As Londoners and the rest of the world are forced to remain at home, our daily lives have become virtual havens, lived vicariously through screens as we adjust to our new circumstances.
Diaries are filled with Zoom drinks and everyone’s obsessing over a man and his tigers, but whilst life as we once knew it has come to a proverbial standstill, there remains a real sense of community.
Through food, culture and even travel, it’s been amazing to see how businesses have adjusted to continue to contribute to our lives – we can still pick up our favourite loaf of sourdough from the farmer’s market, we can still catch a play at the National Theatre. Our culture, and community, despite isolation, is alive and more connected than ever and whilst there is much to miss about our once “normal” lives (stocked grocery shelves and amiable delivery slots being one of them), thankfully we still have our community to turn to.
Here are five ways to keep yourself sustained from home this week (contact-free).
If there’s anything to celebrate about isolation, the incredible new grocery delivery options should surely be one of them. Borough Market has launched an online shopping service with 29 stallholders taking part, including Ted’s Veg, and New Covent Garden Market, usually reserved for wholesalers, is now offering home delivery to the public with an amazing selection of fresh food and veg boxes, along with select kitchen staples like eggs, milk and bread. Other favourites include Farmdrop, which offers food sourced from local farmers, and Natoora, once strictly reserved for chefs, which has a variety of items available including cheese from Neil’s Yard Dairy and La Fromagerie. And for UK-wide delivery, Riverford and Abel & Cole work with farmers to deliver seasonal boxes on a regular basis to your door.
In a bid to support local, small businesses and our farmers across the country, bring the market home with you this weekend and enjoy the added health benefits that come with farm to table cooking.
The friendly grape has been a stalwart during these unprecedented times. One might even go as far as classifying it as an ‘essential’. Thankfully lockdown need not get you down with the plethora of our favourite wine shops offering home delivery.
St John Wines of the infamous St John is our first stop. Their London restaurants are shut, but the wine delivery service goes on. Pretty much anything from their own label range is good, but we’re particular fans of their Languedoc rose in a box. Humble Grape continues as a wine shop, delivering UK wide, with two discount codes for 10% off 6 bottles (THANKYOU10) and 20% off 12 bottles (THANKYOU20). In addition to this, they’re also hosting “Tuesday Wine Chats” every Tuesday at 6.15pm on Instagram live.
Mayfair staple, Hedonism, has over 11,000 of the creme de la creme of wines and spirits on offer for you to explore and is our go to for adding some welcome variety to our palate. They’re currently offering free UK delivery on orders over 6 bottles and are shipping internationally for our friends across borders. Meanwhile, Unchartered Wines is able to deliver nationwide, and is even offering to instal a wine tap at home. Which could be dangerous.
We also love Gnarly Vines for introducing us to delicious wines from small producers and Newcomer Wines for their reliable, next-day delivery. Red, white or whatever your preference, now is a better time than ever to cozy up with your local to sample some of the best wines London has to offer.
London is a cultural mecca with some of the best theatre the world has to offer. Many of the most prolific plays have passed through the doors of the National Theatre and now we have the opportunity to stay abreast with all the top-tier talent under one proverbial roof. While its not quite the same as live theatre, you can still get your cultural fix digitally.
Every Thursday the National Theatre is bringing the theatre to you with a host of the best British plays for free. Launching this week with One Man, Two Guvnors, each play will stream via YouTube and be available for seven days on demand. Sadler’s Wells presents a programme of full-length dance performances and workshops online, Shakespeare’s Globe is releasing six productions online for free, including Hamlet and Romeo & Juliet, starting from April 6 and rotating every two weeks. If comedy is what you are after (and indeed need), Soho Theatre has a number of the funniest stand-up shows from recent years on its own on-demand site. And if some musical Broadway charm would like to enter your living room,
BroadwayHD is a great start for easy streaming of recent plays and musicals. For a $9 a month (after a 7-day free trial), you have access to filmed productions such as Kinky Boots, 42nd Street, An American in Paris, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, plus classics like Oklahoma, Putting It Together, and Jerry Springer: The Opera.
Similarly, across the pond, the Met Opera has daily encore presentations streaming from the company’s Live in HD series. The schedule includes complete performances from the last 14 years that can easily be accessed directly from their website. Whilst you’re there consider supporting the arts with a donation to help keep the stage lights on and our cultural mecca ticking through these tough times.
A Real Local Nonna
Nonna Live is an AirBnB Experience turned virtual class that is breathing new life in to our kitchens. The highly rated class, voted one of the site’s top once-in-a-lifetime experiences, was originally created as an authentic cooking class for tourists. Located just outside Rome, people would be invited into a real Italian grandmother’s kitchen, Nonna Nerina, an 84 year old Italian grandmother in Palombara, Sabina, to learn how to make three different types of fresh pasta from none other than Nonna herself. Based on the reviews, Nonna seems to be quite the character and it’s easy to see why people have now been raving about her live stream classes. You can learn from the master on weekends only, but one of her granddaughters (who undoubtedly is her own master in the kitchen) does weekday classes. Registration also comes with resources emailed out before and after the class so you’ll be fully prepared to host an amazing dinner party for friends post isolation. Plus, if you enter your email, you can get 25% off the $50, 2-hour class for a limited time.
A Virtual Trip to Anywhere
If you’re anything like us you’re either a) desperate for summer, b) desperate for a beach holiday, or c) all of the above. Get a fill of your daily does of virtual vitamin D through a host of cool and interactive offerings from some top destinations. St. Lucia’s Tourism Board is giving you a taste of the island with cooking classes, DJ parties and some beachside meditation via its Instagram account @travelsaintlucia. The stunning Croatian beach town of Hvar has released a 24/7 live stream via YouTube, and the beautiful island of Bermuda is doing the same.
But our favourite? Situated in the highlands of central Kenya, the Mpala Research Centre is a 48,000-acre “living laboratory” that welcomes scientist and researches from around the globe. Their webcam provides a 24/7 feed of one of the watering holes on their property, where you’re pretty much guaranteed to spot hippos, leopards, zebras, and more at any given moment.
There’s literally no time like the present to pop on some Jimmy Buffett, pour yourself a cocktail and travel the world, courtesy of the world wide web.