Lockdown needn’t mean sacrificing fine dining, when you can enjoy Northcote in your own home

PUBLISHED: 10:44 05 November 2020 | UPDATED: 10:55 05 November 2020

The four-course Autumn Gourmet Box is a dream meal
Photo: Allen Markey

The four-course Autumn Gourmet Box is a dream meal Photo: Allen Markey

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Luxury Lancashire hotel and Michelin star restaurant, Northcote, has launched a home delivery ‘meal in a box’ service, bringing fine dining to the lockdown takeaway options

Northcote's truffle and brioche stuffed roast chicken, served with leg Bolognese, wild mushrooms and lyonnaise potato.
Photo: Allen MarkeyNorthcote's truffle and brioche stuffed roast chicken, served with leg Bolognese, wild mushrooms and lyonnaise potato. Photo: Allen Markey

Going to restaurants may be verboten right now, but luxury Lancashire hotel and Michelin star restaurant, Northcote, has stepped in just in time to ensure that fine dining needn’t be sacrificed, with the launch of their home delivery ‘gourmet meal in a box’ service.

There are two menus to choose from. The four-course Autumn Gourmet Box brings you two appetisers - North sea cod with curry, pomegranate and almond and coriander sauce, and caramelised celeriac consommé, tiny raviolis with celeriac pearls and tarragon; a main course of truffle and brioche stuffed roast chicken, served with leg Bolognese, wild mushrooms and lyonnaise potato; and a pudding of orchard apple ‘cheesecake’ and salted caramel sauce.

The three-course Classic Gourmet Box brings a herb-cured salmon gravlax with pickled cucumber, horseradish crème fraiche and burnt lemon, followed by the mouth-watering aged beef Wellington layered with mushroom duxelles and wrapped in pastry, served with young carrots, potato gratin, and red wine sauce, and finishes with organic lemon meringue pie.

We opted for the Autumn Gourmet Box and it was fabulous.

Northcote chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen's apple dessert is a visual delight and tastes as good as it looks, too.
Photo: Allen MarkeyNorthcote chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen's apple dessert is a visual delight and tastes as good as it looks, too. Photo: Allen Markey

My only concern was that with such complex dishes, would my cookery skills be up to scratch. I had nothing to worry about, each course has been prepared and packaged in such a way that it would be almost impossible to get it wrong. Every element of every dish is beautifully packed and clearly labelled. There is literally nothing more complicated than setting your oven timer and making sure you don’t boil the sauce.

We love to dine fine. Getting dressed up a little and being looked after by absolute experts – from the waiting staff to the chef team – is a treat in itself, never mind the procession of glorious foods brought to your table. On this occasion we may neither of us have dressed up (other than the application of a cooking apron) and the wine was pulled from our own supermarket selection, but the glorious foods were very much present. In fact, the collaboration between my husband and I added to the fun of the occasion – although I confess I did little more than stir a sauce and choose the plates; he was all over it, with timers and pans and trays all lined up ready for each course.

The first course, soft as soft and flaky cod in a deeply beautiful curry sauce, was a dream. I had no idea I could roast a piece of cod at 120 degrees, for 12 minutes, and it leave the oven just perfect as can be. Revelation. I shall have a go at that again, though any hope that I might recreate that sauce is just ridiculous. The celeriac consommé was also beautiful - rich and vibrant woodland flavours with tiny, soft and light ravioli. Bliss.

The three-course Classic Gourmet box offers traditional high-end delights.
Allen MarkeyThe three-course Classic Gourmet box offers traditional high-end delights. Allen Markey

The chicken comes as a crown, with the legs used to make the Bolognese. Again, it cooks at 120 degrees, with careful instruction on resting time and a quick go back in the oven at a higher heat, with the potato lyonnaise, to brown the skin. The flavours were intense. Roast chicken is always a favourite, but this one, with a layer of truffle and brioche under the skin, was mind-blowing. And it came out of my oven!

Finally, the apple cheesecakes were a whimsical delight – apple shaped bombs of fresh flavours, with a fine white chocolate crust wrapping a smooth cheesecake and chopped apple centre. They looked incredible and tasted as good.

While Mike tidied, I made coffee and we retired to our own comfy sofa to polish off the handmade truffles that accompany the box. Each one an explosion of heaven – my favourite a ruby chocolate rose encasing a runny caramel that tasted of all my childhood bonfire nights.

If you’ve ever wanted a taste of a Michelin star meal, if fine dining is your happy-place, or if dining out at the moment is just too worrying, then this is the most perfect of solutions.

Find your fine dine Friday night at northcote.com and prepare to embrace home cooking.

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