For the first time ever, I was proud to serve the perfect slow roast shoulder of lamb with gravy! Accompanied by cauliflower cheese, garlic and thyme roast potatoes, honey glazed carrots, orange and cinnamon red cabbage, savoy cabbage and broccoli, rainbow slaw and a salsa verde, it was an absolute triumph.

I felt very smug as my dining companions tucked in and congratulated me on such a delicious meal, declaring: ‘This is the best roast we have had for a long time – let’s book one for every weekend.’

The HomeFeastHome roasts were a winner

The vegetarian option was equally delicious as was the accompanying pudding – an apple, rhubarb and oat crumble with vanilla custard.

Yes you’ve guessed it, I was trying out one of the new meal box offerings from HomeFeastHome delivered to my house, which has transformed the way I look at takeaways for ever.

And thanks to two new Oxfordshire food entrepreneurs, this is now certainly the case.

Chef Corin Earland and his wife Liff, who founded HomeFeastHome last year in Upper Heyford, are convinced that their new variation on a takeaway is here to stay.

Corin was head chef at The Fishes in Hinksey for five years and worked for local company Peach Pubs for 17 years in total, overseeing all 20 pubs and working as Chef Director.

Corin and Liff Earland

“Food is all about the layers for us, different tastes, textures and colours and that’s what we aim to create for our cook at home range,” he says. “We use high welfare, free range ingredients and have worked out all the timings for reheating the food to perfection so there is no guess work. We want to give people confidence to try something new, knowing that the food will be delicious.”

The dishes are all cooked, chilled and delivered oven-ready to your door in their cardboard packaging.

Henry Taylor and Scott Needham of Ravenous Beasts in Thame have started a similar enterprise.

“We want to give people confidence to try something new, knowing that the food will be delicious”

The brainchild of Henry Taylor, who previously cooked at The Connaught and business partner Scott Needham, Ravenous Beasts was launched in December 2020 and took off almost immediately.

Henry Taylor and Scott Needham of Ravenous Beasts

Henry explains: “We set up Ravenous Beasts to create dishes that are ready to cook, look beautiful and taste delicious. Our food is designed to be taken out of the packaging and put straight in the oven with minimal work – that’s really important to us.”

Rave reviews and repeat orders mean that both businesses are booming. And having tried both we can see why.

The luxurious supper box from Ravenous Beasts

We sampled Ravenous Beasts’ four course dinner menu of poached salmon and dill rillette, white onion velouté with Emmental cheese and caramelised onion crouton, roast chicken with a Sauternes reduction served with gratin dauphinoise and green beans in a herb dressing, and a chocolate torte with tiramisu Chantilly cream.

“the quality and quantity of the food was plentiful and superb”

The packaging really said it all. Beneath the beautiful branding and cardboard cartons was a luxury supper waiting to be heated up and devoured. Simple, clear instructions guaranteed that nothing could possibly go wrong.

The poached salmon and dill rillette

It was a beautifully presented and delicious supper feast – definitely restaurant quality and a real treat.

Corin and Liff’s HomeFeastHome also offers brunches (including authentic delicious Danish pastries made using a recipe handed down to Liff by her Danish grandmother) lunches, dinners and special occasion requests all available as meal boxes.

We road tested the BEST EVER roast dinner meal kit, as well as the brunch menu, and were left in no doubt about the quality and quantity of the food. It was plentiful and superb.

The roast kit

The meal kits come colour coded and with very clear, simple instructions – perfect for novices, those keen to impress their dinner date or busy parents trying to cook in between Zooming and home schooling. The food was vacuum packed and Corin’s incredible attention to detail meant that I could heat up and serve with confidence.

The brunch offering was huge and fed us for days, which included overnight oats and Liff’s delicious Danish pastries.

Liff’s devine authentic Danish pastries

And the verdict? Deliciously tasty food prepared to a very high standard. Highly recommended! Long may the new takeaway generation continue!

READ OUR MOTHERS DAY TAKEAWAY GUIDE HERE: https://www.oxinabox.co.uk/top-15-the-special-mothers-day-takeaways-to-book-in-oxfordshire-for-maximum-brownie-points/

HomeFeastHome’s prices start at £4.50 for a starter and £6.75 for a main. The Mother’s Day Feast is £15.50 for two courses or £19.50 for three and brunch is £15.50 per person. Last orders for Mother’s Day is this Sunday. To order go to www.homefeasthome.com

Ravenous Beasts: three courses are from £29 per person. To order from Ravenous Beasts go to www.ravenousbeasts.co.uk

SARAH EDWARDS

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