Lockdown food fatigue had most definitely set in by last weekend and we also had that rare joy of a dinner a deux that frankly neither of us were particularly thrilled about cooking.
The possibility of settling for cheese on toast was fast becoming a reality.
Yet, having lost our kitchen mojo we still fancied something really tasty, special and bit of a treat. A regular takeaway was just never going to cut it.
Thank goodness then for Wild Thyme in Chipping Norton and their superb Take Me Home restaurant quality menu for you to finish off and assemble at home – with napkins and romantic tea lights included, what’s not to love?
Sally and Nick Pullen launched Take Me Home in May to provide restaurant quality food at home.
Sally said: “We want to encourage our customers to get the fine bone china out, lay the table, have a date night and make it special.” Hence the provision of a set three course menu based on seasonality, which can either be picked up from the restaurant or delivered within five miles, with instructions on how to serve it.
We couldn’t wait! After a quick whizz round the Cotswolds we collected our date night dinner in promising looking packages placed in a large, brown, paper bag.
Table laid, flowers arranged, best outfits on and candles lit, we were ready to go. Inspector Morsel was ravenous having been dragged round potential new homes, and farm shops all day, so we cracked on.
All the boxes have clear instructions on the lid so you really can’t go wrong. Into a pre warmed oven went the focaccia for ten minutes, closely followed by our main courses – halloumi, courgette and spinach on a pea, broad bean and mint risotto for me and seabass fillet on a pea, broad bean and mint risotto for Inspector Morsel.
The starter was a crisp, crunchy and flavoursome Greek salad which was colourful and refreshing, served with Nick’s special focaccia. Salty and delicious it really did wake up our taste buds ready for the main event.
Now I am not a massive risotto fan, despite it being a predictable vegetarian option, and my own attempts at trying to make it have never been fabulous.
This however was delicious and went equally well with the perfectly grilled salty, squeaky halloumi and satisfyingly crunchy courgette, as it did with the seabass.
Piping hot, full of layers of flavour, this was buttery, garlicky, creamy and comforting. The fish dish was a big hit with Inspector Morsel, who still managed to leave a small space for pudding. Wild Thyme was onto a winner.
And what a winner the pudding was! A beautifully made strawberry cheesecake. Fragrant, full of flavour and just sweet enough, it was the perfect end to a really delicious date night dinner. We added a bottle of crisp Chenin Blanc which went down very well indeed.
At £30 a head, the evening was declared a success.
The future is obviously uncertain for Wild Thyme as social distancing will be tricky in their small restaurant – going from ten tables to five won’t work for them so they’re trying to rework the business to fit with the new future.
But for now, Take Me Home will continue through the summer, and while available only on Saturday at the moment, Friday is being added to the Take Me Home options from mid-July (book from June 24).
To book your Stay At Home experience go to firstname.lastname@example.org and wait for a confirmation. Spaces each week are limited and allocated on a first come first served basis.
Free delivery during the afternoon is available within a 5-mile radius of Wild Thyme or you can collect from the restaurant between 3-5pm.
More information at www.wildthymerestaurant.co.uk