Among the many challenges of lockdown is of course the inability to enjoy a good family meal out. The flip side of this, however, has been the increase in the number and variety of really excellent takeaway and home delivery options now available both in the Bath region and beyond.

One of the newest and – we were to discover – the best of these comes from AROAMA, a new locally-based home delivery service providing a different meal from around the world each week and offering free delivery to BA1 and BA2 addresses. Place your order before 10pm the previous day and then the meals are delivered, ready for you to cook at home, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. And the result, as we were to find out, are delicious!

For the week we ordered, the main courses were a choice between mruag, which is Iraqi baharat lamb and red pepper stew, and mahshi, stuffed aubergine with baharat vegetables and vegan mince. Each meal was accompanied by ezme – turkish salsa, hummus and za’atar, sourdough flatbread, bulgur wheat tabbouleh, and chilli roast brassicas with sumac dressing, all at £16 per person.

With three of the lamb and two aubergines booked for our Friday night meal, we had the family evening film picked (the original Star Wars – what a classic!) and oven pre-warmed and set for a 6pm delivery.

The food is delivered with each meal and side in an individual container, along with cooking instructions – which are basically how long to heat each part and at what temperature. The result was that 25 minutes later the food was served up and ready to eat.

The result was an almost faultless success – excellent food and great flavours perfectly prepared and served in ideally sized portions. For me, the lamb and red pepper stew was the pick of the menu, beautifully cooked and fresh tasting, it was superbly complemented by the flatbreads, tabouleh, hummus and dressings.

Mind you, the aubergines wasn’t far behind, with the dressing giving it an extra depth of taste and again, combining well with the sides.

Throughout, while the flavours were fresh and strong, they were certainly not too overwhelming for younger palates – in fact, this was a great way to introduce new meal ideas to children and a welcome alternative for us to the tradition of Friday night pizza (which on this occasion moved to Saturday instead…).

Before we’d sent in our order, we’d heard good reviews of AROAMA and I’m very happy add our compliments to the list as well. No, it’s not the cheapest option for home delivery, but the quality of the meals was way better than most of the options we’ve tried, and as a lockdown treat, it was a very memorable and impressive option.

Find out more about Aroama at https://aroama.co.uk