Named after one of its founders’s fearless grandmothers, it’s no surprise Colette squared up to the pandemic, and pivoted.
Chelsea’s gourmet traiteur opened in January 2020, making a premium delivery service vital to the business within weeks.
As well as delivering all your bits and bobs for the week ahead, Colette will also bring a complete dinner party to your door. Which, of course, I had to try out.
A fabulous alternative if Covid’s forcing you to cancel a festive dinner with friends, it’s the ultimate indulgence when staying ‘in, in’ is de rigueur…
What is it?
Everything you need to mark a special occasion at home. Like, everything.
Choose from dozens of hand-crafted dishes spanning canapés, starters and main courses, plus signature Colette caviar and flamboyant pâtisserie.
Choose from dozens of hand-crafted dishes spanning canapés, starters and main courses...
You can even add stunning floral centrepieces, tapping into 2021’s trend for tablescaping. Be sure to give a little notice, so staff can advise on food and wine pairings.
Can they deliver to me?
For dinner parties, you can request a bespoke dinner menu any time from two months to a minimum of 48 hours before the occasion. Orders are available for collection or home delivery within a 10-mile radius of Colette (SW10).
Minimum spend of £150 for deliveries.
What’s in the box?
That depends on what you fancy. We ordered for two people, but what arrived could have easily fed three (four, if your guests are particularly polite).
Welcome guests with the likes of smoked salmon muscovite tartlets or duck spring rolls, before wowing them with a plateau de fruits de mer. Choose from marinated hand-dived scallops, Port Hilly oysters or a plate of Argentinian prawns, mussels and native lobster.
We devoured a huge loaf of Colette sourdough and Beillevaire butter, alongside two beautifully presented dishes. Octopus carpaccio fanned out amongst blobs of delicately spiced chickpea puree, while silken beef carpaccio delivered tons of flavour. Absolutely no fuss (simply remove the cling film) and visually, a gorgeous start to proceedings.
Next, an impossibly cute little Beef Wellington, browned off in the oven for twenty minutes. A more than adequate portion for three people, the beef is encased in perfectly golden, flaky pastry – no surprise given Colette’s baking credentials.
A small pot of mushroom fricassee lends earthiness, its juices made for mopping up with bread. Intensely rich Madeira sauce takes the plate to ‘feast’ territory (read our Madeira guide to hear why we adore that island and all its native foodstuffs).
The beef is encased in perfectly golden, flaky pastry - no surprise given Colette’s baking credentials...
Sides were just as good. A veritable mountain of green beans provided crunch (just heat up for a few minutes), while two bricks of super creamy potato dauphinoise bubbled away beautifully when removed from the oven.
There’s something incredibly fun about serving restaurant-quality food in the context of one’s own home. Though you didn’t make it from scratch, it feels like you did (and if you wanted to impress on a date, you could totally say you whipped it up yourself. Immoral? Probably, yes. Genius? Also yes).
Sounds great… What will I need?
- Continue the no-fuss theme with a couple of canned cocktails while you cook up a storm. We love an adorable Pocket Negroni from Whitebox Drinks, or Niche Cocktails’s Mocha Martini.
- Wine for the table, obvs. We’re really into RedHeads, a tiny wine studio in Southern Australia with environmentally-friendly credentials: they’re vegan and 97% off-grid, powered by “some big-ass solar panels.” Go for the 2019 Coco Rôtie.
- Unexpected guests? Make each plate go further with a ton of roasted veg sides. We love BENS The Greengrocer’s superior quality produce. Boxes turn up teeming with exotic fruits and super colourful veggies; steam some gorgeous greens, or fry up a head of broccoli with tons of garlic.
What I wish I’d known beforehand…
To save ample room for dessert. Running to the kitchen for more wine, only to remember the patisserie box perched on the countertop, was a moment of pure joy. A St Honore (think feather-light puff pastry, cream and lashings of caramel) and a gorgeously crafted apple cheesecake were so pretty, it seemed a shame to eat them.
The best bit…
Barely any cooking involved, next to no washing up and a truly unforgettable evening. Colette’s the true hostess here and we give her full marks.