A little over a week ago I was invited to the HelloFresh offices in London. It was to be my first trip away from the baby and also the longest amount of time I'd left her for (around 9 hours). It was also Tom's first time with both children and feeding Mabli from the bottle so was quite a landmark for both of us. I'm pleased to report that it went brilliantly for both of us, I felt like I'd got a bit of me back and was also so pleased for Tom who had a successful day with the kids and with bottle feeding which was a worry for us both.
The HelloFresh offices have just moved location into this beautiful space in Hackney. Co-founder Patrick showed us around the ground floor, pointing out pieces of furniture he'd picked up from vintage markets, such as the postoffice shelf that had seen two world wars or the hundreds of cook books he'd found for 15p each. It was clear that for Patrick it was important that the office had as much character as the brand itself. HelloFresh has become a massive company now working in 9 countries and delivering 850,000 meals over the last three months but it still has a home grown family feel to it and you could tell that from the work space and from the employees that gathered around during their lunch break too.
HelloFresh have just launched their 'Quick and Easy' box option to their menu preferences. So as well as the usual veggie/family/classic boxes and their sizes (2/3/4 people) their new 'Quick & Easy' boxes are designed for meals to made under 30 minutes.
When I was chatting to Patrick about my own experience with HelloFresh and one go the things I wanted to convey is just how great they for new parents. With both children in those weeks after birth the thing that was valued the most was food. After the meals the neighbours kindly bring round had all been eaten (yes we have neighbours that do this!) the thought of going shopping and being organised to plan out and cook healthy meals was exhausting. With Wilf we ended up opting for microwavable meals and by day three I just felt like I was craving fresh food. You need healthy food even more postpartum so being able to have a box of meals delivered every week with exactly what you need for easy, tasty nutritious food was a life saver.
Now we are both back at work and also have two kids and their schedules to think about life is busier than ever. I have to admit that Tom does 90% of the cooking in our house but I know that when he's just got in from a full day at the office after a night of hardly much sleep it's sometimes hard to think about spending more than 30 minutes in the kitchen preparing dinner. I think this is a real problem not just for families but for busy working couples too, so often we reach for the takeaway menu instead and then end up feeling just a bit rubbish afterwards because of it.
Patrick, co-founder and head chef at HelloFresh says '“Our ‘Quick and Easy’ box is a speedy solution for those nights when you want dinner on the table quickly but still want something delicious and nutritious to eat” says Patrick Drake, co-founder and Head Chef of HelloFresh. “Cooking at home with HelloFresh you know exactly what goes into each meal you have - so there is no hidden sugar or high salt levels you don’t know about. And best of all, it is fun and on the table in under 30 minutes.”
Some of these pictures really make me laugh, I had no idea I was so animated when I talk haha, promise it was only the one glass of wine I had at lunch ;)
I partnered up with with Sarah-Jane from London Unattached on my work station and she was an absolute hoot!
What was so clear after spending time at the offices and with Patrick was just how passionate they are as a company about food and about making good food inclusive for everyone. We discussed cooking shows a little (Patrick has his own YouTube channel here that Wilf was really enjoying watching with me!) and how so many make food seem exclusive and competitive. I realised that thats actually part of why I shy away from cooking for people myself as it often feel daunting. Cooking and eating well shouldn't be about that at all, it should be about families and friends getting together around a table, eating delicious, fresh healthy food and sharing stories of there day.
As a family we've always made a point of eating together. I know we're lucky in that Tom gets home at 5'oclock so we are able to do that but I always remember how important family meals were at home when I was little. It was my chance to chat to my parents, for us to laugh and joke together and I still sometimes crave the food my dad used to make me.
I want Wilf & Mabli to look back on our family meals in the same way so its important to us that as often as possible they are fresh and healthy and cooked from scratch.
The essential IG shot of my lunch before I eat it!
We haven't used HelloFresh in a while so this month we are going to be giving them a go again. Follow along on my social media as I'm sure I'll be sharing a pic or two of our meals.
What do you think of HelloFresh? Would you be trying any of the new quick meals?
In association with HelloFresh