Convenience does not have to mean compromise. With the lack of time to prepare good quality meals being a common issue due to our busy lifestyles, we divulge our favourite tried and tested websites that offer quality food delivery in London thus saving you time and catering to your culinary concerns.
There is a well-known saying that ‘time flies when you’re having fun’. I’m sure most of us have stated that phrase many a time, but I do think it’s time for that phrase to be updated. Is it not true that time flies when you have a deadline to reach or when you need to get somewhere urgently and you’re stuck in a car or on a bus in traffic or are waiting for a delayed tube or train? Does time not fly when it’s the weekend or when you’re on holiday relaxing, or when you’re spending limited quality time with a loved one before having to say goodbye to them for an extended period of time?
The fact is time flies, period!
I suppose that is why I often catch myself wishing there were more hours in a day. My week days are a scheduled routine, bar the odd evening out here and there where I might have dinner plans with friends or another evening engagement: I get up, go to the gym (well, my body goes, my mind is usually only semi-conscious at that unmentionable hour), I go to work where I immerse myself in the variety of tasks that each day presents, I walk home – a part of my day I quite enjoy as I can clear my head, stretch my legs after being dormant at my desk for most of the day, and get lost in my own thoughts for as long as it takes me to walk home. Arriving home is a continuation of my routine. I change into comfy clothes, cook my dinner, eat, catch up with my flat mate and then all too soon I head to bed. Copy and paste Monday into Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Now, I wanted to go back to the sentence where I mentioned that I ‘cook’ my dinner. When I say ‘cook’ what I really mean is that I throw something edible together in as little time and and with as little thought as possible. Perhaps a stir-fry one night, a salad the next, steamed veg with fish or chicken will appear on the menu once or twice… Admittedly, they’re healthy and enjoyable meals (perhaps lacking in variety) but I just don’t have the time or creative knowledge to prepare and cook a meal that requires, well, time and invariably more ingredients than my cupboard holds. This is far from being a ‘pity me’ monologue. I think many people can relate to what I’ve said. I’m quite chuffed that I still use an oven to cook a meal. I think the sale of microwave meals has increased dramatically over the past couple of years. Grabbing a takeaway on your way home is relatively quick and most definitely convenient but not necessarily very healthy or handy when you’re already at home and are faced with a cupboard and fridge lacking in inspiration.
There are other options of course. The incredible invention that is the internet, combined with our busy lifestyles and our desire to create more time for ourselves, has resulted in the increased popularity of companies that offer food delivery in London. You just have to type that phrase into a search engine and a seemingly infinite number of results will appear. You have the world’s cuisines at your fingertips and an endless number of establishments to choose from. Ranging from cheap to gourmet, sushi to vegan, pretty much anything is available to be delivered straight to your door. You just need to have a vague idea about what you want and make sure that the establishment delivers to the area you live in, oh and be sure to know your delivery address of course!
A few entrepreneurial individuals have drummed their fingertips together with relish and have seized the opportunity to pool together the culinary resources of the internet into one website, to make our lives even more convenient. You can now visit one website and choose whatever cuisine you desire. Let me divulge a few such sites that have changed my life for the better (apart from us, the gourmet diet delivery experts of course):
Deliverance – your favourite food, cooked fresh, delivered fast
Deliverance is a takeaway and food delivery company that is passionate about offering multinational, delicious takeaways. They have 5 state-of-the-art kitchens and 48 specialized chefs who prepare delicious dishes from around the world, using great ingredients that are predominantly sourced locally and from around the UK.
They offer a variety of menus including Sushi, Thai, American, Italian, Indian and World classics to name a few, that are freshly prepared when your order is placed. Your order is then handed to one of their 120 bikers to deliver directly to your door within a 45 minute window (though in my experience deliveries often take up to an hour). Delivery is free for orders over £15, and just £2.50 for smaller orders. www.deliverance.co.uk
Hungry House – your local restaurants virtually on your doorstep
From Indian to Italian, Bangladeshi to Vietnamese, hungryhouse puts your local takeaway food menus at your fingertips. You might remember founders Tony Charles and Shane Lake who appeared on Dragons’ Den a few years ago and secured £100,000 from entrepreneur James Caan, only for it all to fall through. That doesn’t seem to have worked out too badly for them in the long run.
The website is very simple to use: enter your postcode and at the click of your mouse a list of your local restaurants will appear before your eyes. You can sort the results according to ratings, cuisine, price, your budget, discounts offered etc. It really is an ingenious concept and removes the boredom of ordering the same takeaway from the flyers you save from the post. www.hungryhouse.co.uk
Forman & Field – fresh, seasonal, quality British foods delivered direct to your door
Forman & Field is a fine food mail order company specializing in fresh, traditional British produce from small, independent producers, and is located in East London. They offer the finest selection of natural, seasonal British produce and deliver products that are often hard to find, such as wild salmon, game and fresh foie gras, direct to your door. They consider themselves an online farmer’s market, where you can order the finest produce from the best small-scale British producers, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Shopping on their website is like visiting a gourmet butcher, deli, fishmonger and cheesemonger in one store. Add to that a patisserie, larder and cellar your gourmet culinary needs are all provided for. If you are planning a party, afternoon tea for two or even plan to treat your loved one with breakfast in bed you can order one of their many food hampers to cater for it. They definitely make catering for those special occasions so easy!
The afternoon tea pick:
Smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches, quiche, scones and clotted cream, Victoria sponge and iced tea. Very Alice in Wonderland! You can supply the looking glass.
Breakfast in bed hamper:
It’s the perfect gift for anyone who likes to start the day with a spread of epicurean delights. A pack of H. Forman & Son smoked salmon, Peter’s Yard Crisp breads, fabulous English sparkling wine, delicious jam and Paddy & Scott’s coffee, roasted and ground in deepest Suffolk.
Forman & Field’s food is prepared fresh to order, so it will arrive with you in the best possible condition but does mean that they may need some notice to prepare some products. Whilst time is taken to prepare their food, the goods are delivered quickly and efficiently by overnight courier. If you order by 11am they can ensure next day delivery. Some items may be unavailable but once you’ve placed your items in your basket and you check out you will be able to see the next available delivery slot for your goodies.
The East London Steak Company – tender, tasty and really just sinfully good steak
This website demands a visit if you’re a meat lover! The East London Steak Company is a small, family-run meat company with a passion for beef who believe that the flavour of their meat is incomparable and that ‘to taste it is to love it’. They choose the finest, naturally reared beef from Traditional and Rare breeds and dry age the meat on the bone for a minimum of 28 days – resulting in divine flavour and melting tenderness. Each steak is then cut by hand to your liking, before being wrapped in paper and carefully boxed. Delivery is quick so you can get cooking within 24 hours (if you live in Greater London), or on selected days if you live elsewhere in the UK. www.eastlondonsteak.co.uk
Housebites – re-inventing takeaway
This inspired new company allows you to order a takeaway from a highly rated chef who lives in your local area (greater London) and have it delivered straight to your door. The company was created by a team of passionate foodies with busy lives. They weren’t content with the current ‘order-in options’ in terms of quality and service so they decided to come up with a solution i.e. housebites.
There are currently 28 chefs located around Greater London, from a variety of backgrounds, who have been approved to feature on the website in order to cook meals for households in their local area. The process is simple: go to their website, enter your postcode to see what the chefs that are local to your area are cooking right now, choose the meal you want and any sides/desserts/beverages etc – then order. Decide when you want it delivered and follow the steps to pay. Delivery is free for orders over £15 otherwise it’s £2.50. The number of approved chefs and postcodes will undoubtedly increase as the website becomes more well-known. If your area is not catered for yet just enter your details in the ‘Coming Soon To Your Area’ section of the meals page and they’ll notify you as soon as your local chefs join the team.
The companies I’ve mentioned here are just a few examples of a number of websites that offer quality food delivery in London. There are many more companies available that offer similar services and if you have any of your own recommendations we’d love to hear about them – just leave your comments below. Now I know I am biased but as tasty as these options may be above, they just aren’t The Pure Package. We feel we really do offer convenience without compromise as the food is tailored to you…now not many take away houses can say that, hey!