My, my, my Delilah... I could fritter away my pennies on you and your weird, artisanal popcorn. My partner knows the drill for a place like this; I disappear into the tardis, emerging with a guilty grin, the latest super grain, weasel-poo coffee and a despicably pongy cheese.
So imagine my delight in unearthing a proper deli, amid the sea of sandwich chains in Nottingham’s central Market Square. Delilah promises treats to take away, or a very civilised, sit-down meal in the mezzanine space. It’s licensed so you can enjoy a spritzer or craft beer snifter, but the drinks list includes grown-up pop too. French apricot juice and iced matcha tea were particularly refreshing.
Blackboards boast seasonal specials, but wait to see the enormity of the full menu before you commit; regulars include eggs, antipasti and globetrotting cuisine to take you from breakfast through to teatime. We were ravenous by the time we bagged stools at the bar, positioned within licking distance of the cake offerings (a spread of Portuguese custard tarts, traybakes and scones of monstrous proportions). And so began our slightly unorthodox meal: none-too-shabby baked goods followed by our actual lunch.
I tackled a towering croque monsieur with molten bechamel and thick-cut ham, which was way too lofty for my jaws (but very nice, nonetheless). My other half promptly destroyed a Reuben in under two minutes, then felt very tired indeed. A spirited espresso later, and we were waltzing through the aisles, tossing vac-packed curiosities into our baskets as the cash registers trilled.
This is an inviting deli for gourmet grazing or grub to go, not forgetting a bit of impulse buying for good measure. If there’s one criticism - and this is clutching at (cheese) straws - then perhaps there’s too much choice, with a panic-inducing 30+ dishes and combos available on the Saturday we visited. Also, sandwiches are piled so high that the individual ingredients risk drowning in pickles and sauce. And with fillings of such a decent calibre, that's a travesty. Prices are slightly steeper than the competition, but then an emergency Gregg's sausage roll is hardly a match for Delilah's bread and pastry arsenal.