I don’t know about you, but I’m really starting to daydream about escaping the house – sneaking off to a gorgeous little café, nabbing myself a sunny courtyard table, and settling down with a proper coffee, a good book and some cake that I didn’t bake myself. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from this lockdown, it’s that I seriously underestimated such simple pleasures.
It’s hard to know when we might get our cafes back – and whether it’ll even be the same, with screens between tables, staff in face masks and other unsettlingly dystopian touches – but there are a lot of fabulous people out there working hard to make sure we can still enjoy our treats at home and support brilliant local businesses, and some of those fabulous people work for online indie marketplace Good Sixty. Now delivering even more widely in Bath, Bristol and London, and offering gorgeous artisan food and drink from all over the country, Good Sixty can bring everything from storecupboard staples, to sweet treats, to boozy bottles direct to your door.
When Good Sixty got in touch to see if I fancied trying some goodies, my first thought was that I could recreate my dream coffee shop escape at home. I quickly rifled through the local businesses on offer (you can order a huge range from all over the country, but you can also filter your results to see the businesses which are most local to you, if you fancy giving them some support) and when I discovered that Bertinet Bakery was on there, I knew I needed to look no further. I popped four of their legendary salted caramel brownies in my basket and then impulsively added a bag of their amaretti biscuits too. The checkout process is swift and simple, and although Good Sixty aren’t currently able to commit to specific time slots for delivery you can choose the day you’d like your goodies to arrive.
When my delivery arrived (courtesy of marvellous local eco-bike couriers Three Bags Full) it was all I could do to wait until the baby was peacefully tucked in for his nap. I made myself a latte (in my largest, most coffee-shop-like mug), settled myself in comfortably in the sunshine by the open window (no garden or courtyard here unfortunately) and let the rest of the world disappear. If you’ve never had a Bertinet Bakery brownie, then get yourself onto Good Sixty and order some immediately, because oh boy are they incredible. The perfect balance between cakey and fudgy, they’re somehow beautifully light and sumptuously rich at the same time, with thick gorgeous caramel running through the middle. They’re absolutely outrageous, and I love them unashamedly. The amaretti, meanwhile, are just that little bit more refined, and perfect for nibbling on whilst you close your eyes and imagine you’re sitting in a pavement café in Rome. A million miles from the tooth-breakingly tough versions you can buy in the shops, these freshly-baked amaretti are crisp on the outside and soft in the middle, delicately flavoured and perfect with coffee.
Whether you’re planning a little imaginary escape from lockdown, throwing a long-distance Zoom party, restocking the cupboards or simply comfort-eating to get yourself through (hey, we’re all at it), Good Sixty can deliver the necessary ingredients, and you can help support our brilliant local businesses so they’re all still there when this is over. If you needed an excuse to order a big old box of brownies, consider this it.