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Noemi Scavo
November 5, 2020
10 Ways To Make Eating At Home Suck Less (Whilst Supporting London Restaurants)
Our favorite playlists, plates, hot sauces, and more - all made by London restaurants - that will hopefully make eating at home suck a little less.

There was a time, not so long ago, when eating takeaway food at home meant being horizontal and trying to not get hot sauce on your clean pillowcase. But, dear friends, times have changed. We’re living in a post-quarantine, post-lap-tray world where we’ve all discovered that eating in can feel just as good as eating out if you do it right. Okay, fine, not quite as good - but close. Here’s how to improve your home dining situation.

1. Eat Off Something Nice (That's Definitely Not Your Lap)

Have you heard of Styrofome Sadness Syndrome? Well, we just made it up, so probably not. But what we’re saying is, there’s nothing fun about eating out of some plastic takeaway tubs. Fix that with one of these three options. They’re all from legit potters - such a fun word to say - and, more importantly, they’ll make all future guests feel terrible about themselves.

2. Use Some - Long Exhale - Fresh Linen Napkins

Kitchen roll has saved us from many stains but sometimes it’s nice to step things up and get that fresh linen feeling. There are a couple of London restaurants that sell their own linen napkins but Ottolenghi’s are by far our favourite. They’re simple, they’re colourful, and they basically make you feel like you are the ultimate host. And yes, they are machine washable.

3. Listen To Dishoom's Soundtrack Or Put On A Playlist

People say you can’t buy taste. Those people are wrong. Enter Dishoom’s original compilation vinyl of ‘Bombay London Grooves’. It’s a celebration of the mutual fascination between London and Bombay in the 60s and is full of many certified bops. Expect Ananda Shankar, The Savages, and a cool, vintage sleeve that deserves pride of place in your record collection.

4. Light A Candle

Just when we thought we couldn’t love Tottenham’s True Craft any more, they started making candles. Using old beer cans they’re selling their CAN-dles - see what they did there - out of their pizzeria on West Green Lane.

Not nearby? Popham’s At Home have dinner candles, pillar candles, and importantly, a three-wick anti-stress candle.

5. Dress The Part

Time to get out of your pyjamas! Just kidding. We’re not that extreme. You can stay in your cosy clothes but trust us, chuck an apron on top and you’ll feel the part, even if you’re eating takeaway. Especially if said apron is from legendary British restaurant, St. John. Wipe some flour down the front and you’re basically two-thirds of the way to being the next Bourdain. Maybe.

6. Garnish Like A Chef

A pinch of parsley and suddenly you’re Wolfgang Puck. Peckham’s Persepolis can help with that. This Persian deli-cum-café are delivering everything from dried mint to marigold flowers. You can also check out our guide to London restaurants that are selling fresh produce and these restaurant suppliers that are doing the same.

7. Drink Like The Sommelier You Are Deep Down Inside

Seasonal small plates and natural wine spot Top Cuvée developed quite the online shop during lockdown. As well as plenty of wine, cocktails, beers, and spirits, Shop Cuvée is also home to their natural wine subscription. You can opt for the £110 six-bottle option or three-bottles for £55, but the point is, your home bar - or cupboard - will always be stocked with something you’re actually excited to drink.

8. Crack Out Some Condiments That'll Make Your Ketchup Weep

Look, we’re never going to bad-mouth mayonnaise. We just can’t be mad at that guy. But we will admit that after some careful personal reflection (smearing ketchup on ryvita and calling it lunch) we have come to realise that upping our condiment game really can’t hurt. These are our new favourites.

9. Put On Some Sweet, Sweet Ambience

Nobody likes silence. All that time alone with your own thoughts? Gross. Try one of these instead.

10. Or Watch Something You Haven't Seen Before

  • Basically the Fyre festival of the fine-wine scene, Sour Grapes looks at the con man who cheated investors out of millions by creating fake bottles of vintage wines. It’s all very scandalous and a fun, high-pace watch. Find it on Netflix.

  • Coffee For All is a documentary on Netflix exploring how a kind gesture from a stranger can impact our lives and bring us together. It looks at the time-honoured Naples tradition of ‘suspended coffee’, where you buy one coffee for yourself and pay for another for someone who can’t afford one, but then branches out to stories from New York and Buenos Aires. Hello feels.

  • Netflix original Uncorked is an independent drama about a young man who is torn between his dream of becoming a master sommelier and his father’s expectations that he’ll take over the family barbecue business. Exploring race, identity, big dreams, and the bias of the sommelier world, we challenge you not to fall in love with Mamoudou Athie by the end of it.

  • You might have seen Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown before but skip back to series one on Netflix for some excellent throw-back episodes looking at local cuisines in Columbia, Peru, Libya, and LA’s Koreatown.

  • La Graine et le mulet is a 2007 film about an immigrant from Tunisia, who, after a lifetime working in a shipyard in the southern French port of Sète, pursues his dream of converting an old boat into a family restaurant. Its English title is Couscous, or The Secret Of The Grain, and you can watch the trailer here.

  • You can’t really go wrong with 90s Stanley Tucci and if anything is evidence of that, it’s this film. Big Night is the tale of two Italian brothers trying to save their failing restaurant. It includes the excellent line ‘sometimes the spaghetti likes to be alone’. We feel seen.



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