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Somerset Life food columnist Orlando Murrin visits Arch house Deli in Clifton Village

PUBLISHED: 17:09 27 February 2013 | UPDATED: 19:51 05 April 2013

Somerset Life food columnist Orlando Murrin visits Arch house Deli in Clifton Village

Somerset Life food columnist Orlando Murrin visits Arch house Deli in Clifton Village

Underneath the arches - I defy any food lover to walk past Arch House Deli without being drawn in by the delicious aroma floating out of the door.

Underneath the arches


Food columnist Orlando Murrin discovers a spectacular array of goodies on offer at the Arch House Deli in Clifton Village

I defy any foodlover to walk past Arch House Deli, in Bristols Clifton Village, without being drawn in by the delicious aroma floating out of the door...Cheese, cured meats, freshly baked bread, coffee, herbs a delicious mingling of good things. Step through the door and the feast becomes visual - colourful salads with a Mediterranean twist, tarts fresh from the oven, gluttonous cakes and cookies, walls lined with gleaming preserves and chutneys. At this time of year a table groans with gluttonous chocolates including Arch Houses own cappuccino and champagne truffles, ideal for Valentines Day.
The shop is the creation of David Greenman and Debbie Atherton, who sold out of their careers in software in 2009 and just two years later won the title of Olives et Al UK Deli of the Year 2011/12. Their philosophy is simple: source as much as you can from local companies - then give customers a taste of what you sell by transforming them into delectable treats such as soups, sandwiches and tarts to take away or eat in the caf at the back.
There are so many reasons to use local producers, says David. Its practical and easy and if we run out of something, they can often drive round fresh supplies within an hour or two. It makes the whole business more enjoyable. Take cheese, for instance, a choice of six fine cheddars, goats cheeses from the White Lake Co in Shepton Mallet and Cornish Blue, as well as a couple of heart shaped novelties for 14 February.
If you are looking for an accompaniment, David recommends a savoury jelly from Heavenly Hedgerows Chris Westgate forages the ingredients herself washed down, perhaps, with a glass of Norcotts Cider, flavoured withelderflower and cranberry.
If all this makes you hungry, there is plenty of instant gratification available. Arch Houses bestselling sandwich is the New Yorker, a (very) large stack of pastrami, emmental, gherkins and sauerkraut (3.95). Every day a different soup is on offer for instance, root veg and rosemary (also 3.95). If youre looking for a fix for supper, pick up a couple of fishcakes (made with smoked salmon from Valley Smokehouse, 2.50).
Breads come from Hobbs House Bakery in Chipping Sodbury (of Fabulous Baker Brothers fame), delivered each morning, and cakes are made in the deli kitchen: rose and poppyseed, clementine polenta cake and chocolate and banana are especially popular. And if youre vegetarian or on a gluten-free diet, youll find yourself very well catered for here. The deli is, in truth, much more than a shop - its a great destination for a rainy day, or when you want to show visitors the best of Bristol. Its open seven days a week, and there is always something to taste. A final word of advice: dont leave without a bottle of Fig and Date Balsam Vinegar (4.95 for 100ml).
Arch House Deli, Boyces Avenue, Clifton Village, Bristol BS8 4AA, 0117 974 1166, enquiries@archhousedeli.com, www.archhousedeli.com

Orlando Murrin is the chef-proprietor of the award winning Langford Fivehead, a boutique hotel and restaurant between Taunton and Langport on the Somerset Levels.

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