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The Vending Machine: How to choose your meal at the touch of a button

The Vending Machine, Seaview Farm, 224 Killaughey Road, Donaghadee. www.flavourfirst.com

As restaurants close their doors again due to tightened restrictions it is back again to takeaways - including this innovative vending machine

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Vending machine in Donaghadee

Vending machine in Donaghadee

Boxes from Donaghadee vending machine

Boxes from Donaghadee vending machine

Produce from the vending machine

Produce from the vending machine

Vending machine in Donaghadee

It's back to the restaurant websites for the takeaway menus. Looking for some kind of restaurant experience, any restaurant experience, we search for something we cannot reach: the hurly burly of a busy dining room, the cocktails list, the menu and we'll have your table ready in a moment.

Even during that brief moment when the restaurants re-opened in the summer, it wasn't exactly the thing we were looking for. But it did the job. There were masks and screens, there was a bit more space between tables but there were brunches, lunches and dinners. The place we went to most often during that period was Freight in CS Lewis Square. It just did the job of restaurant craic brilliantly for not too much moola.

But we also uncovered a whole new experience in Ox where Stevie Toman, already well established as a Michelin starred chef, had gone through a Transformer-like reincarnation. His food was already amazing before the March lockdown but somehow, his new confidence and more robust attitude took him from Laura Ashley to Banksy.


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