The temptation of hosting a girls night-in is never an over-whelming one. In fact, the occasion usually feels a great deal more worthy of a night out, even if only to a local pub or restaurant. When home entertaining, there’s the task of working out what to cook, the trip to the supermarket and then the inclination and energy needed to cook – when all the girls really want is a big glass of wine and some juicy gossip.
So I was curious when, last week, in popped an email from a keen PR announcing the launch of Hello Fresh. Hello indeed. Promising the delivery of not only an inspirational recipe but also measured out ingredients at 5pm on the day of the soiree, I was sold on the idea of reviewing this new gourmet delivery service.
Curious as to what would be arriving in my Hello Fresh box, I pestered the PR to disclose the menu I was being sent. No, I was told, the exercise was one of ‘food discovery’ and I had to be patient and wait for my surprise. At this point, I did point out that my review would involve 3 hungry girlfriends and I also stressed that the food parcel should not include pork nor shellfish.
At just before 6pm last night the box was delivered (reminding me of my diet delivery service review). Inside were 3 menu cards each with corresponding food to serve 2. To clarify: chicken Caesar salad for 2, steak stir fry with egg noodles for 2 and…. roasted pepper with herbed PORK! Not only did the 3 recipes not ‘go together’, there wouldn’t be enough for all 4 of us to eat the same meal.
Flinging the kids into bed and popping open the first bottle of Champagne, I panic speed-dialled the local Chinese. And then as my guests arrived, I tasked them up for a spot of communal cooking. We set about making the chicken Caesar salad and the steak stir fry, even challenging ourselves to do so before the man on the motorbike arrived with the aromatic duck. The evening was a huge success; stories of mad mother in laws, crooked ballet teachers and even some career advice between mouthfuls of home-cooked cuisine and chinky nosh.
Here is our sum up of Hello Fresh:
- we don’t like surprises and want to look forward to what we will be cooking/eating
- recipes for 4 need to be included
- no pork means no pork
- the menu cards are the right amount of quirky and useful
- the food was fresh and well labelled
- the concept is a winner for the less cost sensitive and more time poor
The final task I gave the girls was to guess how much the service costs. Granted we had already finished our second bottle of the posh fizz by then but I should reveal that they all guessed £10 less than the actual price.