How St Albans food and drink outlets are adjusting to the coronavirus lockdown

Maria's Cupcakes' Easter offering.

Maria's Cupcakes' Easter offering. - Credit: Archant

Have you made a sourdough loaf yet? Taught your kids how to cook a gourmet meal from scratch? Or, do you, like me, really fancy a break from the kitchen? In just a few weeks, our local indies have shown their amazing entrepreneurial spirit and are working incredibly hard to get delicious food and drinks out to you, so this is a great time to order a takeaway!

Verdis in Clarence Park is selling fresh produce during the pandemic.

Verdis in Clarence Park is selling fresh produce during the pandemic. - Credit: Archant

We ordered dinner from Oasis for a midweek boost last week, and it was lovely for the family to be able to choose exactly what we all wanted, so no discussion about what was for dinner that night. I chose falafel, hummus and babaganoush, and the falafel were the perfect combination of crispy and soft that I can’t quite get right at home.

Chicken schwarma and spicy prawns were big hits with the teens, and we all loved the (still warm!) breads.

If you can, order your delivery a few days in advance, rather than on the night, so they can better manage stock deliveries and transport out to you.

Veg boxes seem to be the new big thing, with lots of pubs and restaurants now selling boxes of fresh vegetables, fruit and eggs, when they can get stock. As they get into the swing of it, prices are coming down too.

Virtual dinner parties are happening – one pal told me about her daughter’s primary school class all ordering from East Street Kitchen and having dinner ‘together’! Another organised brunch with her friends at the weekend.

Hatch on the Hill put the recipe for their signature sweetcorn fritters on Instagram and invited regulars to post pics of their attempts – which all looked amazing!

Shops have adapted very quickly to the new spacing guidelines; I went to Carpenters last week and it was very calm and well organised.

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The Charter Market is open on a Wednesday and Saturday but in a much-reduced form, with only vegetables and bread when I went last. People were very sensible and gave each other plenty of space. Buongiorno Italia are very busy, as they have supplies of flour, fresh yeast and pasta; it’s amazing to hear how much home-baking is going on!

Here are a few more places to tell you about, in addition to the list in my last column (still available online here).

Great Northern Pub is taking orders now for Easter Sunday. You need to order by Friday 8pm for Sunday delivery. Rare topside beef with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, cauliflower cheese and gravy is 13.50 to give you an idea of prices, so ring 01727 730867 or email – they also do fish and chips!

The Green Kitchen on Hatfield Road is getting deliveries of fresh vegetables and fruit, including strawberries, and are open 10am-2pm if you want to pop by.

East Street Kitchen does amazing Indian thalis, including paneer masala, dal makhani, chicken biryani and tikka. Email

Emilio’s Harpenden Street Food is open for delivery, including homemade Lebanese falafel and halloumi.

Mama Cynth’s Food Yard (aka. Sonia) is doing delicious home-cooked Jamaican and British meals, such as curried mutton, beef curry, jerk chicken and steamed fish. Ring 0800 9708676 or email (please give at least two days notice).

Maria’s in Harpenden are doing local deliveries (£10 minimum) so why not order some Easter cupcakes, brownies or classic cakes? Call 01582 766383 or head over to for a full menu.

The Weeping Chef is doing smoked lamb, brisket, porchetta and lamb, ready for Easter. Alex also does chickpea and broadbean patties. Text your name, address, how much you want to 07871205867.

Tara’s Vegan Treats is busy doing deliveries, including mac and cheese, meatless meatballs (£6), sweet potato and chickpea curry with rice (£7) and doughnuts and pud pots. Head over to her Facebook page to order.

Verdis by Clarence Park are selling fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, bread and milk. Their phone number is 01727 845363.

Yvette’s Chocolates are delivering within 10 miles of their Potten End shop – call 07908 187439 if you would like one of their amazing Easter eggs!

Head to for more restaurant, café, pub and alcohol delivery ideas during the lockdown.