A foodie’s guide to celebrating at home during lockdown

Lockdown celebrating sounds a bit dire doesn’t it? I think I’ve given up making any long term plans this year – I’m taking every day as it comes! With the current lockdown looking like it will extend well into February, I know many of you will have birthdays, anniversaries, new babies and more coming up that you’d like to celebrate in a special way from home. Celebrations, of course, shouldn’t stop because we are in lockdown. Dan and I celebrated both our birthdays in lockdown last year, and smashed Christmas and NYE (if I do say so myself!) we saw it as a good excuse to put on a nice outfit and get out of our comfies. But we did keep our slippers on…

I have revamped this guide as a ‘foodie’s guide to celebrating at home during lockdown’ because this really the number one way I love to mark a special occasion – you could say it’s the only way I know how to, ha! So here are some ideas of how to celebrate at home with a little help from some fantastic local businesses. You can gift these products or experience too so you can send someone you love a little surprise!

Lockdown celebration ideas

  1. Afternoon Tea
  2. Cocktail making
  3. Tasting menus
  4. Celebration cakes
  5. Celebration platters
  6. Virtual Wine Tasting

If you’re looking for gift ideas, my independent Milton Keynes Christmas gift guide features over 80 small businesses from MK and the surrounding areas to help you shop small for gifts too.

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea is a lovely way to mark a special occasion. There are some great local businesses I can recommend that offer afternoon tea you can enjoy from home. A few local companies that are delivering a complete afternoon tea set up – all you need to do is serve!

Afternoon Teas MK

Afternoon Teas MK holds pop-up events at The Old School House in Wolverton and is a family-run business. I went to one last year and was really impressed with the quality of the food and how delicious the delicate cakes were! This afternoon tea is traditional, so think cucumber sandwiches and scones. Best served on vintage china if you’ve got it! To order, enquire via email.

French Affaire

If you are looking for an afternoon tea with a difference, I can’t recommend French Affaire enough. They have recently added afternoon teas to the ‘French Affaire @ Home’ range. A selection of handmade savoury and sweet bites arrive beautifully boxed in a pop-up cake stand, so you don’t even have to serve it yourself. Available for collection or delivery Thursday to Sunday with 24 hours notice. Contact via the website.

Read the review: Afternoon Tea at French Affaire


Cocktail making

The Occasion Bar Co.

The Occasion Bar Co. delivers cocktail boxes to Milton Keynes and Northampton. The boxes contain everything you need to create bar-standard cocktails in your own home. It comes with the alcohol, the cocktail mix, garnishes, barware and even the glasses! Simply follow the simple instructions to make the cocktails and once you’re done, you box it up for collection the following day. Great as a gift or as an addition to a virtual party.

Order via The Occasion Bar Co’s website: theoccasionbar.co.uk/cocktail-delivery.

ProCocktails

If you want quick cocktails, ProCocktails is the one. These premixed cocktails are ready to shake and pour! They have a massive range on offer, from Pina Coladas to Pornstar Martinis, Old Fashioneds to Negronis.

To shop, visit prococktails.shop


Tasting Menus

The Brother’s Supper

Dan and I love pushing the boat out for birthdays and going somewhere fancy, so tasting menus at home are the next best thing! The Brother’s Supper offer ‘Lockdown Tasting Menus’ – everything just needs to be heated up and plated up. Bespoke menus are also available if you’d like something extra special.

To enquire, visit thebrotherssupper.com.

Paris House at Home

We had an absolutely stunning meal from Paris House for New Year’s Eve! Paris House is one of our favourite fine dining restaurants in the area, so it’s great that you can bring a touch of Paris House to your home! Everything comes prepped, all you need to do is follow the instructions to cook it and plate it. This is truly restaurant quality food at home.

To order, visit parishouse.co.uk.

Read my takeaway guide for more ideas: The ultimate guide to lockdown takeaways in Milton Keynes

French Affaire and Chef Hat Home are two other brilliant local businesses offering fine dining tasting menus during lockdown. You can find out more about them in my takeaway guide.


Celebration Cakes

If you are celebrating a birthday, cake is VERY important. I was going to make Dan a cake for his birthday, but keeping things like that a surprise is pretty difficult when you are spending every waking moment together.

T.Sweetmap is a local cake company run by Tracy, a self-taught patisserie chef who starred on The Great British Bake Off: The Professionals in 2020. She makes custom cakes and desserts – you might recognise her work because she supplies Nonna’s with some of their desserts, and also does a Saturday morning cake and coffee morning at Bogota. I ordered Dan a salted caramel mousse cake for his birthday last year and it was incredible! If you are looking for something a little different to your traditional birthday cakes, I can highly recommend T.Sweetmap.

To enquire, visit sweetmap.co.uk.

Oh My Cakery

If you want something a bit cheekier to send in the post (delivery available in MK and UK wide) check out these personalised loaded brownies from Oh My Cakery – I LOVE them and they make a great alternative to a card! Here’s one I sent my friend Laura when she got engaged…

Read this food guide for more ideas: Best cake deliveries in Milton Keynes

Celebration platters

Platters are having a moment and there are lots of businesses springing up to offer them. Not all of them cut the mustard though! Here are my top picks to try…

Gourmet Dinner Lady

Sherina is the Queen of Platters. These are classy, luxurious, carefully curated boxes of goodies that can be shipped all over the UK. Depending on your budget, you can get a full bowl luxury box complete with wine or a portable cheesebox packed with dried fruits, crackers and specially selected artisan cheeses. Just add wine…

To order, visit www.gourmetdinnerlady.com

Image: Gourmet Dinner Lady

The Pig & Chicken

If you are looking to bring the pub to you, I can highly recommend The Pig & Chicken! A husband and wife run business based in Padbury, these two know their way around a scotch egg! The ‘Pub at Home’ box is Β£30 and features two HUGE homemade scotch eggs, homemade sausage rolls along with local cheeses, nuts and dips. A great option for a picky lunch to celebrate a birthday or anniversary – just add a pint!

Shop via pigandchicken.co.uk/shop


Virtual Wine Tasting

The Wine Cellar

Dry January WHO? The Wine Cellar is an independent wine merchant based in Woburn and Olney, offering a brilliant array of wines from all over the world. The virtual wine tastings, hosted on Zoom, have proved super popular with boxes being shipped out all over the country! For around Β£60, you get the bottles of wine you’ll be tasting, plus some extra snacks to keep you going. Dates are listed on The Wine Cellar’s website so keep your eyes peeled for the next one, or get in touch for a bespoke package.


I hope you found this post useful if you have any celebrations coming up or loved ones with birthdays. Celebrations don’t have to stop just because we are in lockdown, you can still make someone’s day super special!

Have you celebrated something during lockdown? How did you celebrate at home?

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Hello!

I'm Sophie, a 20-something blogger and content creator helping you to discover great independent eats and adventures in Milton Keynes. I work with and champion local businesses to show people that there's more to MK than chain restaurants and roundabouts.

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