Have you heard of Marley Spoon? It’s one of the new generation of food delivery services, along the lines of Hello Fresh and Gousto, where you order meals online and are sent recipes and ingredients to prepare and cook at home. We were offered a review of a Marley Spoon box, so what did we think, did it offer good value for money, and how suitable is it for families with young children?
Ordering your meals is a relatively simple process – you pick from the website menu and then everything is delivered in one box on your preferred day. Everything’s provided apart from really basic items like salt and oil. In terms of freshness, the frozen items are delivered in cool bags with wool packaging to keep them cold and everything lasts for four days. The overall packaging looks great, too, very sleek and minimalist. With Marley Spoon there’s an emphasis on quality and fresh produce, with constantly rotating recipes created by chefs and bloggers.
We actually had a few minor issues with our first delivery box, but after flagging it to them they immediately resolved this and sent us a second box to review. So we ended up trying flank steak with potatoes, mushrooms and artichokes, chicken skewers with spicy peanut sauce and rice noodle salad, and cod and chorizo spiendini with lemon risotto and red salsa.
I’m not the most precise of chefs, so Alex cooked the majority of each meal. He thought the recipes were fine to follow and didn’t require a great amount of skill. At the moment, with a relatively new and unpredictable baby we’re not being hugely experimental with cooking so it was nice to try different things and slight twists on what we might have picked. The portions were really big each time and there would have been enough to feed the toddler too.
The food is undoubtedly lovely, but obviously this all comes with a cost implication. The website states that meals start from £5.50, but all the ones available when we tried were £9, and you have to buy four portions, at least two of the same dish, so that’s a minimum of £36 per order. So it’s not really feasible or practical for an ongoing replacement of weekly meals. On top of this you have to do the prep and then cook it yourself – with all the room for dinner-ruining error and child-related interruptions – so you’re paying quite a lot for the convenience of a box of ready-collected ingredients.
When you have a new baby and everything’s crazy you do generally want something that’s as easy as possible (and if you want something easy you don’t have to cook yourself, for about £12 you can get a main, sides and a pudding for two from Cook that you just have to reheat). The Marley Spoon meals were lovely, but if you love eating but not cooking it’s not for you. If you love cooking but without the faff of ordering everything individually, and aren’t on a budget, it’s worth a look.
I’ve been offered a Marley Spoon discount code if you want to try. The first 50 people will receive £25 off their first order by using the code: MarleyOnBoard.
Have you tried a food delivery service? What did you think?