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Five course gourmet ‘ready meals’ for self-isolation are instant sell-out

PUBLISHED: 13:35 23 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:35 23 March 2020

Richard Bainbridge at Benedicts has sold out of his gourmet ready meals. Pic: Archant

Richard Bainbridge at Benedicts has sold out of his gourmet ready meals. Pic: Archant

Norwich’s fine dining restaurant Benedicts has immediately sold out of its luxury ‘ready meals’ after closing over coronavirus.

Such is the demand for glamorous meals - even from those self-isolating - the St Benedicts Street restaurant decided to offer a ‘little break from cooking.’

Chef Richard Bainbridge came up with a luxury meal which could be delivered to your home complete with appetisers, wine and even French pastries to have with post-dinner coffee.

The meals, also available for collection with no interaction with another person, have proved such a hit, they instantly sold out.

One of the caneles, a French pastry, on the ready meal menu to have with coffee after your meal. Pic: BenedictsOne of the caneles, a French pastry, on the ready meal menu to have with coffee after your meal. Pic: Benedicts

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The decision to offer fine dining in customers’ homes came after Benedicts closed at the end of last week because of the threat of coronavirus.

The meals, which are available for weekends only, included Benedicts’ ‘famous sherry sauce, rice crackers and bread’ as an appetiser followed by a choice of either wild garlic soup, gin cured salmon or pate en croute for a starter, a choice of mains including braised ox cheek, rolled saddle of lamb or fish mousse ravioli and then sides including Jersey royals and cumin salted baked carrots.

Benedicts, St Benedicts Street, Norwich. Pic: ArchantBenedicts, St Benedicts Street, Norwich. Pic: Archant

To finish, desserts ranged from chocolate mousse to trifle and caneles, a traditional French pastry to have with coffee.

Drinks available included champagne to Benedicts’ ‘mystery red or white’ wine or even a beer.

The menus, coming to about £50-£60 per person including wine, completely sold out and are already booked up for this coming weekend.

Mr Bainbridge said: “We might now be closed but our ready meals are flying out. We will use this forced holiday as wisely as can be and enjoy some real and rare quality family time.

Richard Bainbridge at Benedicts has sold out of his gourmet ready meals. Pic: ArchantRichard Bainbridge at Benedicts has sold out of his gourmet ready meals. Pic: Archant

”We will be rolling out Benedicts ready meals for collection and delivery to take away the stress of cooking at home and bring a sense of luxury onto your table. Also, of course it is our greatest intent to be able to stay in business and to be able to support our staff through this tough time.”

Mr Bainbridge had earlier taken to social media to say thank you to customers. “It’s been an incredible journey and we’ve always had the support of Norfolk and Norwich customers so to hear you have been told to avoid us is heartbreaking,”

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This pate en croute features on the ready meal menu at Benedicts. Pic: BenedictsThis pate en croute features on the ready meal menu at Benedicts. Pic: Benedicts

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