Laura Jackson shows us how to #MakeAMealOfIt at home this Valentine’s Day

TV presenter and founder of supper club Hoste, Laura Jackson has found a way to pivot her business during the pandemic, when supper clubs are obviously out of the question.

As lots of restaurants have done during the last year, Hoste launched its very first meal box in November, born of Laura’s #MakeAMealOfIt on social media, which encouraged her followers to make a special moment of mealtimes at home by creating a restaurant-style ambience through lighting, music, tablescaping and even styling your food – and, of course, taking a picture of it all for the ‘gram before tucking into your food.

Now she’s launched a second box just in time for Valentine’s Day on 14 February (or Galentine’s Day on the 13 Feb, depending on which you’re celebrating), the Hoste x Moët & Chandon Galentine’s Make a Meal of It Box.

For £55, the ‘supper club in a box’ has been curated by Laura Jackson, and includes a three course feast for two (there’s a meaty and vegetarian option), a bottle of Moët & Chandon’s iconic Rosé Impérial, a Pink Blossom Love candle by Wax Atelier, a box of Hoste matches and bespoke menu cards designed by Romeo and Jules to add the finishing touches to your Valentine’s tablescape.

We chatted with Laura to find out why she loves to ‘make a meal of it’ and her tips for doing so to create the ultimate Valentine’s Day at home, whether you’re locked down with loved ones, housemates or your gran.

Laura Jackson Hoste
Hoste

Hi Laura Jackson! Tell us a bit about your inspiration for the Hoste x Moët & Chandon Galentine’s Make a Meal of It Box?

I wanted to create a cultural calendar to help us all escape the predictability of the typical calendar year – we all need something to look forward to right now! With Valentine’s Day approaching, we wanted to create an occasion that everyone can get involved in (even in lockdown).

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind year but it’s made a lot of people, including myself, really value friendships and those important to me. This is the perfect box to celebrate togetherness with your loved ones, house mates, support bubbles or even virtually with the nearest and dearest you may be separated from at the moment.

What was your motivation behind #MakeAMealOfIt and how has that has transformed into this meal box?

It all started in the first lockdown as a way to make myself feel better and to make what many people often consider as mundane into a memorable experience to look forward to. A few weeks into lockdown, it was so inspiring to see my followers on Instagram making the most of the food in their cupboards by posting images of their #MakeAMealOfIt table settings and meals. You could literally be eating beans on toast or a jacket potato but making it into a momentous occasion will make you feel positive.

Why has it been so important to you during lockdown to make a special occasion out of mealtimes?

I love the occasion of meal times and planning the next meal really helped me stay creative and motivated. In a time of uncertainty where days blur into evenings, just the act of setting a beautiful table once a day for breakfast, lunch or dinner helps to punctuate the day, takes you away from the work laptop or TV screen and makes meal times feel special, memorable and positive.

Laura Jackson Hoste meal box
Hoste

Okay Laura, what are your top three tips to ‘make a meal of it’ this Valentine’s and/or Galentine’s Day?

What’s great is that our Make a Meal of It Box does it all, complete with a three course dinner for two, Moet & Chandon Imperial Rose as well as beautiful finishing touches for your tablescape and ambience, such as including a pink twist candle from Wax Atelier, menus and a bespoke playlist to enjoy on Spotify.

If you’re cooking yourself, remember it’s not necessarily about what you’re cooking, it’s about the experience and finishing touches. Lighting is important – a candle to make things atmospheric. Be playful with your tablescape using glasses, tumblers, place mats and your best tablecloth.

Even if you’re having a takeaway, arrange things on platters or your best bowls with a sprinkling of herbs for display!

How would you normally celebrate Valentine’s Day?

My Valentine’s won’t be too different this year as I usually just love to make a delicious meal at home – I’d usually invite friends round for a big feast at home where we all get dressed up but this year, I’ll be making a meal of it at home with my family, whilst connecting with friends virtually.

Laura Jackson Hoste meal box
Hoste

Why do you think celebrating Valentine’s Day at home is better than going out to a restaurant (even in ‘normal’ times)?

You can make it so much more personal and special by creating special menus, name cards and party favours. You also have the place to yourself to carry on the occasion with games afterwards. Just having control over the ambience in general with the lighting, playlist, tablescape is fun to get imaginative with and create!

Lockdown means many people are separated from their partners, friends and family right now, but why would you say Galentine’s and Valentine’s Day are both something to celebrate no matter who you live with, or even if you’re on your own?

Just because you’re alone or seperated from friends or loved ones, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate. There’s something really special about laying the table, getting dressed up and zooming your dinner date (be it your best pal or your boyfriend). It adds a touch of excitement, lifts spirits and instills hope that we’ll all be reunited soon!

You can pre-order your Hoste x Moët & Chandon Galentine’s Make a Meal of It Box by Laura Jackson for £55 from restaurantkitsuk.com (meat and vegetarian option) for delivery on 13 February 2021 now. The boxes are currently sold out due to popular demand, but a second batch is due to be released very soon.