40 High Street, Cobham, Surrey KT11 3EB
The upside: Doorstep sandwiches, ready-made family meals and delightful party food.
The downside: Food that is hard to resist – you have been warned!
The flipside: This business will bend over backwards to meet your individual needs.
Tips: Take your own dish to fill with lovely home-cooked food; no-one need know you didn’t make it yourself.
This impressive business was started Marilyn Newman over thirty years ago. An experienced caterer, who spent time in the USA saw a gap in the UK market for expertly prepared take-home food; three decades later this business is thriving. Today Marilyn has stepped back from the business but has left a tight management team in place.
The team have created a winning model, surviving several recessions. At Home’s base is in Cobham but it has a London office and a list of iconic catered events under its belt (the Brit Awards for starters) and lots of high-profile clients. Every event, from a dinner party for 10 to a marquee wedding for three hundred, is catered for with equal attention to detail.
Chef/director Jeremy took me into the kitchen where a gluten-free canapé buffet for 30 was being created. All the items on the menu were prepared in the kitchen and finished at the venue. Delicious savoury toppings were sealed in piping bags and chilled; baby meringues were being packed, tiny bread rolls were being filled.
At Home offer modern-style catering alongside old-fashioned service and hospitality. The three directors run all aspects of their business, updating their menus to keep on trend and stop their clients getting bored. They produce comprehensive catalogues of their food twice a year so you can easily build your perfect menu.
They make some extra portions of their catered dishes to sell in the deli, so there’s always something different on offer. I sampled a rich, satisfying spicy seafood stew and a wild rice salad with green beans. Both were tasty, hearty, healthy and worth going back for. Jane’s chicken breast in a creamy wild-mushroom sauce was rich and tender. Jane and I shared a ham and coleslaw sandwich. We agreed it was a classic: overfilled with an American portion of ham and homemade slaw with proper mayonnaise. At lunch times large queues form for these legendary sandwiches. The date and apple loaf was moist, fruit packed and perfect with afternoon tea. Other cakes include a classic Victoria sponge and lemon drizzle.
They carefully source their products from local and London producers: you’ll find Norbury Blue cheese in the deli counter and artisan sour doughs from the Bread Factory in London. Pastries come from La Patisserie in Stoke D’Aberbon, who stone-grind their flour every day. To complement the fresh food they have a selection of artisan and gourmet oils, vinegars, mustards and other relishes. They also stock handmade chocolates and some select crockery.
Next time you cater for a big crowd pop into At Home and see what they could do for you. You won’t be disappointed.
01932 862 026