waldorf Hilton’s Fairtrade Hope and Glory tea, handpicked from Sri Lanka. Those with a sweet tooth can look forward to an array of treats including classic and raisin scones with clotted cream and jam, all served alongside a bottle of POP Pommery Champagne. Bookings for Waldorf’s Afternoon Tea delivery are available to book via the Supper app, priced at £50 for two people. It’s available to be delivered within a three-mile radius of the hotel’s Aldwych location. Visit supper.london/restaurants/waldorfhilton.
London’s historic Waldorf Hilton delivers an afternoon tea that comes complete with a selection of sandwiches and savouries
One of London’s finest and most innovative wine bars – Vagabond (pictured) – now delivers nationwide
We know that for many of you, this is the business end of the feature.
And you’ll be extremely pleased to hear that some of Britain’s most talented cocktail makers and wine experts are distributing top-end beverages.
Let’s start with one of London’s finest and most innovative wine bars – Vagabond.
MailOnline Travel has long been a fan of its bars, where you can try up to 100 wines, grouped by style, by the glass. Now it has an online shop where you can buy ‘crisp whites’, ‘aromatic whites’, ‘elegant’ reds and more, by the bottle.
It even has its own resident ‘wine genius’, Colin. You can message him on the site’s ‘Ask Colin’ microsite for a more tailored quaffing service. Vagabond’s delivery radius is nationwide.
Another personal wine service available nationwide can be found via Oranj, a natural wine, art and music platform.
It has teamed up with Dominic Smith, sommelier from Michelin-starred Shoreditch restaurant Clove Club, to curate a ‘December Sommelier Box’, which contains five hard-to-find natural wines from small producers, which are delivered with a specially commissioned piece of art, inspired by the wines, and a DJ set to listen to whilst drinking. Visit oranj.co.uk.
Also delivering nationwide is superb London wine bar/shop/restaurant outfit Salon. It started as a pop-up cheese shop in Brixton’s Market Row, then became a fully functioning restaurant, with a wine bar installed in 2016.
In 2017 it installed a wine shop next door, specialising in low-intervention, organic and biodynamic wines. MailOnline Travel ordered its £120 ‘strictly bangers’ box of six bottles and our socks were knocked off. Delivery is to within two miles of the restaurant.
Oranj, a natural wine, art and music platform, has teamed up with Dominic Smith (pictured), sommelier from Michelin-starred Shoreditch restaurant Clove Club. His delivery comes with a playlist of ideal tracks to quaff to
Superb wine bar/shop/restaurant outfit Salon delivers amazing wines to within two miles of its Brixton home. Pictured is the Salon restaurant
So far, so world-class.
And the standards stay that way with Shop Cuvee, an extraordinary one-stop-shop for food and drink established during lockdown around the corner in Highbury, London, from the restaurant mothership, Top Cuvee.
It offers amazing bottled cocktails courtesy of renowned cocktail maestro and co-owner Max Venning, who is also the co-founder of legendary bar Three Sheets, currently ranked the world’s 34th best bar.
Shop Cuvee (pictured) is an extraordinary one-stop-shop for food and drink established during lockdown around the corner in Highbury, London, from the restaurant mothership, Top Cuvee. It delivers exquisite wine and cocktails nationwide
But there’s more.
Max has used his contacts in the bar world to make Shop Cuvee a portal for bottled cocktails not just from Three Sheets, but from other top bars – Mr Lyan, Scout, Tayēr + Elementary (the world’s fifth-best bar, which also sells serves through thewhiskyexchange.com), Empirical and more.
Impressed? We are too.
But there’s more still.
Shop Cuvee’s wine offering also hits the mark in a big way, with bottles like Tillingham’s zippy Col ’19 white and Chin Chin Vinho Verde from northern Portugal.
Visit www.shopcuvee.com, which delivers nationwide for the next day, and within the hour in London.
Other establishments with astonishingly good drinks for delivery?
Lyaness bar at Sea Containers hotel on South Bank has an ‘at home’ bottled cocktail delivery service and so does East London’s lauded Coupette. Treat yourself to a classic Old Fashioned from there via Deliveroo for £10 per bottle.
Lyaness bar at Sea Containers hotel on South Bank has an ‘at home’ bottled cocktail delivery service
Pictured left is the Lyaness bar at Sea Containers. On the right is the £190 1950s negroni you can order from Experimental Group
Hawksmoor, which has restaurant-bars in London, Manchester and Edinburgh, can also send you an Old Fashioned in a bottle – a Fuller Fat Old Fashioned to be precise.
It says: ‘This irresistible cocktail combines the tastes and smells of Woodford Reserve, washed with brown butter and sweetened with tonka bean and chocolate to create the ultimate rich and indulgent digestif.’
Soho-based cocktail bar Swift has launched its own bottled cocktail delivery service through its online webshop, Speakeasy At Home, and The Gibson Bar – an ‘Edwardian Time Machine’ in Old Street, London – can deliver a luxury martini cocktail starring a pickled onion garnish. To order visit www.thegibsonbar.london.
Wahaca’s bottled Classic Margarita – made with 100 per cent agave tequila, lime juice and agave nectar and ready to shake up and pour to enjoy at home – is also worth mentioning. It’s priced at £8.75 and is available via Deliveroo.
Let’s also raise a glass to Crockers Henley restaurant and its home-batched cocktails from Manhattans to Margaritas mixed by their ex-Fat Duck mixologist, Ryan Osnowski. You’ll find the full selection of cocktails here. Available nationwide.
And last but not least, is the incredible delivery offering from hip hoteliers Experimental Group, which includes a £190 1950s negroni. Visit www.cvssevendials.com/vintage-cocktails-menu.
Wahaca’s bottled Classic Margarita, priced at £8.75 and available via Deliveroo
Hawksmoor, which has restaurant-bars in London, Manchester and Edinburgh, can send you an Old Fashioned in a bottle (left). Pictured right is a bottled home delivery cocktail from highly regarded London cocktail bar Coupette
The Gibson Bar – an ‘Edwardian Time Machine’ in Old Street, London – can deliver a luxury martini cocktail starring a pickled onion garnish (pictured)
Source: Dailymail Travels
House Of Arras E.J. Carr Late Disgorged 2004 named world’s BEST in Decanter Magazine Top 100 wines
A bottle of sparkling wine from Australia has been crowned the best in the world, beating drops from all around the globe.
The House Of Arras E.J. Carr Late Disgorged 2004 has won the ‘Top Sparkling Wine in Decanter’s Wine of the Year 2020 Tasting’ – a tasting panel managed by one of the world’s leading and most influential wine publications.
The bottle, made in Tasmania, took out the top spot in the Decanter Magazine Top 100 wines of the year after earning a stellar 96 points.
A bottle of sparkling wine from Australia has been crowned the best in the world, beating drops from all around the globe
The House Of Arras E.J. Carr Late Disgorged 2004 has won the ‘Top Sparkling Wine in Decanter’s Wine of the Year 2020 Tasting’ – a tasting panel managed by one of the world’s leading wine publications
The wines that make the prestigious list every year are subject to a rigorous tasting process in order to crown the winners.
‘It’s an absolute honour to have the E.J. Carr Late Disgorged 2004 judged alongside some of the best sparkling wines from across the globe,’ House of Arras chief winemaker Ed Carr said.
‘House of Arras was born from a vision to create an Australian sparkling wine on parity with the world’s finest champagnes and sparkling wines.
‘Today’s Decanter Magazine announcement reinforces this vision and is proof that the world’s best sparkling can be found right here in Tasmania.’
The bottle, made in Tasmania, took out the top spot in the Decanter Magazine Top 100 wines of the year after earning a stellar 96 points
Made from the noble grape varieties of prestige sparkling wine, sourced from the cold climate Tasmanian vineyards, the wine offers all the ‘elegance, power and vibrancy’ that are the ‘hallmarks of world class premium sparkling wine’.
A mix of 69 per cent Chardonnay and 31 per cent Pinot Noir, the drop has spent an incredible 13 years on tirage, taking Australian sparkling to a level of texture and complexity that other producers rarely achieve.
Wine aficionados have shared glowing reviews about the wine online, with many declaring it’s the best sparking on the market.
‘This is a spectacular drop and right up there with the French bottles that cost two to three times more,’ one wrote.
And another added: ‘While above my normal price range… I finally succumbed and bought a couple of bottles for a special occasion. It is without doubt the best Aussie sparkling that we had ever tasted: simply elegant in all respects.’
A bottle of the House of Arras E.J. Carr Late Disgorged 2004 costs $265.95.
Source: Dailymail Travels
One in three UK restaurants say they won’t survive until Christmas
Over a third of UK restaurants (34 per cent) fear that they won’t survive until Christmas.
That’s according to a new survey of 200 restaurant and decision-makers that also found that a similar number (32 per cent) believe that government support for the industry is inadequate.
Tanisha Broady, owner of the Rock of Virtue Café in Cambridge, told MailOnline Travel that for her business to stay afloat for the next three months, she needs £10,000 from the government to cover rent.
Over a third of UK restaurants (34 per cent) fear that they won’t survive until Christmas
Rahul Sharma, Director at The Regency Club in London, also voiced concern about government support for the sector.
He told MailOnline Travel that he received £3,000 for each lockdown in the form of government grants and ‘the Furlough scheme helped a lot’.
But he added: ‘The biggest expense for us is our rent – our business model is designed to operate as a restaurant, but now we are operating as a takeaway. So, we are still paying the overheads of a restaurant. There needs to be something done for people who pay high rent. There has not been any agreement done on a wider commercial basis.’
Chris Jones, owner of the Naked Deli in Newcastle, said: ‘This year has been all about survival. We’ve been looking from week to week hoping we can keep the lights on and staff employed.’
Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, wants to see a recovery fund established.
She said: ‘The sector’s preference is to trade itself back to recovery but, with restrictions denying us the chance, many venues will fail unless the government provides much more substantial support.
‘The restrictions of the new tiers mean that 94 per cent of our members are nonviable or trading at a loss. That’s a £7.8billion hit which will see businesses go under and jobs lost.
‘For any chance of survival, we need replacement of the Job Retention Bonus, extension of the rent debt moratoria and compensation for business losses. Tesco has just refunded nearly £600million in support to the government, with other supermarkets rumoured to be following suit. That can be used to establish a Hospitality and Tourism Recovery Fund to keep the sector alive.’
Tanisha Broady, pictured, owner of the Rock of Virtue Café in Cambridge, told MailOnline Travel that for her business to stay afloat for the next three months, she needs £10,000 from the government to cover rent
Peter Backman, a UK-based independent restaurant analyst, also issued a warning: ‘Restaurant owners have not faced any years tougher than this. Sadly, just making it to 2021 will be an achievement for many. We’re not out of the woods yet. The pandemic is still not over and the economic conditions in January and February could be even harsher for restaurants, not least if we remain in restrictive tiers.’
During the pandemic, many restaurants were quick to pivot to online delivery, with the average restaurant taking just two and a half weeks to implement a takeaway service once lockdown was announced, according to online food delivery platform Flipdish, which commissioned the survey, by Censuswide.
With restrictions in place, it says, these restaurants lost an average of 40 per cent of their revenue during lockdown, but were able to make up the remaining 60 per cent of their average revenue through online ordering.
In fact, over half (56 per cent) say they would have closed down permanently without online ordering and takeaway. According to restaurant owners and managers, the pivot saved an average of 15 jobs.
Rahul Sharma, pictured, Director at The Regency Club in London, said ‘there needs to be something done for people who pay high rent’
As lockdown restrictions ease, 79 per cent of restaurants plan to continue with online delivery, but the long-term picture is fragile.
According to the survey, 78 per cent of restaurants signed up to ‘aggregators’ like Just Eat, Uber Eats or Deliveroo, so-called because they collate restaurants on the same platform.
Over 12,000 new restaurants have joined Deliveroo in recent months and many would have benefitted from Just Eat’s 30-day support package in March when more than £11million of support was funnelled into independent restaurants.
However, while signing up to aggregators works for many businesses, for some, it’s not a long-term solution.
The commission charged – up to 35 per cent – can be one of the issues, though individual deals can be hammered out, as the aggregators explain.
Criticism of the cut taken by the likes of Just Eat, Deliveroo and UberEats was first reported by the Mail in June – and it’s still bubbling away.
In the survey – which it should be pointed out was commissioned by a rival to aggregators – only one in three (33 per cent) restaurants felt aggregators set fair commissions and offered a financially sustainable option.
Tanisha pointed out, for example, that for a £41 order she took recently, £17 went to Deliveroo.
Rahul, meanwhile, revealed what his restaurant would end up with after using Uber.
For the end consumer who orders a £20 meal, £3.50 goes on delivery and £2.00 on Uber service charge, leaving a bill for the customer of £25.50.
Uber collects £11.50 from the customer and the restaurant gets £14 revenue from Uber.
On top of this are costs – £.3.40 VAT for the whole order, and £8 operating and fixed costs (ingredients, labour, restaurant rent and utilities and so on), leaving £2.60 gross profit.
Chris Jones, who runs The Naked Deli, said that 2020 has been all about survival for his outlet
Ryan Lynch, who runs Dough restaurant in Liverpool said that with Just Eat the commission is 14 per cent, plus VAT, without using their delivery service, and 33 per cent plus VAT if you use their drivers.
These case studies were put forward by Flipdish. But MailOnline spoke separately to one buyer, who wished to remain anonymous, working for a London restaurant who echoed the anguish regarding fees expressed above.
He said that his business does use Deliveroo and admitted it had been a lifeline during the lockdown – ‘we relied on its customer base’ – but added that the 32 per cent commission his business is charged is ‘pretty crippling’.
Flipdish points out that it has a much lower commission rate – typically around seven to nine per cent – and is also involved in the ‘Go Direct Coalition’, a group that’s encouraging the nation to order directly from restaurants, cafes, pubs and takeaways, so they can keep as much of their revenue as possible.
Members include royal chef Damien Wawrzyniak, Manicomio executive chef Tom Salt and Tanisha.
Another example of a restaurant business that’s ploughing its own online furrow is London’s Shop Cuvee.
Co-owner Max Venning told MailOnline: ‘We handle our own deliveries. With our own couriers we can ensure a better service. We’re employing people from restaurants and bars who are out of work, which was important to us.’
Flipdish is involved in the ‘Go Direct Coalition’, a group that’s encouraging the nation to order directly from restaurants
Fionn Hart, UK Country Manager at Flipdish, said: ‘Nearly half of restaurants that pivoted created their own apps and websites. By doing so, they have created a sustainable business model that will enable UK restaurants to recover, then revitalise.’
Deliveroo said in a statement: ‘Deliveroo is a company founded on a love for small, independent restaurants and our absolute priority is supporting their businesses, especially during Covid-19. We are proud that we help them reach new customers and boost their sales through delivery. Over 12,000 new restaurants have joined Deliveroo in recent months, 9,000 of which are small restaurants and since March our smaller restaurant partners have recorded record growth.
‘Throughout the Covid crisis we have invested millions in our restaurant partners, helping them increase their sales and creating new products and campaigns to support both their dine-in and delivery businesses.
‘Deliveroo charges different levels of commission depending on each individual arrangement with a restaurant partner. This is then reinvested back into our business, paying for riders’ fees, customer services and upgrading our services for restaurants.’
Just Eat said: ‘Just Eat is only successful if our restaurant partners are successful. We believe our commission rates are aligned with the value we provide to our partners and we have a track record of helping restaurants prosper.
‘Since the start of the pandemic, we have given well over £11million worth of support to the many thousands of independent restaurants we work with through a number of support measures including commission rebates on delivery and removal of commission on collection orders. We continue to look at measures to support our restaurant partners through further periods of closures and restrictions.
‘We’re committed to adding value to our partners’ businesses on a daily basis, and many grow and flourish through working with Just Eat.’
Uber Eats said: ‘We are committed to supporting restaurants and the thousands of people who rely on them for work and as an essential service during this difficult time. At the beginning of the crisis, we put in place a range of initiatives to help restaurant partners, particularly small business owners, as they keep their kitchens firing to feed people across the country.’
MailOnline approached the Treasury for a comment, but none was forthcoming.
Source: Dailymail Travels
Christmas gifts for a taste of hotel heaven at home from Connaught martini glasses to dinner hampers
Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: Christmas gifts from hotels we’ve missed in 2020.
Country house hotels don’t come much prettier than celebrity favourite The Newt In Somerset. The honey-coloured stone walls of the Georgian mansion sit in the heart of a revived country estate and there are delicious, edible gifts galore in its online Christmas Pantry.
As well as Christmas puddings and cakes, there’s a new windfall chutney (made of fruit collected from beneath local trees) and Christmas gingerbread biscuits. Or give a hamper with a difference: the Christmas Breakfast with fruit juices, smoked trout, streaky bacon, country eggs, natural yogurts, a sourdough loaf and more. Biscuits from £3, hampers from £60 at thenewtinsomerset.com.
Celebrity haunt: The Newt in Somerset has an online Christmas pantry with delicious, edible gifts galore
The Christmas Breakfast hamper, available to buy from The Newt for £60, which includes fruit juices, smoked trout, streaky bacon, country eggs, natural yogurts and a sourdough loaf
Adare Manor’s Dreaming Of Adare Manor hamper, which contains fluffy bathrobes, hotel slippers and scented candles. It costs £225
The architecture is even more grand at Adare Manor in County Limerick, a five-star hotel and golf resort rebuilt 150 years ago as a calendar house (with 365 windows, 52 chimneys and 12 staircases). Christmas gifts for hotel-lovers include the Dreaming Of Adare Manor hamper containing fluffy bathrobes, hotel slippers and scented candles.
Or order an Until We Meet Again cream tea box with a blend of hotel tea, a jar of strawberry and champagne jam, a recipe for the hotel’s scones and a gift card for tea for two that’s valid for five years. From £175 at adaremanor.com.
Fashionistas flock to Paris and to Le Bristol hotel, flanked by the boutiques of the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore. Give the gift of glamour (and the joy of a good night’s sleep) with the hotel’s pillow mist. The heady mix of lavender, freesia, sandalwood and white musk fills suites that can cost up to £22,000 a night. Buy a bottle from £17 at oetkercollection.com.
On the left is the pillow mist used at Le Bristol Hotel in Paris, which is a heady mix of lavender, freesia, sandalwood and white musk, and available to buy for £17. Pictured right is the gin created by the 108 Bar at the Marylebone Hotel, which you can buy for £35
Connaught-designed cocktail shakers and champagne and martini glasses (£84 for a set of two, pictured) can be sent as gifts
London’s hotels are as famous for their bars as for their rooms. Cross cobbled streets in the heart of Marylebone to the 108 Bar at the Marylebone Hotel, where a traditional copper still (nicknamed Isabella by staff) creates the hotel’s signature gin. Treat someone to a bottle from £35 at 108brasserie.com.
A short stroll away in Mayfair, champagne and martinis take centre stage at perhaps the capital’s most star-studded hotel bar.
The Connaught Hotel once hosted Cary Grant and Princess Grace of Monaco. Today it’s said to be Jack Nicholson’s favourite place to stay in the capital. This year its bar was declared the best in the world and the bar staff mix award-winning concoctions while the hotel-designed cocktail shakers and champagne and martini glasses can be sent as gifts. From £84 at the-connaught.co.uk.
Pictured is one of the London Edition hotel’s crisp white bone china teapots that are used during afternoon tea. They are available to buy for £118
The chateaubriand takeaway dinner (£45 for two people) from the Hand Picked Hotels Group. Over a dozen of its hotels offer new ‘takeaway experiences’ from a Sunday roast to a full English breakfast, which make perfect gifts
Afternoon tea is always a big draw at hotels, and it can be particularly memorable when Studio 54 co-founder Ian Schrager is in charge. At his London Edition hotel on the edge of Soho, tea is served in crisp white bone china pots – proudly made in England. On the side is a design based on the plasterwork of the hotel lobby’s 18ft-high ceiling. Send one to a fan for £118 via shopedition.com.
If it’s fine dining or hotel breakfasts you’ve missed tucking into in 2020, then Hand Picked Hotels Group has found a brilliant way to get the ‘just cooked’ experience at home. More than a dozen of its hotels offer new ‘takeaway experiences’ that make perfect gifts.
Order chateaubriand, Sunday roast or a full English breakfast and everything you need to enjoy the perfect meal at home will be waiting to be collected from chefs at hotels such as elegant Audleys Wood in rural Hampshire, Norton House in Edinburgh and more (handpickedhotels.co.uk).
Source: Dailymail Travels
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