Welcome to our weekly food & drink story...
At this time of year, we are usually getting our food and drink events programme underway with Hillsborough Farmers’ Markets kicking the season off. I think it is fair to say we all yearn for the day when we can get out again and enjoy the social interactions and rituals that visiting a farmers’ market or our favourite coffee shops and restaurants afford us.
As we wait for outdoor gatherings to return, we marvel at the resilience and agility across the food and drink sector as they adapt their businesses. Many have performed a complete pivot in how they operate, often finding new customers, and some have a adapted their product offering in an effort to stay afloat and continue to delight their customers as we all practice good citizenship by staying at home.
Over the next few weeks, we will bring you food and drink stories from around Lisburn & Castlereagh as local purveyors of fine food offer us new ways to create social food experiences in our own homes.
This week we are focusing on eateries that have re-opened and most excitingly, there are some ‘eating out at home’ experiences coming through for the weekend. Yes, the weekend! Remember what those felt like? Bring on the weekend!
Below is a quick rundown of those we know who have opened with an adapted offer as of 14th May 2020 (we are happy to update as more open – just let us know). As they are all finding their feet in this more limited way of operating, please check out their social media for the most up to date details.
Chef Jeffers at Home is a new ‘Cook Along Box’ initiative by Chef Stephen Jeffers of Forestside Cookery School. Each week is a different theme. Each box includes all your ingredients weighed out in individual tubs or bags. You receive the recipe and a code to a video so you can cook along with Stephen at a time that suits you (added bonus is that you can re-create the dish at any time you like as you have the recipe). There are options for 2 or 4-person boxes. The weekly box goes on sale on a Monday evening orders opening up on Tuesday with the phones hopping within a few minutes of going on sale. The boxes are delivered Thursday-Saturday. All details including delivery areas on Chef Jeffers at Home social media.
Hara Hillsborough is offering a set 3-course menu (plus a loaf of bread and perhaps a small surprise) for Friday and Saturday and a Sunday lunch menu. The menu changes weekly and is posted on their social media every Tuesday along with the ordering details. Heating at home (and perhaps a small bit of cooking) instructions included. Don’t hang around – the first two weeks have sold out in a few short hours. Collection only.
Wine and Brine at Home launched this week with a set 4-course menu (including a bread course) with a Friday and Saturday menu and a Sunday lunch menu which sold out in a matter of hours! The menu changes weekly and is posted on Tuesday on their website and social media along with ordering details. Collection only.
Blaze Grill at Lisburn Bowl has created a take-away menu offering its stone-baked pizza, loaded fries and burgers for collection or delivery, 7 days a week, 4pm-9pm, order by phone only with payment on order. They even have a very appetizing family bundle deal. All details on their social media page.
Del Toro is starting a take-away menu this weekend on a pre-order and collect model with something for all the family including their signature platters, burgers and wings. Pre-order opens on Thursday for collection on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Check out their social media for menu, order, payment and collection details.
The Plough Inn & The Pheasant have created a restaurant quality take away menu to be enjoyed at home on Friday or Saturday night. Pre-ordering is essential with orders place by telephone on Wednesday or Thursday afternoon for collection on an allocated time slot between 5pm and 8pm on the night of your choice. Wine and Beers also available. Details on social media.
The Parson’s Nose has its full Woodfired Sourdough Pizza menu along with Pub Classics! Think chicken wings, beer battered Portavogie Scampi and Desserts. This is a click and collect service with pre-order via their website at least 24 hours before collection. Collection Friday & Saturday between 5pm and 8pm. Wine & Beer available.
The Square Pops Up is The Square Bistro’s new initiative as they take to the road (so to speak). They will be starting out with a new pitch at Christ Church Car Park, on Barrack Street, Lisburn from 5pm on 23rd May. Their menu is live on their social media @thesquarepopsup and Facebook
Ashvale Farm Shop moved its Tea Room offering to a pre-order, collection and delivery service straight away when the Covid19 restrictions came into force. The team at Ashvale have been adding new dishes to their menu every week, bringing a taste of their popular Tea Rooms to your home. You won’t be stuck for choice as there is an extensive menu of breads, scones, ready-meals, cakes and desserts. There is also the added bonus of being able to add fresh produce and artisan products from their farm shop. All up to date information can be found on their social media
Café Vic Ryn can also be enjoyed at home. Their legendary scones are a feast for the eyes never mind taste-buds. You can also order their desserts and savoury dishes to enjoy at home. The extensive menu of savoury dishes are available in single portion sizes and they have been adding new dishes every week so there is always something new to try. Collection or delivery options available. All details including order and payment process and menu on their Facebook page.
The Taproom at Hilden has been offering a ready meal delivery and collection service since the early days of lockdown and it has proven very popular. The are options for single portions, meals for 2 or even family sized portions (serving 6). This is an ‘al a carte menu’ of sorts as you can choose starters, mains, desserts and breads – you can even stock up for a few days, so it is perfect for anyone isolating or living alone. Delivery is prioritised for those isolating or cocooning. More information and booking your slot on their website.
Glasshouse Coffee opened its doors this week, Wednesday – Saturday adapting to a take-away offering. Once again you can enjoy your favourite coffee and Glasshouse breakfast or lunch fix. All social distancing measures in place and you can simply call in or pre-order by telephone. Menu and all details on their social media.
It is really heartening to see our hospitality businesses showing the resilience and agility to re-imagine their offering and deliver that unique experience in a different way to their loyal customers. What is even more heartening is the response and support they have received from customers – everyone is really missing their favourite eating-out haunts! Certainly, for us having the opportunity to have an ‘eating out experience at home’ is definitely helping break-up our week, and weekends have a weekend feel to them once again, hooray for that.
What is also fantastic about our restaurants and cafes opening-up is that by extension they are also reinvigorating the local food supply chain and our small artisan producers so that is great news for us all. 👏
We will post more food and drink stories next week. In the meantime, make sure to share your ‘Eat Out at Home’ pics on social media and tag us too @VisitLisburnCastlereagh. 🤳