Friday 27 July 2012

Review: Shelford Delicatessen

I have been a huge fan of the Great Shelford Deli from the moment I stepped foot through their tiny cart shed doors to pick up a sandwich order for my colleagues whilst temping in a nearby village late last year. Even in the bitter British winter weather that we suffered (up to a few weeks ago in fact haha!), people were literally queuing outside the doors for homemade hot soups and pasta dishes, as well as their gorgeous sandwiches, so I had to try them for myself to see what the big deal was all about...


These guys make the kings AND queens of ALL sandwiches. They use freshly baked bread and the most delicious and moreish fillings I have ever had in a sandwich or baguette ever. And I am not being dramatic here, they are the mummy AND daddy of the sandwich world.  You know sometimes when you ask for a sarnie and it’s just two slices of dull *Shop bought* bread with a measly filling inside?... Well, this is the polar opposite, even a straight forward sandwich can make your day at this place... but trust me, if you are hungry and feel like something a little more indulgent, go for a baguette or a bloomer - you won’t be disappointed!

It got to the point with calling our sandwich orders through to Shelford Deli from our office (You can call ahead and order, it’s brilliant!)  that we would all know which *Number* on the menu we wanted each day in the end... although, on a regular basis, our minds could be easily swayed to go for one of their weekly specials which would include new and even more interesting fillings in their sandwiches to freshly made pastas, couscous, salads, curries and so on. You could eat here every day of the week for a month and still not try everything on offer, I just can’t rate this place enough for that.

In fact, the more people I talk to about this little gem on the very outskirts of Cambridge, just a hop from our beloved Scotsdales Garden Centre, the more people I find out already know about it and go there for a little treat from time to time themselves. The Deli has been here for years now, a little unassuming shop front, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables on sale for you to buy, it looks like a traditional British Greengrocers from the outside, but step inside and you are greeted with a brand new and huge extension to this Deli, with shelves filling the shop from floor to ceiling stocked full of oils, breads, olives, cakes, vinegars, pastas of all kinds, sauces, jams, pickles, teas, coffees, Italian breadsticks, Ice Creams and nutritious frozen *Ready Meals* ... the drool-inducing list goes on and on.

If you ever feel yourself in need of a good strong cup of Monmouth coffee (or a pot of loose leaf tea) and a slice of something naughty, this is the place for you. Their chocolate torte is so dense and chocolatey, that not even I, the queen of desserts, can finish a slice without feeling very guilty indeed - perfect for a devilish treat every once in a while.
They also have a fresh selection of pastries, strawberry tartlets, tiffin, brownies, as well as gluten free goodies too.

It’s a cake & sandwich lovers’ heaven.

With the recent takeover of the building next door, the owners have been able to knock through and make this not just a takeaway Deli with an ever increasing queue, but a light and spacious coffee shop, so should you wish to stay in and make the most of your visit, you can. They have designed this so well, making the most of the space they have, whilst keeping the charm of the smaller premises they had before, which is now used as their kitchen.  They haven’t neglected the food, I actually think it’s just got better since the expansion, with much more choice, all freshly made on site – the smell hits you as soon as you enter, it’s lovely.

In fact, it’s my go-to place on a Saturday after a stressful shopping trip in Cambridge (stress and shopping go hand in hand for Miss Sue Flay ; )  Sod the queues in town or the more *Cambridge Canteens*  for mediocre sandwiches (Anne you will know EXACTLY where I mean hehe )
There is nothing more satisfying than craving a Shelford Delicatessen “Jarvis” on a brown Baguette (It’s Pastrami, Chicken, Dill Pickle, Roasted Red Onion, Mayo and Cranberry Sauce) ... Just trust me when I say, it’s the best food-invention ever! 

They also offer catering for parties or corporate events, so do take advantage of this service, should you ever feel yourself in need of some culinary assistance. 

The only downside I would say about this place is that there are not too many tables, so if it’s busy, you have to make do with your car as a lunchtime retreat, but there are quite a few green areas in this rather large village, so do take a wander and have a mini picnic instead, should this happen to you when you check it out.

Get your bum down there now, even if it’s just for a takeaway treat or a sit down with a good quality cuppa and a read of the paper with your lunch... Don’t forget, they do hot lunches too should you need to warm up in this cold British summer weather.

Visit Shelford Deli on Woolards Lane, Great Shelford, 


Miss Sue Flay


  1. I used to work nearby in Trumpington and I miss our lunch orders too, their sandwiches are brilliant and I am not much of a sandwich person. I feel they are a bit of a well kept secret because they don't shout about themselves too much but still remain popular. Am really glad they expanded because they needed too, must go and check out the refurb and the sandwiches again soon!

  2. Hurrah!... I saw on Twitter that you went this weekend hehe.... love it!.... It's a fab place, totally deserving of a mention, I can't rate it highly enough.

  3. We visited the deli for the first time today while house-hunting. We're relocating to the Cambridge area soon and totally fell in love with Great Shelford. Great independent shops like the Shelford Deli totally make me want to move there. Wherever we end up living I definitely see more visits in our future.

    *waves hello to Deepa who gave us some helpful info about the area*

  4. Rachel, give us a shout if you ever need to chat Cambridge,..and Welcome to our fab home if you do move here : ) xxxx

  5. Thanks so much Sue, our move is going ahead and we should be in by the end of the month. Happy to report we will be near the Shelfords. Perhaps I'll see you at the WI meeting in September? xo

    1. Hey Rachel, I didn't make the cut for WI... but hopefully the 2nd batch I will be able to sign up quicker to ; )
      Miss Sue Flay x

  6. Wow, I’m a bit envious with what you’ve experienced in that store. Those sandwiches you mentioned made me drool right here in my couch. Lol! And I think it will be much better if you’ll pair ‘em with refreshing fruit shakes. What’s great about this store is their wide selection of goods, which you can take out and enjoy at home.

    1. OOh haven't had their shakes, but sound good if everything else is to go by! Miss Sue Flay x

  7. I love this place too! I was there today and it's just as good as ever and at Christmas the place was a real wonderland of delicious goodies of all kinds. My friend and I shared a tiffin and a bakewell slice..we had half each. I've put up a link to this account on Twitter as it's such a good description. The one thing I'd say about the Deli is: their website is less attractive than their cafe/deli!

    1. OOh I bet they have delicious Xmas treats this time of year! Mmmm Must go back soon xx