Debra Aspinall samples a three-course meal from Hibiscus Supper Club.

Takeaways and home food orders have rocketed almost 50 per cent since March, according to JustEat. There’s no doubt we all appreciate a break from our own cooking.

But while many of us enjoy the occasional Indian, Chinese or fast-food feast, it’s always a treat for the tastebuds to savour a well-crafted, restaurant-quality meal. And in these uncertain times to have it delivered to your door is a real indulgence, especially for anyone who is shielding or in quarantine.

Local event caterers, Hibiscus, have cleverly filled the gap between fast food and dining out by offering their quality dining service through a Supper Club, available on Fridays and Saturdays to homes covered by the Bucks Free Press.

I logged on to their site and on Friday night tucked into a delicious three-course meal for two in the comfort of my home. It was delivered in the afternoon and took just 20 minutes to assemble and ‘cook’.

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How the food arrived

Bucks Free Press:

The Hibiscus Supper Club

The menu offered a good choice of five starters, six mains and five desserts. My meal comprised beetroot and herb-cured smoked Scottish salmon with rocket, mango and a chilli, avocado and basil pesto.

Far too fiddly for me to ever consider creating myself and a refreshing start to my meal. Next was marmalade-glazed confit duck leg with a redcurrant and thyme jus (just 20 minutes to heat up to crispy perfection). My pud was suitably comforting sticky toffee pudding with custard.

Hubby thoroughly enjoyed his classic French onion soup with gruyere cheese croutons followed by pan-fried Atlantic cod fillet with a herby mustard and sunflower seed crust and a very sweet lemon meringue pie with blueberry compote. All mains were accompanied by crowd-pleasing dauphinoise potatoes and seasonal veg. These were cooked to perfection when following the Hibiscus instructions on microwave and oven timings to the letter.

At the set price of £20 per person this was a good deal less than it would have cost at a restaurant and probably less than our usual takeaway would have cost for three courses.

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Bucks Free Press:

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Some of the supper dishes 

Bucks Free Press:

Hibiscus Lemon meringue pie

Friends Chris Wayland and Jo Rasenberg set up Hibiscus Event Catering Ltd 11 years ago in Beaconsfield with backgrounds in catering and hospitality. All was going well until the spring, when events of all kinds were horrendously hit by the pandemic.

Chris started his career with Prue Leith, then worked on the Orient Express, at The Royal Palaces and Downing Street and held executive chef roles at The Law Society, Hatfield House and Somerset House.

Jo runs the admin and marketing side of the business and honed her organisational skills as a top-level private secretary.

Jo says: “Being told in March that you cannot run your business in the way that you would usually do has been pretty devastating.

“We knew we had to take action and do something different. We took the leap and launched Hibiscus Supper Club at the end of April. We really weren’t sure if anyone would place an order, but within hours we had sold out.

“Our Supper Club ethos is to deliver a fully prepared, three-course meal to our private and corporate clients for just £20 per person. They can then serve/heat/cook their meal at their convenience. No need for babysitters or taxis.”