The transition back to Level 5 has been un-easy, anxiety-inducing, and uncertain. Some of us are hesitant to dip our toes back into the pool that was our former social life, while others are desperate to get back into town. Admittedly, I was excited at the thought of seeing more than one person, two metres apart, but then I started to think about the risk factors associated with going into the city centre – public transport is still limited, taxis are expensive and with the weather being especially chilly, it can be hard to hype yourself up to make the trip in. Cooking for your significant other or friends at home can be an evening to remember, but not all of us are blessed with cooking skills. I turned my attention to the new market that has emerged since the start of the pandemic – food boxes from Dublin’s favourite restaurants and companies that ensure that you can have a succulent and safe night in.
For the person who can’t decide: The Port House (at Home)
The Port House is one of Dublin’s most well known tapas restaurants with several branches across the county and one in London. You can order a custom tapas box (minimum price of €50) or order a box from their set menu (includes a bottle of wine, candle and playlist) for €60. With plenty of vegetarian options, the boxes cater to every taste and preference. And the sealable packaging and cooking instructions mean you can safely store your leftovers for a gorgeous lunch the day after. If you want a dinner that’s fully worth it’s price, choose the Port House.
For the person missing a student staple: Boojum
Ah Boojum. How we miss you. Although Boojum is open for takeaway, not all of us are close enough to get it delivered straight to our door. Thus, Boojum has created their ‘Mexican Fajita Meal Kits’, only €18.99 each. Not only are they affordable, but they also have a vegan version. Spice up your takeaway night or simply indulge in a student staple.
For the person who doesn’t want to order takeaway (again): UNO Pizza
Now that we’re back in Level 5, UNO Pizza in Rathmines is back open for delivery and collection. These kits range from a standard two pizza kit (€18) to ‘Pizza + Prosecco’ or ‘Pizza + Moretti’ for a full date night experience. With flexible delivery times and simple instructions, these kits are a great introduction to pizza making as well as a way to pretend you’re a better cook than you are!
For the person who wants to pretend they’re very grown up: Salumi Grazing
Although Salumi Grazing is not a restaurant, they do offer takeaway coffee as well as a range of grazing boxes – the epitome of attitudes in the Big Smoke. Channel your inner James Kavanagh, take out some tiny plates and indulge in their aesthetically pleasing charcuterie boards. If you’re in student accommodation, I would recommend these boxes, as they’re easy to share and certainly Instagrammable.
For the person with notions: Cheese & Chutney.ie
Cheese & Chutney is an Irish company that does exactly what it says on the tin. What is most handy about their boxes is that they can make some fabulous gifts for older members of your family or for the person in your life that adores putting flowers near their food. They also have vegan options and a range of gift cards available for the Christmas season. Although they are more on the expensive side, it cannot be denied that their products certainly are luxurious.
For double the sweet treats: Cocktail Care Packages (and Cakes)
With over 10 years in the industry, the owners of Cocktail Care Packages make their drinks fresh to order with an option to order cupcakes, brownies, and other sweet treats to complete your gift or to simply satisfy your sweet tooth. I would highly recommend a quiet night in with their ‘one of everything box’ (€35).
For the perfect present: RHK Cocktails
RHK Cocktails are the result of the RHK bar group expanding their services due to Covid-19. Their impossibly long list of gift boxes available, can cost as little as €15. With non-alcoholic versions available and presents suited to everyone under the sun, RHK cocktails can be a wonderful gift to you and anyone special in your life.