An insider's guide to the county's best kept secrets
Tel: 01485 512194
A large deli store selling all manner of fresh local foods, meats and beverages, plus a cafe with fine food and tasteful decor, a sunny conservatory and children’s play area.
Where to find it
Thornham is less than five miles from the large seaside resort of Hunstanton. It’s a small village that has more than its share of quality venues with Vintage Home & Garden, and Drove Orchards to name but two (look out for these reviews shortly). You can arrive at the Village Deli by following the coastal road and cannot miss its huge grounds and prominent barn building. With extensive parking outside, a children’s playground next door and an inviting rack of newspapers to sit back and relax with, it’s not a hard decision to pull up and venture inside.
What to expect
As you enter, to the left you’ll find restaurant seating leading through to a large sunny conservatory and outside grassed lawn with secure children’s play area. To the right is the deli store with fresh food counters and floor to ceiling shelves of produce to browse around. Also at every available space you’ll find quality gifts for sale on a coastal shabby chic theme. All this makes for a wonderful environment to eat and relax, browse and purchase.
The cafe is very much seen by the owner, Annelli Taylor as a champion for food available at the deli, with the view that if you like what you try, you can buy some to take home. The menu is inviting and of exceptional quality. Open for breakfast until midday, visitors can amble in on a lazy Sunday to enjoy a deli full English, smoked salmon and scrambled egg, or a pain au chocolat amongst others. The lunchtime offerings include light bites such as the ‘Deli Tasting Board’: a selection of hot and cold fish, meats and cheeses with a variety of dips, oils and bread, as well as sandwiches, wraps, paninis and bagels. They also serve jacket potatoes and larger meals such as deli fishcakes and seasonal vegetables and deep dish lasagne with fat chips.
The deli store itself sells all the things you’d expect it to and more. The counters are full of speciality cheeses, many of which are local and exclusive to the area, plus olives, salamis, chorizo and quiches, tarts and pastries galore. The shelves display wines, beers and fruit juices, holiday from home musts, honey, sauces, seeds and condiments, dressings, oils and vinaigrettes, pasta, rice and crackers, chutneys and a spicy section. Everything is from East Anglian suppliers. You can also buy sausages and bacon from The FruitPig Company that produce rare breed free range pork for fine hotels and are renowned for outstanding meat full of flavour and texture.
During the peak summer months of July and August, the cafe transforms itself for popular theme nights where laughter and merriment compliment the tasty regional delicacies. Expect tapas, Italian, Mexican, Greek and curry nights, all of which have a three course varied menu.
Another service that the deli exceeds in is picnic hampers for all occasions, catering for up to 40 people for birthdays and celebrations. They’re charged per head and range from Bronze for a picnic in the park, Silver for something a little more special, and Gold for everything luxurious: cream cheese, pate, humus, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, smoked salmon and frittata. They’re made to order and can be tailored to dietary requirements or favourite treats.
In short, the Village Deli is worth a visit; whether you’re looking for quality food to take home and enjoy, or a lazy lunch in relaxed stylish surroundings. Children are welcomed and spend many an hour in the sand pits and play zone which leaves the adults time to pick up a newspaper and chill, after all that’s what holidays are all about, right?
Open daily from 8am to 5.30pm; last food orders are at 3.30pm. For information on theme nights visit their website. All picnic hamper orders to be placed a week in advance if possible.