What are your pandemic silver linings? For me, one of the things that has made the last 12 months bearable has been the opportunity to enjoy top class food at home in my PJs (though I am longing to get my glad rags on and get back out to my favourite restaurants). When the Capital’s restaurateurs were forced to close their doors, they quickly adapted to offer delivery services across the city and beyond. And, excitingly, vice versa, too, with chefs from afar offering delivery to London addresses.
As a fan of Simon Rogan’s restaurant Aulis London, a trip to L’Enclume and Rogan & Co in the Lake District has been on the bucket list for a while. Travel plans are obviously on hold, but a nationwide delivery service launched last year has offered the opportunity to sample what’s usually on offer there, and, with a special occasion to celebrate, I jump at the chance.
Weekly-changing menus have been designed to showcase seasonal twists on signature dishes. Available for nationwide delivery from Friday to Sunday, each menu uses produce from Simon’s very own farm, located in the Cartmel Valley, as well as his favourite regional suppliers.
Our beautifully packaged food is delivered by courier. The simple instructions explain what everything is, and what to do with it. There’s even a QR code linking directly to step-by-step videos explaining how to cook and plate the food. With preparation time for each course of less than 10 minutes, it looks deliciously simple.
And it is. We start with warm sourdough bread and tarn butter (so good that I lick the ramekin clean – a clear advantage of being at home). Next up, crushed salt-baked celeriac, dulse, trout roe and buttermilk sauce, which is divine and, with on-line tutelage from one of Simon’s team, looks the part, too. The belly pork takes moments to finish off and is a melt in the mouth treat, perfectly complemented by a cider and mustard sauce, vegetable hot pot and king oyster mushrooms. It’s a little while before we have room for the apple and chestnut Eton mess, but there lies the beauty of the eat at home feast – we retire to watch our latest box set in front of the open fire while we digest our mains, before finishing it off with a nightcap later. It is the perfect night in.