Fresh Basil

Belper, Derbyshire

Shop Front Jack  Credit  Needed  Jack  Eaton

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.

Shop Front Jack  Credit  Needed  Jack  Eaton

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