You can get pretty much anything delivered in London. Groceries, old-fashioned milk in glass bottles on your doorstep like it’s 1952, wine and beer. Which, for someone who does not have a car, is so helpful. We live about 200 feet from a dry-cleaner, but they offer free delivery, so why carry all those clothes 200 feet myself when they can do it for me at a time that’s convenient for me?
For groceries and household items, I use Ocado, both the website and the easy-to-use phone app. I place an order, choose a one-hour time slot for delivery, and a man brings the bags right into my kitchen for me. (The dog HATES the Ocado delivery men, even when the order includes dog food.) Pretty much all the big grocery chains offer their own similar online order and delivery service: Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Tesco. And of course there’s also Amazon Prime, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Prime NOW.
I love the grocery delivery, but not getting to pick out my own produce isn’t great. To supplement, we get a weekly box from Riverford organic farm. It’s kind of like a CSA, except you can choose which box you want that week, based on the contents, and you can skip weeks and not pay for what you don’t need. Their produce has been outstanding, much better than any grocery store. The day of the delivery I just leave my box from last week on the front step and they take it back to reuse it. This week I ordered organic chicken from them too.
For prepared food from restaurants, the most popular app is Deliveroo. On a Friday or Saturday night the streets teem with motorbikes with large boxes balanced on the backs, whizzing takeaway meals to hungry people at the tap of a finger on a phone.
And now M has signed up for Freddie’s Flowers, another local delivery service, and Friday morning a box was delivered with this beautiful bouquet inside:
You know what Americans can get delivered to their front doors that we can’t, though? Girl Scout cookies. What I would do for a taste of Tagalong or a sliver of Samoa…