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‘We had 42 orders yesterday alone’: St Andrews restaurant launches meal boxes and cocktail deliveries nationwide

The Adamson's Thanksgiving box.
The Adamson's Thanksgiving box.

Having temporarily closed to diners due to Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions, The Adamson has launched a nationwide delivery service offering luxury food boxes and a selection of their popular cocktails.

At home meal boxes are the “in” thing for 2020, allowing us to support our local restaurants and try out food from venues further afield that we haven’t had a chance to visit yet.

The Adamson in St Andrews is one of the latest restaurants to embark on such a venture with their recent launch of The Adamson at Home and a selection of cocktails that can be delivered straight to your door.

Hoping to put together meal boxes to go with the seasons, their first-ever box has been created for Thanksgiving Day and consists of a three-course dinner that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own dining room.

The celebratory menu includes roast pumpkin soup, roast turkey roulade and pecan pie served with whipped vanilla cream. The menu is priced at £25 per person.

Thanksgiving is nearly here. 🧡If you would like to order The Adamson Thanksgiving food kit please private message us…

Posted by The Adamson on Thursday, 19 November 2020

Managing director Julie Lewis said: “We’ve been temporarily closed while we are in Tier 3 for the safety and security of our team. We will continue to operate by providing our customers and community with our at home range, delivered to your door for you to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

“Everything is freshly made to order. For our Thanksgiving boxes, everything was made on the Wednesday and given to the courier in the afternoon, for delivery today. Myself and another member of my team will deliver the boxes locally that we’ve got, up to the Cupar area.

“If anyone wants a Thanksgiving box over the next few days, even after Thanksgiving, they can still get in touch because my suppliers have said we can do that.

“We had 42 orders yesterday alone – we can’t believe it. Last Wednesday we were closing as we’d tried to stay open through the weekend and then in to Monday and Tuesday, as Fife was heading into Tier 3. But it was just so sad – there was nobody coming out.”

Deliveries to St Andrews residents are free, and hand-delivered by Julie and her team. Outwith the area, there is a £7.50 delivery charge and the restaurant currently cannot deliver to the following postcodes or areas: BT1-BT17, BT18-BT94, PO30-P041, the Isle of Man and some of the Scottish Highlands.

Celebration boxes

Created by The Adamson’s executive chef, Chris Niven, who is a former contestant on the BBC’s MasterChef: The Professionals, the restaurant’s celebration boxes for Christmas and New Year will soon be available on the website, with announcements appearing regularly on the eatery’s social media channels.

Julie says: “Celebration boxes are something we’re going to keep doing, through Christmas and New Year etc.

“Our chef, Chris Niven, was on MasterChef: The Professionals and did quite well on it so we are going to do a little Chris Niven box and we want to do quite an affordable one. We are going to do it twice a week – a Tuesday and a Friday – so you can have it for during the week or have it for the weekend.”

Cocktail deliveries

For fans of The Adamson, or those who have never had a chance to venture through its doors, many of the restaurant and bar’s popular cocktails, and some new ones, are also available for home delivery and come ready-to-pour.

Julie says: “For the cocktails, they aren’t all the ones you usually get at The Adamson as we’ve made some new ones. We have a ‘tree’ that’s made up of our favourite cocktails as well. It has nine arms on it so can be sent out maybe as a Christmas gift to somebody or have them yourself. The trees with the cocktails are £40 but then what we’re going to do is source the trees themselves so that we can actually sell them as well.

Julie Lewis, managing director of The Adamson with the Thanksgiving box.

“On the night before Fife headed into Tier 3, we sold 453 cocktails – that’s unheard of. We never reach those sorts of figures but I think everyone was happy to have their last night out again.

“The cocktails are completely ready when they arrive. We’ll have already shaken it over ice to the perfect dilution so customers don’t have to put anymore ice in it, they just have to chill it. They’ve got a shelf life of three days but can easily be put in the freezer and freeze it for a later date. Then you just pour it into a glass and they’re ready.

“We’ve also included some cards to tell people what’s in their cocktails. It’s a lovely little gift, actually.”

In celebration of Thanksgiving, customers can enjoy a pumpkin spiced daiquiri – Havana 7 spice rum, pumpkin spiced syrup, orange juice, pineapple juice and lemon. Priced at £7 per cocktail and available now from the new online shop.

Popularity

Having only launched in the last couple of weeks, the meal boxes and cocktail deliveries have proved popular with fans of the restaurant already, from all over the world.

Julie says: “We’ve had some great support on social media. I’ve already had a lady who’s laid her table out for Thanksgiving already and is just waiting on the Thanksgiving box being delivered. I’m going to hand deliver it to her personally on Thursday – she’s already been on the phone a few times talking me through her set-up and telling me how excited she is for it.

“I’m excited about it. I think it’s a really massive part of what The Adamson could maybe go into 2021 doing and is a great way to reach people who have never visited us before. I got an Instagram message yesterday asking if we can send the cocktails to someone in New York! I’ll have to figure out how to get that up and running.

“We don’t know where the website will go, but the whole idea was that we can bring The Adamson into your home and we have so many regular guests that have been asking us if we’d do something like this. We’ve managed to tap into a lot of American families that are in town for Thanksgiving and they’ve just really loved our boxes and I can’t believe that they’ve been enjoying the offering so much.”

Tiers

The Adamson is only one of many restaurants across the region that have had to close under the current tier system, with the wider effects being felt throughout the town of St Andrews.

Julie says: “I think people’s behaviour is different when they can’t come out and have a drink and now they’ve got to have a lunch, not a dinner. Then I think people felt it was a bit more serious with Tier 3 than it had been, so we have noticed a big change and I think a lot of the town of St Andrews did as well.

“Obviously Dundee went into Tier 3 before us but it was a big shift here of people suddenly saying they’re not going out and St Andrews is a lot quieter now. A lot of the restaurants in the community and around the town have decided to close.

“If we were back in Tier 2 we’d be open in a second as that worked well for us, but not Tier 3. So the boxes are the other option. We’re just going to have to evolve it and I think it’s a really nice thing to have delivered to your house.”

The Adamson set up a new marquee outside the restaurant in October, and saw business return to near normal.

Despite the restrictions, Julie’s team was able to pull together the meal kits and cocktails within a couple of days after the government’s announcement was made.

She said: “In March, we had thought about doing boxes for Mothers’ Day but I think we got locked down the day after. So we’d sort of had the idea then and my team is just so agile and adaptable.

“We had a staff meeting the day after it was announced that Fife was heading into Tier 3. It’s a family business so my father was saying ‘we’re going to close’ and then there was the news that Gleneagles was closing, as well as some other places – it was really sort of flabbergasting to watch how it was unfolding. I just said to my dad ,’Why don’t we revisit doing it at home because our guests are asking us and I know that the cocktails are popular?’

“We built the website on the Thursday and by the Friday we were putting the products together and taking pictures. God knows how many cocktails we made for that photoshoot, probably about 50-100. Then I packaged them up and took them round town to give to people. It was nice and we’ve had a lot of people saying they loved them.

“I hope this is something we will continue to do beyond the pandemic. We’ve got some amazing chefs in our team that really have some great ideas. It’s also an avenue for us to do new things, such as doing summer boxes or spring boxes, or Valentine’s boxes – there are just so many things throughout the year we could do it for.

To all of our marvelous guests who we all know & love, we have after a discussion over the last few days & hours decided…

Posted by The Adamson on Wednesday, 18 November 2020

“It’s really positive and my team got super excited putting the website together for us, because they don’t want to not be at work. It’s amazing that the government is putting furlough back in again but the staff want to work and they want to make sure that their job is still there and that The Adamson keeps going.

“We’ve managed to get a delivery company that will do it for us and will do it overnight so you could have the delivery to your door either at 9am or 12 noon, so we can get it really quickly to most people as there are only a couple of postcodes nationwide that we can’t get it to. For local delivery we do that ourselves.

“We worked really hard on it – there were a few tears and a little bit of stress.”

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