The deli is a deli, a cafe and a grocery store selling a selection of the choicest edibles. The deli is licensed and is a fine place to spend an entire afternoon sharing a bottle of wine and a lazy lunch. Or you can just grab a bacon or egg butty for £3; there’s something for every taste, budget and occasion.
The vibe is something like a southern European village cafe where the locals hang out. The staff are attentive but relaxed. There’s free wifi and usually a stack of newspapers.
A full English breakfast is served all day (veggie option available) for £8. Sandwiches, paninis and bagels are around £3.50 (or £2.50 for takeaways). Specials – curries, casseroles and seasonal dishes – cost around £6 and vary from day to day. Lighter bites include jacket potatoes, soup, pies and pastries.
The whole brie, baked in white wine and garlic sauce and served with chunks of bread – a starter ideal for sharing – transported me to the French countryside. The salads are fresh, crunchy and substantial. The generous cheeseboards and platters, served on slate-topped turntables, come in different sizes and prices for solos and sharers. Choose from a fantastic selection of tasty cheeses, homemade chutneys and artisan bread, or salmon and antipasti.
Tea is served in china teacups from colourful teapots and there’s an espresso machine for proper coffees. Also, a range of organic and additive-free soft drinks, plus bottled beers and wine. If you drop in for elevenses or afternoon tea, try the excellent scones with jam and cream, giant cookies or home-baked cake.
The deli specialises in sourcing food from small producers, many based in the north of England. On the crammed shelves of the grocery section, organic chocolates compete for attention with spice mixes, and you can easily fill a basket with pickles, oils, sauces and conserves.