Eat in or eat out?

Eat in or eat out?

Hello Lovelies,

Eat in or eat out? 

More couples now fine dining at home 

Fine dining at home has been on the rise for the last four to five years. In fact, it can be linked really to the economic problems we have all been facing. With job security a worry and the ever increasing prices of food, utilities, insurance and just living in general means people have not had the same amount of free cash in their pockets each month.

The future of restaurants
Restaurants offering good value or ones that are seen as destination restaurants are still doing well but there has undeniably been a massive rise in the number of people simply diverting their cash from eating out to eating at home, having great food and drinking fine wine thanks to the fact is costs a third of what you would pay in a restaurant.

Supermarkets are cashing in on the trend

All the evidence is there. The premium supermarkets have been offering the dine in for £10 offers, giving couples access to good quality, easy to cook meals with wine and dessert for less than the cost of one starter at many restaurants. Many supermarkets have also been seeing a rise in the sales of other fine dining classics – scallops, panna cotta, casserole beef, whole ducks – all the food normally associated with wanting to create a premium eating experience. And with that comes the desire to ‘sit up’ and not eat off a tray in front of the TV. Couples have been searching out for a new range of cutlery sets here in the sales in order to create a fine dining experience – but just one at home rather than in a restaurant.
Supermarkets have also been reporting a further shift in some consumer buying patterns with some people trading up to more premium cuts of meat or products now that they are staying in. Higher quality wines such as Chateaunuef-du-Pape and Chablis are seeing huge increases and these are not the types of wine that you quaff on a Wednesday night but normally associated with food.

For anyone with a knowledge or interest in the food industry, you’ll know that restaurants of course charge a high premium for their food and with a little practice you can replicate your favourite recipes at home for a fraction of the cost. So you can in theory ‘eat out’ at home a lot more often, which when everyone is skint, it’s a great weekly treat!

It is not only the big chain supermarkets that seem to be winning with the increased business. Smaller, independent stores are also reporting an increase in sales. With cheese, charcutierie and olives high on the list of most often bought products we may be witnessing a fine dining revolution at home but it is still a relaxed, less formal affair.

The food and wine may well be premium in quality but the atmosphere being created is far more relaxed than the dinner parties of yesteryear. The two of you are as likely to eat up at the kitchen island (though it is probably made of solid walnut or beautiful granite) than to tuck in at a dining table these days. A sharing dish such as a fantastic whole baked Vacherin cheese into which you can dive with sour dough sticks or warm new potatoes is more likely to be your starter. Relaxed, informal and comfortable are the buzzwords of dining at home. After a hard and most probably very long day at work coupled with the ubiquitous commute home many couples just want to relax and eat some decent food together.

As I was a chef while studying, I have a true love for food, as you can probably tell from my waist line eh! I take great pleasure in serving restaurant quality food in my own home, whether it is a snack platter for lunch, a family meal or Come Dine With Me style dinner with friends. I find the key to giving your food a restaurant, luxe feel is with the right crockery. Trust me, you can eat beans on toast or a take away from really nice plates and it increases your enjoyment. The same way a gourmet feast served on paper plates would kill the vibe!

John Lewis have a great selection of kitchenware and it’s quite often the first place I look if I am after an interesting dinner service, quality cutlery or an unusual serving platter. With a great range of prices, and celebrity design ranges such as Jamie Oliver, Cath Kidston and Emma Bridgewater, you are spoiled for choice.

Here are a few of my favourites from the current selection on offer at John Lewis

JamieOliver Dips + Bits – Great for decanting store bought or home made dips or serving olives and small nibbles
JamieOliver Big Dog Bowl – I love the name of this one, great for putting in the middle of the table for a help yourself casual meal or just a big bowl of popcorn in front of the TV having a budget cinema night!

RobertWelch Cutlery set – I personally have a set of ‘every day’ cutlery that gets slung in the dishwasher without a second thought, then for special occasions, I was gifted a very high quality cutlery canteen which again, I feel if you can stretch your budget to it, really makes the difference when enjoying a posh meal in the house! A good cutlery canteen will last for most of your life time so consider it an investment, like a good set of pans!


Do you prefer dining in now or are you still a fan of eating out? Let me know!

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