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Eight of the best dine at home

Can't think of another thing to cook during lockdown part two? Roger that. Here's my top picks for restaurant food at home - no food shop required.

FINE DINING BABY: BENEDICTS

Worked your way through the entire ready meal range at your local Waitrose? Bored to death of cooking and can’t think what to make anymore? I hear you – so let’s get the big guns to do it for you. Benedicts takes the idea to another level with their oven-ready meals, just order online anytime and collect on the day between three and five pm. There are three menus to choose from, (pescetarian, meat and veggie) examples include: alpine cheese soup with pickled cucumber and chive oil / Fen Farm sirloin with black garlic mayo and fermented gem / marsmallow and white chocolate cheescake. The brilliant and consistently enthusiastic Richard Bainbridge has done some helpful tutorials on facebook to take you through prep and presentation, too. There is also a popular BBQ and doughnuts option on the website, with Benedicts own provision brand BBQ flavours to choose from.

9 St Benedicts Street, Norwich, NR2 4PE tel 01603 92 60 80

ROAST WITH THE MOST: SHAMBLES CAFE

Shambles is a real gem of a place – tucked away in North Walsham, this little bistro cafe is making it’s mark as a destination spot for those in search of decent grub and well made cocktails. We are headed over here as soon as lockdown ends! In the meantime, their Sunday dine at home roasts look impressive. Choose from rib of beef, guinea fowl, nut roast and a special, all served with crispy roast potatoes, roasted veg, cauliflower cheese (a Muddy must have) and home-made gravy, plus there’s salmon on croute for a fish option. Puds are bold belly fillers perfect for that Sunday slob; sticky toffee pudding, cheesecake, chocolate brownie and treacle tart. Mmmmm. Get your orders in by 5pm the day before.

6 Market Street, North Walsham, NR28 9BZ  tel.01692 405282

FANCY FRIDAY: ANDY PARLE FRIDAY NIGHT SUPPER CLUB

Andy’s Middle Eastern Supper Club: chicken marinated with fragrant spices, lemon and garlic

By the time I get to Friday I am ready to crack open the Prosecco and scoff some delicious food, but I can never be bothered trawling through cook books after endless hours at my desk. But the end of week need not begin with an unemphatic sigh into the fridge. Make Friday fancy, after all WFH stress is real! Private chef extraordinaire Andy Parle has come up with his own dine at home experience, the Friday Night Supper Club. In non-pandemic times Andy and his wife Clare are in huge demand, running the catering for the finest weddings and events across the county, so I advise sampling his menu while you can, as he’ll be booked up months ahead again in no time. This week’s menu example includes: Saffron, garlic and dill cheese, marinated courgette, confit of broad beans, cherry tomatoes and fennel, rocket, paprika and olive bread croutes / Norfolk venison braised in red wine with mushrooms, carrots and a garlic and parsley mash / quince, fig and almond tart.

Order and book your collection by Wednesday evenings from Cawston, NR10 01603871413/ andy@andyparle.co.uk

ROMANCE AT HOME: SOCIUS

Lockdown got you falling even more head over heels with your beloved, or perhaps (and let’s face it, more likely) you’ve done some frankly appalling DIY and need to make it up to them? Here’s your answer if you’re over near Burnham Market. Socius@Home offers weekend kits where you can create your own restaurant style experience to impress your other half – bring your A game and add a gorgeous hand-tied bouquet for an extra £35. Menu examples include: crispy pickled mushrooms, soy, aioli / lamb belly, garlic butter mash, salsa verde / Socius chocolate cup, chocolate ganache, salted caramel, chocolate crumble. Oh and let’s not forget the apple, elderflower & mint martini.

To order, you can either email or call Socius on 01328 738307

YOU’RE MY WORLD XO AT THE ARTICHOKE

XO @ The Artichoke has been the buzz amongst foodies since they opened in 2019 and these guys aren’t letting their customers down during lockdown. The hot hatch provides take home world food with a New Orleans vibe – there’s everything from Korean fried chicken, Char Sui pork shoulder doughnuts with crackling, pickles and chilli jam, plus BBQ brisket mac cheese, and deep fried Oreos with salt caramel sauce and chantilly cream – this is total heaven to my kids. Perfect for a family scoff down in front of the telly. The Artichoke has 20 lines of draught beer and the best selection of craft beer and cider in cans and bottles in Norwich.

Get ordering on 07599192618 and collect from 5.30 Sat/Sun from The Artichoke, 1 Magdalen Rd, Norwich NR3 4LW

KEEP IT ON ICE THE DIAL HOUSE

Photo credit ©Simon Finlay Photography.

Can’t make up your mind about anything? Join the club. The Dial House solves the issue of thinking about what to cook with their clever frozen range of mains and puds, all handcrafted on site by their professional chefs, using quality local ingredients. Just order from the website – add a bottle of decent wine to cover all bases. Menu choices include: Swannington beef chuck Stroganoff with smoked paprika, mushroom, gherkin and sour cream / Dial House fish pie / Farmyard chocolate pot / sticky date pudding with earl grey scented butterscotch sauce.

The Dial House, Market Place, Reepham NR10 4JJ tel 01603 879900

MAKE LIKE A PRO: THE INGHAM SWAN

Lockdown got you fancying yourself as a pro-kitchen chef? Hone those culinary skills with The Ingham Swan’s Dine at Home menu – every dish is carefully curated and chosen with the most seasonal and flavoursome ingredients. Each price tiered menu and dish has a guide on preperation so you can truly get the knowledge on how to make a fine dining dinner – next stop Masterchef. Menu examples include: artisan bread rolls, chive and lemon hummus, nocellara olives and smoked house nuts / chorizo roast cod fillet, basil Israeli couscous, roasted tacons cauliflower, cauliflower cream / blackberry pannacotta, honeycomb, burnt white chocolate mousse.

Available from Thursday to Saturday for collection. 48 hours notice required. tel 01692 581099

MY ITALIAN KITCHEN: BENOLI DINE AT HOME

Benoli is one of those places that gets it right – the food is outstanding; simple, beautifully cooked authentic Italian food. If you’ve not had a chance to visit before things changed try their Benoli at home menu and I’d be surprised if you’re disappointed. Generous, robust flavours that make you feel the sun is shining, even if it isn’t. Menu examples include: spiced pumpkin soup, gorgonzola & balsamic vinegar / casarecce puttanesca & herb pangratatto / honey buttermilk panna cotta, walnut torta & fig. Each menu comes with instructions on how to cook and prepare each dish.

Order by midnight on Tuesday to collect Friday / Saturday from Benoli 5 Orford St, Norwich NR1 3LE tel 01603 633056

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