First of all, please accept my apologies. I’ve been a tad quiet on the blog and Instagram too. I guess the last year or so has impacted everyone in some way or another. I’ve been quiet for a number of reasons.
The company I work for have been great through the pandemic and were very quick to react. They asked us to all work from home from 12th March 2020 with a provisional expectation that we would return to the office on Monday 30th March 2020 depending on the situation (hah). I haven’t commuted to the centre of Oxford since Wednesday 11th March 2020 and have been working from home ever since until the present moment.
At the beginning of the last year or so, I was really enjoying the lack of getting on a bus and feeling like being in a tin of sardines on my commute to Oxford every morning which took anything up to an hour depending on traffic. But then again, I often used that time to post content on Oxfordable (both on Instagram and here).
Perhaps another poor excuse, but I felt that as I wasn’t in Oxford anymore, being fortunate enough to take pictures of our amazing city every day, explore the great food and drink options on offer on a daily basis, why should I post about it? As that is partly what led to the page being created in the first place.
As the year progressed and the impact of the pandemic on the economy started to show, I really started to feel for all of the restaurants, bars, cafes and other businesses in Oxford as it became more and more apparent that many were struggling. I think it’s safe to say we have definitely seen a lot of resilience and creativity emerge out of challenging times with many businesses adapting to offer food deliveries, collections and other outdoor events to keep themselves going.
Over the last year I have ordered a few takeaways and collections from various businesses in Oxfordshire, but didn’t feel that each order of cookies, for example, warranted an entire blog post. That being said I came up with the idea to create this post which is a collection of some of my favourite food deliveries / collections I’ve made over the last year to big up their resilience and creativity as mentioned earlier.
Food deliveries / collections
If you’ve followed my Instagram page / blog for a while, you’ll know that I’ve been a big fan of Skogen Kitchen since they opened, a fair while before the pandemic. They have an awesome little seating area outside the front of their cafe which is a lovely spot to eat or have a drink on a nice day with a partial view out onto the High Street.
Their home-delivered cinnamon buns did not disappoint and tasted super fresh having been baked the same morning.
An awesome bakery start-up based in Oxford supplying brownies made with ethical chocolate and classic English doughnuts bursting with home-made jams, custards and a variety of other fillings.
The quality of the doughnuts and brownie were superb. I think you can almost see how dense the brownie is from the third picture.
3. I am guilty of the occasional Dominos too…
I absolutely loved the idea behind this company. They hand-craft an amazing range of cocktails and have created an awesome brand image delivering these all over Oxford. I tried quite a range from their Espresso Martini to their chocolate orange Old Fashioned.
After trying my fair share of their cocktails I couldn’t fault any of them and would have been happy to been served any of these in a bar in Oxford. The perfect lockdown treat as we were moving into Summer 2020!
5. Tasty Treats Oxford Sprinkle Cake (Insta)
This one really took me back to my childhood. After seeing a local page on Instagram making sprinkle cakes I had to give it a go. It tasted just like I remembered, was packaged very nicely and didn’t last long!
This was one I have written a blog post about – go and check it out here if you haven’t already. I was curious to see how a burger delivery would turn out. I don’t live that far away from Chosen Bun, so thought I’d give them a go.
I was super impressed by their delivery service. The burgers arrived in these breathable cones inside the burger box to keep the shape of the burger in place which I thought was a fantastic idea and since then I have learnt that Chosen Bun own the patent for this.
The quality of the burger was as good as it looks below, so all in all definitely was worth it.
As I was beginning to learn that many people had started to open baking businesses (which I think is great) I was keeping an eye out for any unique cookie or baked products that would be good to review.
The third picture was the product that caught my eye. It is two chocolate and vanilla cookies sandwiched together with salted caramel ice cream inside. It was absolutely incredible and had tried nothing like it before.
Similar to Skogen Kitchen, prior to the pandemic I thought that Mamma Mia was a bit of an Oxford institution.
So after I saw they were offering takeaway pizza I had to give it a try. I also did a full blog post review for this one, feel free to check it out here.
Posh Fish in Headington is arguably one of the best fish and chip shop takeaways in Oxford. I’d love to hear your favourite fish and chip shop in Oxford, pop a comment at the bottom of the post!
This was another creative move which I admired from Dirty Bones. A cook at home delivered meal kit for their Mac Daddy burgers. I have been to Dirty Bones a few times in the Westgate for food and drinks, you can find a full review I did a few years ago here.
I was really impressed by the quality of all the ingredients in their Mac Daddy kit and the final product tasted nearly as good as it does in the restaurant.
11. The Tall Cookie Lady (Insta)
Another one of my favourite baking businesses which was born out of the pandemic. The Tall Cookie Lady has done really well for herself over the last year and I was a sucker for the branding of her page and had to order some cookies. They certainly had a unique texture and were very dense as can be seen in the last picture.
I was very lucky to be able to get some travelling done in late 2019, having visited India in October of that year. When I was in India, one of my go to snacks would be a fresh samosa wherever I could get my hands on one.
So when I saw that Pindy had created a business around making freshly home cooked traditional Samosa’s, I had to try some! What was absolutely fantastic is that she also offered a minced pie style samosa putting a twist on the original.
These were hands down the best samosas I had ever tasted in the UK and even better than some of the ones I tried in India. If you are into your samosas and haven’t tried some of Pindy’s, you are really missing out.
Pizza is without a doubt one of my favourite foods. I noticed that Dodo Pub Co were offering a product called ‘pizza in the post’ which is essentially airtight sealed pizza in the form it would be just before it would go in a wood-fired oven. The concept is that you can then wack it in your own oven at a high temperature for a short period of time and get as close as you can to having one in one of their pubs.
I was impressed by the quality of the pizza and as you can see below, the final product was fab. The one with a scarce amount of cheese was the vegan pizza and admittedly my least favourite, but I think vegan cheese is getting better and better and its not really a fault of the pizza, more of the vegan cheese and how it melted.
I’ve been to Sticks N Sushi a couple of times and really loved the experience in the restaurant (review here).
To me, Sticks N Sushi is one of those restaurants you go to for a special occasion and the quality of food. So I was very curious to see how it would be presented and if the quality would be as high when it would be delivered. In my opinion, I didn’t think it would turn out very well.
I was proven wrong though! As you can see below all of the food was presented beautifully and in good quality containers. On top of that, everything arrived piping hot delivered to our door in a box that retains heat. Overall I would definitely order it again.
I think that over the last year or so, many businesses have been impacted but some of the most hard hit are those in the hospitality industry. I’ve been really impressed by the creativity of some of the businesses in Oxford and have loved trying some of their new ideas and products. I am really looking forward to Summer 2021 and at the time of writing this post, all indoor dining is planned to re-open on 17th May which is 50 days from now. I can’t wait to write more reviews and promote some of the new exciting menus and products in hospitality businesses around Oxfordshire.