Bring a little luxury to lockdown: Hampers, Michelin-starred takeaways, and wine tasting via videoconference

There are all manner of creative ways companies across Britain are helping us cope with lockdown by allowing a few little treats to help keep us going.

Whether your poison is a sweet treat, fine wine or gin, don’t forget to raise your glass a key workers when you enjoy what follows.

The swishest takeaway of all time

Remember those M&S adverts? ‘This is not just [insert name of generic foodstuff]. This is Marks & Spencers [generic foodstuff] made with [insert list of exotic-sounding ingredients].

Clever stuff, but isolation means a chance to up the ante on dining at home thanks to Fischer’s of Baslow Hall — which we visited a couple of years ago, and loved. They’re making their Michelin-star fine dining available for home delivery, and also giving their suppliers a way to sell their goods.


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Just in case you can’t think of an excuse to pour a gin…

Slingsby gin is running a ‘gin quiz’ on Instagram and Facebook at 6pm this very evening at the time of writing — we’re not sure what the questions will be, but there are prizes… and, well, it’s gin, on Friday. What’s not to like?

The company has been running regular ‘sofa sessions’ so even if you miss this one, another will surely be along soon.

Marmalade gift set flat lay slingsby

Meanwhile, Manchester Gin and Tobermory Gin are both — separately — running gin tasting sessions live via their Facebook and Instagram pages. The idea is that you buy a bottle and drink along — you can also submit questions to distillers.

Both are offering discounts to sweeten the deal: Tobermory is giving 10% off, and donating a further 10% to The BEN hospital charity. Manchester Gin, meanwhile, are offering 20% off for key workers, and have a tasting set of four gin miniatures, glasses, tonic and tasting notes.
Tobermory Gin on Facebook
Manchester Gin on Facebook

Make someone’s day (your own, or someone else’s) with a hamper

Now this really is a nice idea: hamper specialists Cartwright & Butler are selling a range of lovely little treat boxes that, for the cost of a bunch of flowers, lets you send a selection of goodies to brighten the day of a friend or loved-one. You can order a ‘Thinking of You’ selection for just £27 — then again, you could always push the boat out with something fancier.

Instagram live wine tastings

A wine delivery company called (who specialise in organic and sustainable wine and so on) is running live tastings on its Instagram page — the idea is that you order a trio of wines for £45, and can then follow along.

English wine from home

Having spent the last decade helping visitors to explore the vineyards of England and Wales, Wine Cellar Door has branched out by opening an online wine shop. They’re not taking orders and delivering themselves, but instead pointing customers direct to vineyard websites — meaning that it’s the producers (such as Leonardslee) who take 100% of the proceeds.