Published: 10:26, 24 November 2020
| Updated: 10:29, 24 November 2020
During the pandemic, people are no doubt looking for ways of spicing up the humdrum daily life of being stuck at home.
Now, a new and unique experience is being offered by Michelin-starred restaurants - they've started delivering meals that anyone can finish at home.
One such supplier is the Galvin Restaurants chain, which was founded by Michelin-starred brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin.
Costing £45 per person - a steal compared to normal prices - a four-course meal is sent to your home with the menu changing weekly.
On offer are two menus, one vegetarian and one containing meat.
I was amazed at the box's size when it turned up, and opening it I could see why it was so large.
Wrapped in refrigerating packaging, you open it to find a number of trays with pre-prepared ingredients and pots of sauces.
A professionally made menu tells you what's in store for your dinner, along with instructions on how to finish off the dishes.
Especially handy are the online videos led by Jeff Galvin, who shows you not only how to warm up the offering but also how they present it in their London restaurants.
Each box comes with two large slices of focaccia and Nocellara olives, with the bread packing flavourful herbs and the olives proving sweet and not too rich.
For starters, we were given a lobster and cod brandade with a lobster bisque and rouille.
I had to google what a brandade is, and found out it can take up to 25 hours to prepare the required salt cod, which in this case was then mashed with mashed potato, herbs, lemon and lobster.
Then formed into a ball, I was really excited to try the deep fried treat. The strong seafood taste was fantastic, especially paired with the bisque.
The lemon in paricular shone through and complimented the complex flavours well.
Having already been deep-fried, preparing it at home thankfully didn't leave the whole house smelling like a fishmongers and it was nice to know i'd been spared 24 hours of preparation time.
Also I was grateful for the video's tips on presentation - I was pretty proud with how they turned out!
Unfortunately when it came to the main course, I was somewhat disappointed.
the menu touted a Highland beef sirloin, pommes Anna, a gratin of ceps and bone marrow alongside hermitage sauce.
Something must have gone wrong in the packing stage, as only the sirloin, sauce and accompanying chard arrived - a kick in the teeth if you've paid £45 per person for it in my opinion.
Still, the instructions for the chard resulted in a great flavour, and the veritable hunk of beef was impressive to look at.
I'm sure if it had been prepared in a restaurant on the day it was bought, it would have been a delight.
Unfortunately our servings had thick lines of sinew throughout and despite following the instructions to a 't', the meat was gristly and quite tough.
By the time I'd worked my way through the first half of my portion, it was already cold.
After the main came undoubtedly the star of the show - apple tarte tatin with Normandy crème fraiche.
Wow, it's almost worth the price just for a slice of this tarte.
Sweet, but not too much so, with the caramelisation adding just the right amount of stickiness.
Served warm-going-on-hot, it went brilliantly with the pot of caramel and cold crème fraiche.
I took the opportunity to try some of the cream by itself, which was subjectively a mistake, but it did pair fantastically with the delicious dessert.
Overall, I had a lot of fun making the dishes and it's certainly a unique experience.
I've never been to a Michelin-starred restaurant, and did not expect one to be coming to me during a national lockdown.
If you want to spice up the humdrum pandemic life, or enjoy attending top end restaurants on occasion then it's certainly for you.
You can make a proper night of it by lighting some candles, sticking on some classical music and cracking a bottle of wine.
Also, receiving a box of food without forewarning of what's inside it is a little bit like Christmas.
While I'm not used to paying such a high price for food, compared to what you'd pay in the restaurant itself it's a steal.
So if you want to try something new this lockdown, it's definitely worth a go.
For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3kM7unR