A dime in the glittering jewellery quarter, sort of. Deli Heaven Café, only a two-minute walk from St Paul's Square, is terribly quaint and darling at the same time. It's only small, but the dark and cabin-like cosy décor is incredibly inviting when coupled with the scent of owner Estelle's baking lemon and syrup flapjacks.
Open from 7am, but Estelle arrives at 6.30, the cakes are baked on site, so produce a beautifully fragrant café that you want to get lost in. Estelle leaves the café door open while she bakes, for obvious reasons, and I fell prey to the charms of a sweet lemon scent arresting my senses.
At 85p a slice, I was initially wary of the baked goods, but sweet Caroline, they are yummy.
Deli Heaven has the right idea: the café doesn't charge extortionate prices for sandwiches (from 2.20), or have silly price tags for a tiny slither of cake. The portions are well-sized, not too big, or too small, but just right. Think a no-fuss cafe interested in serving wholesome, honest food.
As owner, Estelle, said "we make whatever we can, as and when we need it". For example they buy their baguettes locally which are half baked, and they cook them fresh when a customer places an order.
Most of the food is made on site, including their vegetarian-only soups; ginger and butternut squash, mushroom and risotto soups among others. They roast all of their pork and chicken on site, which are usually placed within sandwiches and salads. Their chicken tikka is a best-seller, and their home-made coleslaw tastes just like mine, only less-tart and with finer slices of vegetables.
Deli Heaven is very much a family-run business set up by a lady who just wants to make people happy with the good food she serves, all at reasonable prices. I think they're cheap, but the food is very good. Home-cooked meals with quality ingredients might just turn you into a loyal customer.