best valentine’s finish-at-home kits
Fish out your best plates and cutlery, change out of your loungewear (aka those hoodie and sweats lockdown staples), grab the bubbly and make some space on the table for Valentine’s Day chez you. Just because you can’t go to a fancy restaurant doesn’t mean that a fancy restaurant can’t come to you. You get to let someone else do the work – or most of it, at least – if you order one of these meal kits*. (Psst, if you hide the boxes, you might even get away with pretending that you made it all yourself. Not that we’re recommending that, of course *winks*.)
Brambles are known for championing the best Sussex produce in their dishes and this Valentine’s menu from Michael Notman-Watt and team is no exception. Rather than a set menu, though, you can pick and choose what you fancy. Appetisers include moules marinieres, sourdough focaccia, house pickles and smoked chalk stream trout paté. For the main event, you can opt for a Holtyle venison Wellington or a Laines organic crown prince squash wellie. Both are served with truffle dauphinoise potatoes, glazed seasonal veg, roast carrots and parsnips and lashings of gravy. Yum. Puddings are a suitably indulgent sticky toffee pudding and chocolate fondant, both served with ice-cream. They’ll also be throwing in a couple of their boozy chocolate truffles (trust us, these are insanely good) – the perfect end to a perfect dinner! And they’ve teamed up with Albourne Estate winery so are offering wine and cocktails, too. Happily, Brightoners can get stuck into Michael’s delicious food, too, as you can now pick up from The Cloak Room in Brighton. We’re also loving the fact that they promise the food can be on the table within 30 minutes with next to no effort. Yes!
Order by 8pm, Friday 12th February
Pick up Saturday 13th February at The Cloak Room in Brighton or The New Inn in Hurstpierpoint
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to order
When it comes to seeking out the best Japanese and Sushi in Brighton, Moshimo is a trusted favourite. This year, they’re serving up some massive sharing platters for Valentine’s (vegan and fish are available). There’s obviously not much finishing-at-home involved here, obvs – um, get the plates? – but it was too good not to include. You’ll also get rich chocolate pots for dessert, a bottle of plum wine, sake or Prosecco and rose petals and Love Hearts to decorate the table with. If you collect, you’ll get 10% off, but you’ll only be able to get the booze with delivery due to Covid restrictions. To make up for that, though, they’ll be bumping up the collection platter with lots of extras!
£65 for 2; call 01273 719195 to preorder for collection – available between 10th and 14th February (or order via Deliveroo for delivery)
Oh, how we miss having lazy breakfasts, lunch and cake stops (so many cake stops) at Kemptown’s beautiful Marmalade. Happily, we’ve still the Marmalade Store opposite for coffee, mouthwatering baked goods, filled baguettes and groceries and now the team have brought out a tasty finish-at-home menu for Valentine’s with veggie options. Choose from smoked mackerel pate walnut and lentil pate – both served with sourdough baguette – to start. Main course options are coq au vin with mash and greens or roast vegetable lasagne served with a herby green salad. A chocolate pot is a suitable tasty end to a
£25 per person; order by 10am on Friday, 12th February for collection from the shop on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th. Email email@example.com to order
Just launched, the Coal Shed’s two- or three-course Valentine’s menu is a meat and fish lover’s dream. If you opt for three courses, you’ll start your indulgent dinner with salmon ceviche (as an add-on), followed by a steak box of fillet, sirloin, rib-eye or BBQ-smoked short rib served with all the trimmings – crispy baby potatoes, thyme-roasted celeriac, the works. Feeling extra extra? You can also pop some sides of truffle mac and cheese or half a south coast lobster in your basket. Finishing it all off with a fanfare is a salted caramel brownie with Frangelico cream and truffles. *Wears the baggy trousers that day*
From £50 for 2; order by 6pm, Friday 12th February for delivery on Saturday
We think they’ve sold out every week since they’ve launched their at-home boxes, but they’re promising to do as many of their Valentine’s ones as get ordered! The whopping eight-course menu is written in their typically sparse fashion, which only makes us want to know more. And we’d bet our last Valentine’s box on the dishes being a taste – and visual – sensation. After all, they source their ingredients super-carefully. So what do you get? Inside your box, you’ll find negronis; brioche, chicken butter and marmalade; lamb chops with green sauce; Exmoor caviar; crab cocktail; John Dory and bouillabaisse; egg yolk ravioli with smoked bacon dashi; Wagyu and pomme aligot; floating islands; and chocolates. Boom. As an extra bonus, they also include a playlist with each box – for Valentine’s you can expect Mr White’s sexy tones. Salivating, us?
£135 for 2 if you collect, £140 for delivery in Brighton and Hove on 10th February; order by 6th February
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to order
Matt Gillan launched Parlour, an at-home-box offshoot of his Heritage restaurant a few weeks ago and it’s been going down a storm. Needless to say, the Valentine’s box is a proper feast (it’s one for the omnivores only, though). There’s their home-made bread with cultured butter, chicken dumpling with chicken wing, rhubarb compote and soy, followed by sea bream, Jerusalem artichoke, caviar and miso sauce. Next up is the herb-crusted venison loin with crispy haunch, mushroom purée, king oyster, pickled beetroot and sour cherry and lemon sauce. Finish up this feast to end all feasts with a caramel chocolate deluxe with malt ice-cream and pistachio macaron and clotted cream fudge petit-fours. Swoon. If you prefer a more savoury end to a meal, you can add on a cheese selection for another tenner. Want to add on some cocktails or just prefer a liquid dinner (we’re saying nothing)? Then you can choose one of their cocktails or their special Valentine’s box of six drinks. It even features a green juice for your inevitable hangover the next day. We’ll be needing that one.
Pre-order by 6pm on 7th February
From £70 per person; cocktail caddy from £40
For collection from Heritage in Haywards Heath between 3-5pm on Friday 12th February or nationwide delivery
Pale Green Dot
You’re probably familiar with their fantastic weekly fresh veg boxes, but for Valentine’s they’ve got a whole other type of box up their sleeves. Yep, they’ve collaborated with fine-dining meal-kit masters Finish & Feast to produce a true lipsmacker of a finish-at-home restaurant kit. And you just know the produce is going to be top-notch. There’s a meat and a veggie box, but both get the tastebuds tingling with cauliflower cheese soufflé and confit shallot dressing, finishing the meal off with a chocolate torte with passion fruit curd, hazelnut praline and salted caramel. The main is either a beef or a veggie wellington served with potato, onion and thyme terrine, green beans with pine nut dressing and carrot purée and beef or mushroom jus. Fancy a wine pairing? You can add on a bottle of 2018 organic Monastrell for an extra £19. Santé!
From £80 for 2; order by 7th February
The exciting Mediterranean five-course feasts – veggie, vegan and meat/fish – created by the Kemptown culinary couple behind Arissy Kitchen are bringing all the flavours to the table. The vegan menu features Za’aatar flatbreads with romesco, roast chicory with beetroot and blood orange, and cauliflower steak with braised chickpeas and dukkah, followed by strawberry set cream with honeycomb. Veggies will get Jerusalem artichoke gnocchi with Taleggio and truffle for the main course while the meaty main is sherry-braised pig cheek with celeriac and apple. All the menus feature their tasty lime and sea salt chocolate truffles, while the veggie and meat menus have an almond tart with caramelised white chocolate and poached rhubarb instead of the strawberry cream for pud. As an extra treat, you can get 10% off Carbo Wines’ biodynamic vegan bottles when you buy any Arissy Kitchen Valentine’s box.
£35 per person; delivering 2-6pm, Thursday 11th – Sunday 14th February; free delivery; order by evening of 11th February
Email email@example.com to order
If you’re over on the Worthing side (*don’t type dark, don’t type dark*), then the five-course Valentine’s dinner box (meat or veggie) from Kenny Tutt’s restaurant is a winner. Kick things off with green Perello olives and freshly baked bread before you move on to whipped goat’s cheese, blossom honey and toasted sesame seed blinis. Up next, you have a choice of a gin-cured Loch Fyne salmon tartare or the equally tempting smoked beetroot tartare with Burford brown yolk. Both are served with compressed cucumber, dill mayonnaise and preserved lemon and soda bread crumb. Course number four is a 35-day dry-aged Hereford ribeye or a heritage cherry tomato and thyme tarte tatin. Each comes with garlic and thyme-roasted new potatoes, charred Hispi cabbage and Catalonian romesco. Finally, there’s a dark chocolate layer cake with coffee and mascarpone mousse for that final touch of decadence. They’ve teamed up with Wiston Estate, too, so each extra-special box includes a bottle of the West Sussex winery’s delicious Estate Cuvée 2015 bubbly. Sadly for the Brighton and Hove-based of us, though, they only deliver to the postcodes below.
From £130 for 2; order online or call 01903 952460
Delivery to BN43, BN11, BN12, BN13, BN14, BN15, BN16, BN17, BN18
A newer addition to the Brighton and Hove food scene, as the name suggests, the Lockdown Kitchen are serving up a hearty menu for the big day, with options for meat-eaters and veggies alike. We’ve had their insanely good roasts, so we’re excited for this one. Choose from a tomato and basil soup with crusty bread or chicken liver paté with brioche to start, followed by a main of rib of beef served pink with dauphinoise potatoes, roasted tenderstem broccoli, chanteray carrots and a red wine jus; garlic cream cider chicken with sautéed potatoes, French green beans and chantenay carrots; or roasted aubergine, pepper and ricotta lasagne with a green salad and homemade garlic bread. Make sure you leave room for pud, though – you can’t overlook the likes of sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce, red velvet cheesecake brownie or Valentine’s cookie boxes. You can also add on one of their cocktail jars!
Available on 13th and 14th February
DM to order (limited availability)
Argentine steak supremos Baqueano have conjured up an indulgent tasting menu for a very special dinner. They’ve knocked it out of the park with this one, kicking off with foie gras bonbons with a beetroot and white chocolate coating; king prawn empanada; humita – a traditional Argentine corn pudding – and chorizo croquettes with a caramelised roasted garlic mousse. For the main dish, you can choose from a whopping fillet steak or an even heftier ribeye, served with a selection of sauces and sweet potato pavé; creamy wild mushrooms with Périgord black truffle shavings; fresh baby gem salad with honey and mustard dressing; pickled shallot rings and sundried tomatoes. Creamy chocolate mousse layered with chocolate brownie and dulce de leche; mixed berry compote, jelly and light mixed berry mousse on a Madagascan vanilla sponge base; and yuzu and lemon pie with condensed milk and meringue finish off the decadent feast.
£140 for 2 people; available from Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th February
Pre-order only; free delivery or collection
Ok, they’re not Sussex-based, but we can’t resist a warming fondue in the colder months. And if you like your V Day celebrations on the cheesy side, you can’t get much better than this kit created – and regularly refined – by Hugo, the owner of London-based wine and cheese shop Provisions. You’ll get a bag of their house fondue mix, 10cl of white wine, garlic, and bread cubes, plus you can add on a bottle of Altesse de Montagnieu. And, GRATE (ahem) news! You don’t need any special kit, any saucepans will do. Oh, and a few candles. Easy cheesy.
From £29 for 2; delivers nationwide
Small plates specialists Med have brought out the big guns for their Mediterranean Valentine’s menus, with one for meat-lovers and another for veggies. There’s sourdough focaccia with sundried tomato butter, nocellara olives, a charcuterie board and beetroot borani to get things off to a flying start. Taking centre stage is a roasted duck breast and duck leg pastilla, served with spiced pumpkin tagine, broccoli and heritage carrot and blood orange salad. Finish things off with that literal pick-me-up – tiramisu – and whisky and orange truffles. The vegetarian menu swaps artichoke antipasti for the charcuterie and features a main event of ricotta and scamorza tortellini with delicia pumpkin and sage, served with mushroom and truffle gratin, roasted broccoli, and buffalo mozarrella. Each box also includes a bottle of Boccharis cava, making it a rather affordable feast.
£50 per person, free delivery around Brighton
DM them on Instagram to order or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Order by midnight on 11th February
*Photos weren’t available of all the Valentine’s meal kits, so some of the pictures feature different dishes made by the restaurants