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01.05.2020- Lockdown Lunch #1: Michelle Chai

Whilst I can't quite believe that we're in May already (and let's face it, more or less every day is the same at the moment!), the longer that lockdown continues, the more I find that I'm really missing the little things from week to week which put a smile on my face. One of the simplest and most enjoyable things from life pre-lockdown was being able to catch up with some of my friends for lunch each week. Over recent years, I've settled into a regular routine of catching up with a handful of friends, which is a lovely way to pass each week and have a good old chat over some delicious food and a cuppa.

As things stand, I think it'll be a little while before we're able to restart our old routines again, so for the time being I'm catching up with people remotely, and kick-starting a new series on these pages- Lockdown Lunch- with some of my favourite people. First up, the wonderful (viral sensation!) Michelle from Daisybutter, who I'm catching up with imaging we're wandering around Covent Garden and Leicester Square as we so often do over lunch. I've know Michelle for about ten years or so and being able to have lunch with her regularly once a week for the last year or so since we started working in the same part of London has been a total treat- whether we're sitting in Ole & Steen and nattering over a cinnamon social or enjoying the sunshine with a takeaway feast:

How are you coping with things at the moment? 
I feel like, seven weeks in, I’m finally finding my rhythm with lockdown. I’m a total homebody at heart, but I love being outdoors in nature. It’s definitely made me realise how important balance is! 

What are you missing most about life as it was? 
I’m really missing seeing friends and family and, of course, my boyfriend. End-of-drive visits just aren’t the same! And I miss being able to find a change of scenery from my work-from-home set-up, something I always prioritised previously. 

Which foods and recipes have become your go-to dishes? 
I’ve been making dumplings like nobody’s business, and Cupful of Kale’s Roasted Cherry Tomato and Garlic Orzo has been a go-to. I don’t eat meat, and it’s been tricky to get hold of all of the foods I’d generally eat, so these recipes are both minimal-ingredient saviours. 

What small things are making you happy right now? 
Seeing spring bloom in my garden is making me happy! Like I said, I enjoy exploring the great outdoors, which meant the garden hardly got a look-in before. Coffee enjoyed on the patio has been great. And the ability to sink into a good book right after work, without being packed into a train! 

What is the first thing you’re planning on doing when lockdown is eased? 
Supporting my favourite local café!  

Follow Michelle and her wonderful words over at Daisybutter. She's also recently started a wonderful Facebook group, Being British-born Chinese, which you can find here.

(Image credit: Michelle Chai, please do not reproduce without permission.)


  1. LOVE U, MISS U. I can't believe it's been 10 years tbh, can't wait to hang out at the ol' banana again soon xxxx


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