BOOKS, BEER & BOG ROLL: HOME DELIVERY SERVICES TO SAVE YOUR SANITY

Netflix will only get us so far during these unprecedented times of social distancing and loo roll shortages. Let the world come to you…

A Box of Stories
How many times have we promised ourselves we’ll read more books? Well, now is the time. But Amazon are doing pretty well out of this crisis, thank you very much, so let’s divert our funds to a London-based start-up, A Box of Stories. Co-Founder Aasha Chauhan, who lives in Canonbury, launched the surprise book service in 2018 to channel the wisdom of the crowd into an algorithm that turns up brilliant, lesser-known reads – plus, a natty home-delivery service means you don’t have to leave the house! The algorithm combines reviews from leading book forums, rankings on websites, critic reviews, blogs and sales figures from publishers to create a box of four books. A Box of Stories also gives a percentage of its profits to charities working for literacy, helping to spread the joy of reading across the globe. A surprise box of books starts from £14.99, or you can choose a Fiction Box, also £14.99, or a Crime, Mystery and Thriller Box for £21.99. Shipping within the UK is free.

From the Post House
‘My home is my castle’ – never has this been truer. Interior styling might not be at the top of your agenda right now, but we still like pretty things, right? and it’s not just that you want a cosy, homely environment to hang out in, recent research conducted by Berkeley Group revealed that having a beautiful homes gives us a good old serotonin boost: 32% of men and 40% of women were found to consider themselves to be ‘house proud’, stating that having a beautiful interior has a positive impact on their wellbeing. So what if you could get a carefully curated box of beautiful bits to give your interior design a lift? Well, you can. From the Post House, curated by ex-fashion buyer and interior stylist Hannah Risbridger in East Sussex and co-founded with her neighbour, PR executive Anne Kapranos, offers seasonal boxes of scents, fresh flowers, table vignettes, prints and a seasonal recipe. This March, From The Post House is offering a spring box full of vibrant floral designs, delicate pressed flowers, a beautiful green glass vase, three peach hanging glass eggs with a marble finish, and wildflower seeds to create your own wildlife haven, all in a colour palette of warm peach with fresh yellow and green highlights. You’ll also get styling notes on how to create an eye-catching spring centerpiece. The spring box is £85 for subscribers or £95 as a one-off purchase.

Just Eat / Uber Eats / Deliveroo
While none of these wonderful, wonderful delivery services for busy/lazy/tired/hungover folk are new, they could be the lifeline that many of our local restaurants needs. Eschew the big brands, who are likely to have more bucks in the bank, and seek out your local restaurants offering delivery through these apps. If you can’t find your favourite restaurant, go direct to their website or social media and see if they’re offering click and collect or, if you are self-isolating, whether they might be able to pop round and leave the delivery on your doorstep. Your community’s continued patronage might just stop a number of our highly valued local cafes and restaurants from going under.

Supper
Similar to the above but super fancy, food delivery service Supper delivers fine dining from some of London’s top restaurants right to your front door. Supper was the world’s first Michelin star delivery service when it launched back in 2015, and since then it has honed and refined its service to deliver dishes from London’s most sought-after restaurants to homes across London. Restaurants delivering Michelin starred meals include Jean-Georges at The Connaught in Mayfair, Kahani in Belgravia and Sumosan Twiga in Knightsbridge, as well as much-lauded eateries like Scalini in Chelsea, Farzi Café in St James’s and Le Comptoir Robuchon in Mayfair. The company uses custom-made bikes to deliver the restaurant’s dishes as quickly as possible, and Supper’s world-beating technology means your food won’t get thrown around in a backpack. There’s also an in-house sommelier service with wine pairing recommendations for each dish. Download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play.

The Pub in a Box
Signature Brew, which runs the Blackhorse Beer Mile brewery bar, a Taproom in Haggerston and The Collab burger bar in Walthamstow, is fighting back against the coronavirus pub ban by launching a Pub in a Box. The world’s number one brewery for band collaboration beers, having brewed with the likes of Idles, Mogwai, Alt-J and Frank Turner, Signature Brew’s new Pub in a Box is undoubtedly music to the ears of many frustrated Londoners, who are wondering whether they should go out or stay home. The Pub in a Box contains the brewery’s core range of beers (you can order eight, 16 or 24 cans), snacks including nuts and pretzel pieces, two stem glasses, a Spotify playlist with a QR code, and a music quiz. The Signature Brew team have also announced that the they are hiring musicians whose tours have been cancelled to deliver the their beers. ‘We love music as much as we love beer… and right now we can’t think of anything better than receiving cold, brewery-fresh beers, hand-delivered by someone from a band we love,’ said co-founder Sam McGregor. The Pub in A Box is available for delivery throughout the UK, priced £25-£60.

Wild and Game
Wild and Game, the not-for-profit company putting game on the menu across the UK, has released a special self-isolation pack of frozen game meals, delivered straight to your door and designed to get people through self-isolation. Each £25 pack provides 14 days of dinners, containing two of each of the following: steak and pheasant peppercorn pie; pheasant chilli with cheesy mash topped pie; pheasant cottage pie; country steak pheasant and ale pasty; country pheasant cajun pasty; country pheasant chicken and mushroom pasty; country pheasant and peppercorn pasty. The products arrive frozen but will keep in the fridge for five days if freezer space is limited. Delivery is free. Use the order code WG0150.

Craft Metropolis
If you’re seriously going to miss your craft beers – and fear for the longevity of your favourite local brewery – look up Craft Metropolis, the craft beer club that let’s you order some of London’s craftiest beers for home delivery. Founder Oliver Meade is offering a regular drip-feed of tasty and interesting beers, all from small independent breweries, delivered on demand. You can choose the exact beers yourself, rather than relying on a predetermined box set. Breweries include Brew by Numbers, Canopy Beer Co, Five Points, Gipsy Hill Brewery, Kernel, Polly’s Brew Co. and Rock Leopard Brewing. A one-off box is £38, or you can subscribe to regular boxes for £36 per box. Delivery is free, or you can opt for premium 24-36 hour delivery at a small extra cost at checkout.

Who Gives a Crap
Who Gives A Crap was crowdfunded into life to try and make a difference in the world. Founders Simon, Jehan and Danny launched the company in 2012 when they learnt that 2.3 billion people across the world, roughly 40% of the global population, don’t have access to a toilet, meaning around 289,000 children under five die every year from diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. The company donates 50% of its profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world, plus, their premium loo rolls are made from 100% bamboo, making them much more sustainable than those made from trees. Premium 100% Bamboo Toilet Paper, £40 for 48 rolls; 100% Recycled Toilet Paper, £24 for 24 rolls or £36 for 48 rolls.