Claypath Delicatessen reviewed
As I huffed and puffed up Claypath’s unnaturally steep hill, I found myself craving a sit down and a nice calming hot drink. Fortunately, I received both of these things, as well as a lovely warm welcome and an abundance of truly delicious food in an ambient and relaxed atmosphere the moment I stepped into Claypath Delicatessen.
Being an English student I am usually warned about judging a book by its cover, but, in the instance of Claypath Delicatessen, I think this is an idiom that should be strictly adhered to – the sleek and chic gray exterior promises an enjoyable dining experience with first rate food, and this is exactly what was delivered.
Stepping into the establishment, I found myself in a haven consisting of large homely wooden tables with wrought iron chairs and deep plush sofas, listening to a constant soothing stream of James Morrison and the like, and for a moment forgot that I was here primarily to sample their food.
Unsurprisingly, my eye was soon caught by the extensive list of food and drink on offer. I can assure you that this is a cafe with a difference – there are no boring jacket potatoes or congealed cheese sandwiches here, but rather a variety of seasonal dishes such as their warm autumn salads, and huge sharing platters which intrigued me – think cheese boards, Greek mezze selections, and succulent antipasti – all of which could be bought for an individual, or shared between a group.
After a heated internal debate, I eventually selected the ploughman’s platter, and, as soon as a modern looking granite slab was placed in front of me groaning under a huge selection of food, my uncontrollable drooling was a clear sign that I had made the right choice. With so much to choose from I immediately dug in and began sampling it all; tender smoked chicken, a robust pate, a wonderfully crumbly mature cheddar and creamy Somerset Brie were all consumed almost instantaneously, although my clear favourite was their home made apple chutney, which was sweet, tart, and subtly spicy, and was made with Durham-grown apples which were donated to the café by local residents.
I rounded off a thoroughly enjoyable stay at Claypath Delicatessen with a creamy and flavourful mocha and a beautifully rich and decadent chocolate tort which, I was informed, was a very popular option amongst the regulars. I could see why – as well as looking remarkably inviting with its beautiful chocolatey colour, the flavour was excellent, especially when accompanied by a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Overall I greatly enjoyed my visit to Claypath Delicatessen, and can confirm that it is definitely worth the slight detour from the centre of town. The fact that they strive to use home grown and organic ingredients wherever possible definitely shines through in their food; their presentation is lovely, but it is the wonderfully rich, fragrant and fresh tastes that will keep me coming back to Claypath Delicatessen again and again. In fact, the owners are so passionate about fresh ingredients that they are currently building their own vegetable patch in the back garden – now if that isn’t dedication to truly fresh, flavourful food, I don’t know what is.