If there’s one word that resonates here, it’s local. Packed to the rafters with foods from nearby producers, Fresh Basil also lends a hand in community events like the Belper Food Festival, which it started five years ago. Hams are home-cooked daily to sit alongside Amber Valley pies, marinated olives and up to 100 cheeses. Try creamy, fruit-flaked Appledore from West Lancashire, Brock Blue goat’s cheese from Yorkshire or, our favourite, the first black cheese we’ve tried with a creamy finish: Char Coal cheddar from family-run Lymn Bank Farm. Scan the shelves and you’ll see countless products with local characters behind the brands. Best sellers include Belper chef McCready’s piri-piri sauce and Derbyshire-based Buffalo Brownies. Order cake tapas for two (£10) and sample in-house traybakes with the locally made Sophisticakes that fill an entire counter. Flavours range from red velvet to Kinder Bueno. Sit on the upper level for a bird’s eye view of the store; it’s the perfect lazy morning people-watching spot. Add in that it boasts the best breakfast in the county (winner of the award three years running) and you’ll find you’re a regular before long. There’s no pretention here, simple and hearty ingredients like Staffordshire black pudding and dry-cured bacon deliver great, honest flavours.
Current owner Charlie Tansley took over last year at just 25, after working behind the counter herself. A knack for new products and friendly demeanour are what makes hers a deli with a difference. LF. http://freshbasil.co.uk
This article was published on 25th April 2016 so certain details may not be up to date.