Lewis and Cooper's is a grocery shop of units grown-together over the last 112 years. It specialises in top-quality foods and wine for the discerning diner, cook and host. A wander through their food halls, which grow like a cave system back in to the depths of the building, is an exotic trip back in time. Unlike the deracinated supermarkets, aromas from all round the world waft from the deli, the bakery supplies and faintly from the chiller cabinets. There are bargains; I've had top-notch free range chickens at standard prices and it is the best source for bulk lavender flowers.
Above the shop are parlours set with snowy tables which look out over the high street.
I hold Strong Views on the food in L&C. With the exception of a dispute about the finest kippers, it is the best tearoom because it has philosophy of preparing food for the mouth and stomach rather than the eyes. This is not to suggest the food is ugly, but it is for consumption, not modelling.
When you sit in the parlour and look across the road and down the high street you see the mighty Bettys, the twinkling establishment patronised by the Alan Bennett-loving classes. A religious divide opens at this point between those who favour the international polish of the Swiss-influenced Bettys and the British approach of L&C.
This is not to imply that Betty's uses anything other than superb ingredients; it's just that they craft witty look-at-me fancies while L&C prefer to serve an exquisite scone with local butter, cream and strawberry jam.
The difference in approach is reflected in the recruitment policy. Lewis and Cooper are looking for a tip-top home baker and cook.
Contact Becky Robinson on 01609 772 880 for details and an application form.