Box fresh! Avoid the trolley dash and shop local
Vowed never to go back to piling your supermarket trolley sky high? Here's our pick of the best produce boxes and local businesses who deliver in Berkshire.
In the mood to say goodbye to weekly supermarket sweep? No need to go wild in the aisles, we’ve rounded up a list of brilliant businesses who will deliver their wares direct to your door. Fresh as daisy and no heavy lifting.
Want to ensure your five-a-day is super fresh? Wholesaler CA Belcher & Son in Reading has been supplying Michelin star restaurants and the county’s finest gastropubs for decades. Now we can muscle in and buy their top notch produce, perhaps try something new to up our cooking game and have it all delivered to our door. Hallelujah! No heavy lifting. They also offer lucky dip boxes of seasonal fruit and veg, dairy boxes, meat boxes and store cupboard essentials too. Alternatively, you can buy exactly what you want, add to basket and they’ll whizz it your doorstep within 10 miles of their Lower Earley HQ. Collection is available too. Having sampled the goods, the quality is superb – it also lasts longer and means there’s less food waste.
Most of the meat sold at Wellington Farm Shop in Hook has either been reared on the estate or carefully selected from local producers. But quality and sustainability are paramount. Shop online for collection. There’s plenty of choice from essential boxes including bacon, sausages, chicken, beef mince and burgers, a roast trimmings box, mixed grill, breakfast boxes or pick and mix what you fancy. If you can’t be bothered to get out of your PJs, head over to Hook ‘N’ Block in Reading. In normal circumstances they’re usually supplying hotels, pubs and restaurants, but their online biz has gone bonkers during the pandemic. Offering nationwide delivery, you can can choose BBQ, roast, lean meat and family boxes or pick and mix from the huuuuge selection of produce available. You’ll even save money.
In need of a top up? Judging by the recycling bins, we’ve all been merrily getting through lockdown one bottle of wine at a time. But let’s be honest, restocking the wine fridge requires the muscles of a body builder. Let someone else take the strain. Stanlake Park Wine Estate is Berkshire’s biggest vineyard, so enjoy low-mileage wine with free local delivery on orders over £79. Alternatively, order a curated case of great wines as a one-off or on a monthly subscription (10% discount) from Grape & Nectar. You can choose from mixed, white, red or vegan selections and they will deliver nationwide.
Cheese is for life, not just for Christmas. It’s the food of champions. If you love whipping our a cheese board when you can’t be figged to cook, then you need to bookmark Cheese Etc in Pangbourne. This award-winning shop has a superb selection of English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch and Italian cheeses. Add crackers and chutney to your basket and they’ll deliver for free within about 10 miles of the shop or for a small P&P charge it can be shipped anywhere in the UK. The Grumpy Goat in Reading also sell cheese boxes (some with craft beers for local delivery and collection.
TEA & COFFEE
No need to deprive yourself of a quality caffeine hit. Roast Lab is committed to creating blends on demand for each customer so they get to enjoy the freshest brew every day. Using a healthier ‘hot-air’ method, the result is a smoother flavour and personalised service. If you love coffee, join the nerds in the lab and enjoy a quality cuppa every day. More of a tea drinker? Check out Berkshire-based Happy Larder who sell a selection of ethically-picked loose-leaf teas and herbal infusions and deliver nationwide.
As someone who is seriously lacking in baking skills, if I want a sweet treat of cakey loveliness, I have to order in. If you’re desperately seeking brownies, flapjacks, cookies or a selection of cakes that will taste better than your lockdown banana bread, then check out Robyn’s Nest Cafe in Warfield. Robyn posts boxes nationwide and offers collection too. We’re also loving Blackberry Cottage Bakery‘s selection of pretty cakes with secret veg ingredients. Head to Maplewood Bakery for delicious postal brownies or make it monthly even and sign up a mystery treat box from Colline’s Kitchen.
For store cupboard essentials like grains, seeds, cereals or nuts, detergents and toiletries, head over to Zero Joe’s. A zero waste shop on St Leonard’s Road, they’ll deliver for free (order over £20) within a two-mile radius or your can click and collect. If you’re not luck enough to live in Windsor, check out Thatcham Refillables, Garlands Organics in Pangbourne, Lonely Lentil in Newbury, This Little B, and The Pantry Refill Company.