Features

Britain’s Best Deli
gets a new home

Published October 25, 2012

Left: The view from the new mezzanine level

It has been a huge year for Delilah Fine Foods and its ambitious young owner Sangita Tryner.

In late summer, the Nottingham fine food shop and cafe was named Britain’s Best Deli 2012 in a competition organised by Dorset-based food specialist Olives Et Al. Then, just a few days later, Delilah moved from its small shop on the city’s Middle Pavement to impressively large and modern new premises just yards away on Victoria Street (number 12, to be precise). And to give you an idea of the scale of Delilah’s new home, it is a listed building in central Nottingham that used to house HSBC. The new deli is four times bigger than the old place – an increase from 780 to more than 3000 square feet.

The listed building is an old bank

“The new shop, which we’ve bought outright, has been a year in the planning,” says Sangita, who grew up in Aberystwyth and now lives in Nottingham. “Last Christmas we were turning people away so it was the right time to move. We’ve had to lower the windows – because retail doesn’t work unless people can see inside – and build the mezzanine level.”

And in addition to the shop’s many shelves and chillers containing the world’s finest foods, including more than 150 cheeses, Delilah now has 68 seats where people can relax and order cold platters, sandwiches, breakfasts and more, all washed down with top-quality wines, beers and coffees. While enjoying their food and drink, customers will undoubtedly admire the beautiful plasterwork on the ceilings and relish the view from the mezzanine level down to the rest of the deli.

Seating on the mezzanine floor

The new Delilah is something of which Nottingham – and the wider region – can be proud, in the same league as famous deli-cafes such as Valvona & Crolla in Edinburgh and Villandry in London.

Sangita, who used to work for readymeal companies until she spotted a gap in the market and launched Delilah seven years ago, says: “Our staff are the main reason for our success and certainly the reason why we won Deli of the Year. They develop a rapport with customers and introduce them to the products we absolutely love. Some people are concerned we’re getting bigger and more expensive but really the move is simply about accommodating everyone and making visiting us more pleasurable. Delilah was always meant to be about relaxation – a place where you can open the paper, sit back and enjoy great food. You can do this here.”

Beautiful arches

But what about the name? Why Delilah? “It’s from the biblical tale of Samson and Delilah,” says Sangita. “The story is about temptation, which sums up Delilah Fine Foods. Also, I’m from Wales, so Tom Jones might have something to do with it!”

Delilah Fine Foods, 12 Victoria Street (the old HSBC banking hall), Nottingham, NG1 2FF, 0115 9484461

Over 150 cheeses on sale

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