Sometimes Christmas shopping can be hard! What should a person get for the love of their life? I mean, I’m usually pretty good at it, but last year I was really struggling for some supplemental gifts. Then the answer came to me: Cheese and meat! I mean, when we go to Spain, you can bet we have to order some Jamon. Or if we’re in France, there’s always a cheese board or charcuterie plate to be had. So why not do it for Christmas? Luckily, there turned out to be places to get both, and they were shipped directly to your door? What could be better? So I got a three month subscription to both with the option to renew, so if he liked them, we could continue to get them delivered. I mean who wouldn’t want cheese/meat delivered to your home all year round? After the three months passed, he let me know his opinion, but in the mean time, I had found a huge selection of other food/drink delivery services I wanted to try. So here you go! Check out all the hard work I did trying things out for you!
The Cheese Society: This was the cheese subscription that started it all. Every month (and they let you choose the date, which is very awesome), they send you five cheeses that weigh approximately 1 kg in total. It’s a fairly decent deal, except 1 kg of cheese is an awful lot for two people. It was definitely hard to eat it all in a month. They will also take your preferences in consideration. My partner is not a fan of goat’s cheese, and they were perfectly willing to forgo the goat’s cheese and send something else, and for that I was very grateful. The first month, we ended up with quite a few mild cheeses that we weren’t that fond of, so we were a bit worried, but the next two months were really much better. I guess that’s the issue with things like this, you may not get cheeses that are completely to your taste. If you need quite a bit of cheese, I would definitely recommend it as an option. You probably do want to have it delivered to someplace where you can sign (I opted for my partner’s work) as you definitely don’t want your cheese going bad.
Price: £35 per month
Carnivore Club: I went with Carnivore Club for our monthly meat selection. They do have the bonus that you can get them from many different countries, not just the UK. When we got our first box, I chucked it in the fridge as it arrived about a week before the cheese. It’s also quite a bit of meat, and we didn’t end up eating it all fast enough. During the second month of our subscription, I noticed that the use by dates on all of the meats were pretty close to the date we got the box. One was within two weeks. It seemed a bit dodgy that we were getting cured meats so close to their dates, which was a bit of a turn off. Plus it didn’t seem very fresh. A lot of the meats were hard and just didn’t taste good to us. We definitely decided not to continue with it after our three months as we just weren’t that impressed. I would not recommend this subscription.
Price: £32 for a single month or £29 per month for a subscription
Liverpool Cheese Company: While we liked the thought of getting cheese every month, we were just getting too much cheese. (It’s hard to believe that there’s such a thing as too much cheese!) I then found Liverpool Cheese Company’s small size box. This one also comes with five cheeses (and some biscuits!), but at the much more manageable size of 500g. That’s half as much cheese! While we’re only in our first month, we were sent three pretty damn delicious cheeses. I was also a fan of one of the others which was a gouda with olive and tomato, but unfortunately my partner is also not much of a fan of olives or tomatoes, so he pretty much left that one alone. Our final cheese was a Cheshire, which neither of us are super fans of (but it went great in a creamy pasta sauce). They will also provide no goats cheese (yay!), but they do only deliver around the 20th of the month.
Price: £68 for three months
Cheese Posties: While looking for the small amount of cheese for delivery, I ran across many other mail order subscriptions including Cheese Posties. They deliver you the ingredients to make a cheese toastie at home. It arrives in the mail, so in theory all you have to do is chuck the box in the fridge or make the toastie and you’re good to go! I thought that we often will do a sandwich on weekends, so why not give it a try? You can sign up for weekly or month subscriptions, and I went for weekly. The first toastie we received was a spicy cheese sandwich, and we were really impressed. It was really tasty, and quite easy to assemble. This is when things started going downhill. I knew we were going to be gone the next week for holiday, so I put the subscription on hold for a week: It involved logging in and clicking “Skip” to skip the next delivery. Seemed really simple. I arrived home to find moldy toasties waiting at our door for a week. Unpleasant. When I emailed to tell them they didn’t skip, it turns out that they work more than a week in advance, so if you want to skip your next delivery, you have to skip it more than a week prior. I mean, it’s a lot of effort for a cheese toastie. We then didn’t receive one for when we were actually home as I had skipped that one instead. Our third toastie arrived late (it should have come on Thursday/Friday and it arrived on Monday), so the bread was already moldy as well. I cancelled, so I pretty much only got to try one sandwich. It was really tasty, but not worth the ridiculous amount of effort involved. I wouldn’t recommend this, although if you really do want to try it, I’d probably go for the monthly instead of the weekly. They also do allow for things like gluten intolerance or vegetarianism, but they won’t let you put in many other dietary restrictions. (For example, no selection for dislike of goat’s cheese.)
Price: £4 per toastie
Lick my Dip: I’m a huge fan of spicy foods, and when I found a delivery service that delivered hot sauce and spicy food to your door, I had to say yes please! Once a month, you receive a box of delicious things. So far everything we’ve had has been really tasty and full of heat. They provided an Indian snack that was massively spicy and very moreish. There was some spicy crackling which really went well with some cocktails we made at home. I opted for the regular box, but they also do an ultimate box which I am upgrading to as soon as I remember (which seems to be never). They also have an online shop where they sell some other spicy foods (perhaps some leftovers from previous months). I highly recommend it if you’re a huge fan of spice. (Although I need to dip into the hot sauces, maybe with my eggs this weekend…) Annoyingly, I think they’re the same people who do Cheese Posties, but they seem to be doing everything right with this one!
Price: £14 per month (small box) / £25 per month (ultimate box)
Cure and Simple Bacon: I saw this one, and I did kind of think it was a joke. I mean bacon? In the mail? How is that even possible? Well I’m here to tell you that it is indeed possible, and the bacon is magnificent. Bacon will arrive once a week, once a fortnight or once a month delivered conveniently in your mail slot. I’ve only had a problem once, when the packaging wasn’t completely vacuum sealed, but they were really good about it and sent another pack of bacon to me immediately in the post. That’s service! I’ve opted to get a selection of the bacon they have on offer, and I’ve received traditional back bacon, thyme and sage back bacon and a malt back bacon and all three of them have been awesome. I’m hoping they rotate some streaky bacon in my order as well. I’ve used it just as a side, but also on a bacon and egg sandwich on the weekends. (And my very adventurous Homeshoom bacon and egg naan!) If you’re less adventurous about what you may receive every order, you can get the same bacon every order. I opted for once a fortnight as I’m pretty sure I might die of bacon overload if I went for it weekly. It’s probably my favorite mail order food subscription though, and I definitely get very excited every time I see the package arrive in the mail. (And how’s this for a shameless plug, I have a referral code for bacon! If you want to give it a try, you can use the code w9p8sj while you’re checking out and you get your first month of bacon for £1! What a bargain! And I’ll get free bacon. Don’t you want to make me happy with free bacon? I mean I should get something for all the effort I’ve put into the blog and taste testing all these fancy goodies for you, shouldn’t I?)
Price: £6 per shipment
The Spicery: There are many things online that send you all the ingredients you need to make a meal. Well, I’m a person who likes doing the menial work when cooking (you know like peeling and chopping and all that stuff), so this one is ideal for me. The Spicery sends you all the spices you need to make meals from around the world, and all you need to do is pick up the ingredients and follow the recipe. It works like a charm. They have a selection of different boxes to choose from including Indian, Barbeque or Vegetarian recipes. Or if there’s just two of you (like me), you can go for the date night box to create a three course meal or the highlights for two that gives you two different recipes for two people (which is the one I went with). The first month contained Jamaican fish curry and Hungarian paprikas, both of which were fabulous. The only minor issue I have is the way the ordering is set up: you order your three months of spices and they send you the first month, then you have to redeem a voucher they send you for the next two months. It’s a bizarre format as it seems like an extra step. I’d get it if I was ordering it as a gift, but I wasn’t. But it wasn’t that much of a turn off to not want me to order more of their delicious spices.
Price: £20 for three months of spices
Taste Cocktails: Since my partner is really into making cocktails at home these days (I think partially due to my purchasing some sort of ridiculous container to make clear ice balls), I decided a cocktail subscription would really be ideal. After signing up to Taste Cocktails, I saw the first month was a Negroni subscription. This includes all the ingredients to make two different cocktails (two of each one, for four in total), and this is ideal for couples! We make standard Negronis all the time, but this one also included the ingredients for a white Negroni (which we fell in love with), so it prompted us to order all the ingredients necessary to make more at home. The following month contained ingredients to make tequila based drinks (minus the mixers, but I’m okay with that as that means we can choose the nicer mixers…in fact the grapefruit soda will probably be made by mixing grapefruit juice and soda water so it will be less sweet). I highly recommend this box as it gives the opportunity to try out new and interesting drinks much cheaper than a cocktail bar (as they end up being around £6 a cocktail from the box), and you’re not left with a giant bottle of some sort of random booze that you may not actually drink.
Price: £24 per month (for four cocktails)
Tipple Box: With the success of Taste, I was ready for more cocktails, so I decided to go for Tipple Box as well. The main difference is that Tipple Box supplies the juices and mixers you may need for your drinks and not just the booze. It seemed interesting. When we got the drinks, we were kind of disappointed as the alcohol and juices weren’t all that interesting, and the cocktails seemed fairly generic. And they are definitely geared for people who like their booze on the sweet side. (We don’t). After making all the cocktails, I quickly decided it wasn’t for us. But the service is good, so if you are a fan of sweet cocktails and want the ease of getting more of the ingredients, this box may be for you. (My partner also complained that they seemed to send a random amount of the alcohol so we ended up with too much of one type and not enough of another.)
Price: £24 per month (for four cocktails)
So far, that’s everything I tried. It’s quite a lot, but it appears there’s a whole lot more out there. So who knows what I may decide to order in the future. But you can rest assured that I will update this list any time I do!