I’ve always been a big fan of local food and count many local producers as good friends. For many years my job was to support these producers, and when I moved on from this role I missed the food and drink scene so much that I started my own blog – Taste Tay, a collection of ramblings about places I have eaten and local goodies that I regularly buy. So when a group of producers decided to form a new food network I was only too happy to help them out. A small steering group has been meeting regularly to discuss what Appetite for Angus should look like and focus on, and what excellent timing! After only a couple of meetings Coronavirus hit and life as we knew it pretty much stopped! However, many of our local producers, shops and restaurants are surviving by adapting to the circumstances and being innovative in their approach to dealing with the strange times we find ourselves in. We have created a list of all these businesses and keep it as up to date as possible. There’s something for everyone, so please do go and have a look, and support local! [Enter link here].

Of course I wouldn’t be doing my job as a food blogger if I didn’t try out as many of these options as I could! I live in Arbroath so have been taking advantage of any many home delivery and takeaway options as I can – and there is plenty of choice! We have designated Friday night as takeaway night, and this week enjoyed an excellent meal from Andreou’s Bistro. I’m certainly no stranger to Andreou’s when it is open, and the gyros and handcut chips I had was as good at home as it would have been in the restaurant. And it arrived so quickly! Next week I think we will opt for pizza from the Copper Oven.

Another treat I’m lining up is a delivery of a cheese box from Smithies Deli. It doesn’t get much better than getting a cheese board delivered to your door (actually, it does get better, they have an option that includes gin too!). And if I fancy something sweet, I can order cakes from Webmors.  Most of the local butchers are doing home deliveries and bakeries such as Keptie Bakery and JM Bakery so I don’t think I’ll go hungry!

Milton Haugh Farm Shop is open every morning, but also does a collection service throughout the day. Phone in your order, and when you go and pick it up it will be placed directly into the boot of your car. Brilliant! Elizabeth from the Corn Kist has been incredibly busy cooking and baking so that customers can take away ready meals, pies, scones and cakes. I really don’t know how she finds the time to do it all!

WeeCook is another local business which has adapted amazingly well to the circumstances. Takeaway is available from the restaurant at Barry Downs and pies are available on delivery. If you are lucky, your delivery person might be dressed as Zippy from Rainbow (yes, really!). And of course if you are in need of a tipple, and quite frankly who doesn’t at the moment, all our favourite local drinks are available to buy online including Redcastle Gin and Gin Bothy (great if you are looking for present ideas too!).

So this lockdown business might not be much fun, but it’s a great opportunity to support local producers and treat yourself to some fabulous food and drink in the process. Stay in your home, stay safe and #supportlocal!