In normal times, DIY makes me think of a dreaded trip to B&Q, in which I pretend to understand what on earth a power drill is and what exactly it does. But in lockdown? It makes me think of the sort of things my favourite venues are doing to give me an at-home dining experience or entertainment that I desperately need. From grilled cheese meal kits to Michelin-recognised banqueting and kitchen-brewed beer, the only thing that's not DIY here is this list... we’ve done all the research so you just have to scroll and find our favourites.
Embrace the flower power
Kicking off our list with something non-edible is The Flower Lounge of Didsbury. They’ve got a couple of DIY treats, including a Eucalyptus wreath kit. All you’ll need is scissors as the kit includes thread, a hoop and the plant itself. And if you're not into public door-splays of affection? The Flower Lounge have got a flower vase kit up for grabs too, perfect for lovers of seasonal British foliage.
Keep it simple with a classic grilled cheese
Northern Soul are dishing out the goods and this time they’re doing it in a truly cheesy way… grilled cheese to be specific. This 'Grill it Yourself' kit includes enough roast ham, pickle and red onion chutney to make two ooey gooey sandwiches. Need an extra cheesy side? There are also two servings of mac ‘n’ cheese pots for you to enjoy with your loaded sandwiches. As if that wasn’t enough, Northern Soul will give you a grilled cheese in their store when lockdown is over.
Make your own MasterChef dining experience
2015 MasterChef champion, Simon Wood, has launched a delivery service from his namesake restaurant WOOD. Expect three courses for £25 per person with options such as the famous belly pork and the dish that won him the MasterChef crown, citrus tutti-frutti. This is truly a ‘cook-it-yourself’ box of fine dining ingredients from the Michelin-approved kitchen to yours.
Brew your own pale ale with BrewDog
Whilst you may not be able to head to the pub and enjoy a cold and frosty pint, BrewDog are rolling out the experience for you to enjoy at home. With the kit making up to seven pints of IPA, your brand new hobby awaits in the form of this kit… yeast, grains and hops all included. There’s barley any learning curve and in just two weeks of fermentation you’ll have a custom made-at-home Indian pale ale... beer lovers would have to be hopping mad to miss out.
Become top dog with this sizzling hot dog kit
Grandad’s Sausages are known for their banging hot dogs served with all the trimmings like jalapenos, crispy onions and, of course, American mustard. Choose from both £12 and £20 options and you’ll get the bread, the meat, the cheese and all the extras you’ll need to make your very own loaded hot dog. The smaller box gives you enough goods to make two varieties of hot dog and the larger box will give you a whopping selection of four of the little beauties.
Become a pizza extraordinaire
One of the most unique pizzerias in the Northern Quarter, Noi Quattro, are gifting Neapolitan heaven in the form of a DIY pizza kit. You’ll get everything from the dough right down to the tomato sauce, flour, mozzarella, Parmesan and basil. If Domino's just isn’t cutting it for your pizza needs, then this is the way to go.
Turn up the heat with this prawn curry kit
Crowned as Britain’s best home cook in 2018, Pippa is now sharing her love of Asian food with you. Taking the form of a Nyonya Curry Laksa kit, you’ll be able to enjoy a fragrant and creamy noodle soup with coconut broth, tofu and fried prawn balls. PippyEats is famous for her chilli oil and luckily for us all at home, that’s available as an add-on from her online store.
Potter about with some home pottery
I’ll say what we’re all thinking. Pottery makes us think of that scene from Ghost. Whilst this 7 Spot Pottery kit would be the perfect way to recreate it, it does not include a potter’s wheel - or Patrick Swayze. Your kit will include four kilograms of clay as well as a toolkit to help shape and decorate the clay to your liking. An online course with expert Pascal Nichols is also included so you can really make a masterpiece.
Brew up some of your own bubble tea
If you’re missing your tapioca fix, Bobo Tea are accepting pre-orders for a milk tea DIY kit. You’ll be able to choose two flavours from original, matcha, taro, lychee, peach and chocolate, with assam black tea leaves and the tapioca bubbles (of course) all included. Normally have your tea with sugar? No need to fret, your kit will include both syrup and creamer to give you the full experience. Simply follow the included guide and you'll become a bubble tea master in no time.
Lather up with this soap making kit
Every craft starts somewhere and Fred Aldous is here to give you the first push. Their soap making kit gives you enough ingredients to make 12 bars of your own, lemon dye and fragrance included. There’s even a nifty mould so you can choose from three different shapes for your sudsy creation. Whether you’re wanting to deck out your own home spa or fill your clothing drawers with fragrance, this kit is everything you were soap-ing for.
Experience a gin tasting in your living room
With a goal of beating the current world record for 796 participants for a gin tasting, Manchester Gin isn’t here to mess around. Expect offerings of their signature, wild spirit, raspberry and blackberry gins as well as four handpicked tonics for each one to make for the perfect pairing. When lockdown is over, you’ll also get 20% off all distillery bookings at the distillery in Three Little Words.
Piqued your interest? Head to DeliverMyNight for our favourite at-home experiences and deliveries.