The Little Blue Deli, Barry © Emma Sparks
Barry. It doesn’t scream ‘travel destination’, I have to be honest. Not unless you’re a huge Gavin & Stacey fan, or are particularly partial to a good pub brawl. I don’t tend to venture there too much, despite it being the town in which many of my friends grew up, I went to school, and my mum works. Barry’s bigger, more sophisticated sister, Cardiff, has always been much more my kind of place. If you want a glitzy night out on the tiles followed by a glorious Chippy Lane feast (Charlotte Church’s choice of 3am dining, I’ll have you know), it’s got to be Cardiff. If you want to spend your 23rd birthday in a sticky-floored Wetherspoons with the one friend who has nothing better to do (thanks Owen!), go to Barry. Hot4U’s chicken nuggets weren’t bad, to be fair.
Tateful decor at the Little Blue Deli, Barry © Emma Sparks
Anyway, the point of this post is to highlight an absolute gem of a place found in this very seaside town. My mum and I had popped in for a pamper session at Balance the Body on the High Street, and needed a post-massage lunch. Just across the street, low and behold, was the Little Blue Deli. Instantly, I felt that pleasantly surprised feeling, the one where in your head a little voice is going ‘Yessss! Score!’, you feel so lucky to have found just exactly what you wanted. I’m not going to lie (at the end of the day, when all’s said and done… Oh, what’s occurin’?) I also felt a tad confused. Barry doesn’t do quaint. It doesn’t do soft lighting and ambience. Barry doesn’t do trendy, good service and affordable all at one time, does it? I thought you only ever got one out of three, two if you’re lucky.
I was wrong.
Find a lovely atmosphere at the Little Blue Deli, Barry © Emma Sparks
Packed chalk-board menus and tantalising cake displays made my mouth water; home-made soups, wraps, paninis and baguettes, lasagne, curry, along with fresh juices and hot drinks - rumbling tummies, you are welcome. The friendly lady at the counter, with her lilting Welsh accent – the one I miss so much now I live in London – explained that the Little Blue Deli had been open since December 2012, and is going from strength to strength. ‘We even do cocktails in the evening’ she pointed out. Win. ‘Oh and there’s another branch on Thompson Street’, she added. Double win!
Grab a cosy corner table at the Little Blue Deli, Barry © Emma Sparks
Now I don’t know what they season their chips with at the Little Blue Deli, but they alone are reason enough to go. Garlicky, herby goodness. The paninis (bacon and brie, standard) were HUGE and came with such a generous salad, I was seriously stuffed. This place seems to be running a thriving business, on what is otherwise a rather recession-ravaged street.
Mama Sparks heads out © Emma Sparks
Barry might be a little rough around the edges, but it’s loveable. And the more places like this that pop up, the better. I’ll certainly be heading back to try out their breakfasts, and cocktails… separately, of course!
The Little Blue Deli - 3 Thompson Street and 86 High Street, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. Check them out on Twitter!