Secret Smokehouse does a fine job of upholding the tradition of east London fish smokers that dates back to the 1800s. Cured using traditional techniques, its fish can be found in too many Michelin-starred London restaurants to name here (we’ll just mention Dinner By Heston and Claude Bosi at Bibendum). So, you know the fish itself is outstanding, but look out for elevated add-ons like the pâté and oak-smoked butter. An excellent Essentials box (£62) gets you a couple of pâtés as well as a fish pie mix, haddock, kippers and smoked salmon two ways.
The Gladwin boys usually spend their time running superb restaurants like Sussex in Soho, The Shed in Notting Hill, Rabbit in Chelsea and Nutbourne in Battersea. When lockdown hit last year, they opened an online store to help Londoners create farm-fresh meals at home. The shop’s still open and still filled with treats from the family farm and vineyard. This one’s more of a build-your-own-box affair and it can be hard to know what to leave out, between the aged ribeye, the sweet-cured pork belly, the Dorset scallops, the Chalk Stream trout… We could go on. Did we say there’s English wine available, too?
Delivers to selected London postcodes
You’ll know the name from the great seafood restaurants dotted around town. But you might not know that, for almost 20 years now, Wright Bros has also been delivering the best fish from British waters to other restaurants that care about the important things for almost 20 years. Hawksmoor, Gordon Ramsay and J Sheekey are all on its client list, so perhaps you should be, too. As an expert wholesaler operating out of the famous Billingsgate market, it gets its hands on the freshest seafood. From the yellowfin tuna loins to the monkfish tails, everything’s sustainably caught. You can even order caviar.
PALE GREEN DOT
Sustainability-focused Pale Green Dot has made its name delivering exceptional fruit and veg boxes. And aficionados know to go to them for meat boxes, too (as well as cheese and dairy options). Right now, it’s put together a seasonal BBQ box (£65) showcasing HG Walter’s next-level native-breed meat. Pork chops, chicken thighs, burgers, lamb chump steaks and more all come vacuum packed for easy freezing. But don’t neglect the year-round offering, which includes a premium meat box sourced from small free-range farms.
Delivers to London and large parts of the south-east
FORMAN & FIELD
This family-run business has been supplying top restaurants with Michelin-quality ingredients for more than two decades. Through its delivery service, all of us can now enjoy its magnificent wares. The range runs from comforting to ‘chef-fy’ – from sausages to black cod in miso. If you’re after fresh ingredients, you’ll find high-quality salmon, trout, tuna and even swordfish. Forman & Field’s fine meat selection is all courtesy of small-scale British farmers. Just remember, its London cure smoked salmon is also renowned for a reason – we’ll personally endorse the classic royal fillet.
PROVENANCE VILLAGE BUTCHER
Provenance Village Butcher has shops in Notting Hill, Chelsea, Little Venice and Queen’s Park. It also has a rather good little online store these days, too. Now that BBQ season is here, it’s gone global, laying on everything from a Pan-Asian BBQ Box (think kimchi burgers and Thai sausages) to tandoori lamb cutlets and Galician beef burgers. Provenance has also got first-class versions of all the classic cuts, as well as every conceivable add-on from meat thermometers to ready-to-drink cocktails. And everything can be delivered same day – wonderful if the sun makes an appearance at short notice.
Delivers to London
An old-style family butcher in Fulham, Putney and South Ken, Parson’s Nose has also pivoted smoothly to same-day deliveries across south-west London. Its easy-to-use shop complements its smart delivery boxes, which you can fill with its wide range of fine meats. It even stretches to fish, offering prized specimens like whole wild turbot. A special Meat & Fish Box (£60) gets you the best of both worlds, including South Downs pork chops, Sutton Hoo chicken supremes, a couple of whole sea bream, Scottish salmon steaks and a bonus set of veg.
Delivers to south-west London
FIELD & FLOWER
Field & Flower started a decade ago, when its founders James and James bought themselves a single cow. Focusing on grass-fed beef delivered direct to doorsteps, they’ve built quite a business. Working now with independent farmers and fishermen across the West Country, they are helping to create a more sustainable food system. They put an emphasis on customer service while making sure suppliers are treated fairly. Look out in particular for its impeccably sourced Catch of the Day and Free-Range Meat boxes.
COOMBE FARM ORGANIC
Coombe Farm meat isn’t just organic. Its animals are carefully reared, enjoying active, free-range lives. Alongside a permanent selection of high-quality cuts, it does a monthly changing meat box chosen to suit the time of year. The current June edition showcases ribeyes, lamb rumps and salmon fillets alongside a magnificently marbled boneless rib of beef and – that timeless outdoor meal classic – chicken drumsticks. For a lean, low-cal and protein-rich alternative to your usual cuts, Coombe Farm Organic also offers young cabrito goat meat.
Of course, London’s oldest and best-known food market has an excellent range of meat and meal boxes covering everything from essentials to special occasions. Its Mouth-Watering Meat boxes are offered in a couple of sizes and feature locally sourced prime cuts alongside free-range chicken. The difference maker here might be the all-too-easy add-ons, which include expertly paired fine wines from the Cartwright Brothers, who have been a mainstay of the iconic market for 20 years.
Probably the best known veg box business in the land, Riverford was founded by a pioneer of organic farming. Today it has its own organic butchery in Devon, which carefully sources slow-growing traditional breeds from attentive West Country farmers. From beef to duck, all of the major meats are offered in an array of quick-cook cuts and roasting joints, as well as sausages and burgers. Boxes are the best way to sample a spread of these fine wares – look out right now for the BBQ-friendly Quick & Easy Meat Box.
FishWorks made a splash last year when it launched some lockdown-busting, best-in-class oyster and wine boxes. The mini group’s three restaurants have reopened now, but the boxes are still going strong, and the range has expanded. You can now taste the sea via its Fruits de Mer box, which includes king prawns, scallops, oysters and a whole cooked lobster – alongside all the condiments and kit you need to make those headline items just so. The FishWorks BBQ box gets you sardines, sea bream and prawns to throw on you know where, plus a host of extras.
We’ve said it many times, but Daylesford is one of the nation’s best and most sustainable farm shops. It also has its own abattoir (and an award-winning cheesemonger, but that’s for another day). BBQ, family and even breakfast meat boxes are offered alongside an intriguing zero-waste option: this surprise box has been known to contain world-class produce from Daylesford’s butcher, as well as from its market garden, kitchen, bakery, creamery and dairy.
Dealing only in slow-reared, 100% grass-fed meat, Pipers Farm delivers its wares across the country. Its array of meat boxes – including a host of seasonal BBQ options – are the most purse friendly way to access everything from its saddleback pork to its free-range birds and natural burgers. In a show of commitment to more sustainable nose-to-tail eating, there’s even a ‘Weird Bits’ section of the shop housing once neglected items. Remember: if you’ve got the constitution for it, offal is a super-food…
RUDY’S VEGAN BUTCHER
And finally… The vegan alternative to all of the above. Rudy’s became the nation’s first permanent vegan butcher when it opened its doors in Islington last year. It’s now added a counter within Selfridges. As well as charcuterie like meat-free mortadella and merguez, this is the place to come for dirty burgers, ‘soysage’ patties and rack of jack ‘ribs’. If you’re looking to lay on a BBQ with a difference, everything can also be ordered online for delivery.
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