HIGHWORTH is very busy on this sunny summer’s day; the weekly market is in full swing and the town’s biggest festival Wrde Up is just about to start, so the High Street is full of people browsing the stalls and looking for a good place to have lunch.

The award-winning Bloomfields Fine Food deli, which also has two branches in Shrivenham, was recently shortlisted for Best Delicatessen at the 2018 Shop of the Year awards, less than a year after undergoing a major renovation which added an indoor seating area.

It’s become a popular fixture of the High Street in recent years and prides itself on selling locally-sourced and homemade products from its delicatessen.

It also offers outside catering for business events, and stocks a wide range of snacks, wines, and artisanal ingredients on attractively-stocked shelves.

To see if it lives up to the hype, I decided to sample some of that Fine Food for myself.

Feeling even more indecisive than usual, I ask the staff what they’d recommend.

They suggest some of the specials, which I can have as a panini, baguette, or sandwich.

Crayfish, avocado and salad? Egg dressed with Greek yoghurt, capers, chive, lemon, avocado and tomato? Coronation chicken and mixed-leaf salad? Decisions, decisions.

There’s plenty to tempt me in the full menu, too – a homemade Kelmscott free-range pork sausage plait, with a trio of salads and Bloomfields chutney (£7.50), ham cheddar and tomato in a toasted sesame panini (£5.50), a Mexican chicken wrap with guacamole, salsa and cheddar (£4.95)…

In the end, I go for the Coronation chicken, with a bottle of water to cool down on a day where temperatures have soared to a sweltering 31C.

This costs £6.15 altogether, which seems rather pricey, but I certainly get my money’s worth.

The four tasty sliced sandwiches are so packed to breaking point with filling it’s a small wonder that they don’t collapse as soon as I pick them up.

Many of the seats are already taken, so I sit near the kitchen and counter, which is lively and full of activity.

At first, it’s all-hands-on-deck as staff take orders from customers, rush in and out of the kitchen, carefully carry over trays of eat-in meals to grateful guests while checking if other guests are enjoying theirs, and whip up takeaway orders as quickly as they can.

Then there is peace and calm for a while as everyone tucks into their food or leaves with takeaway lunches in hand, before a slew of new customers flood into the deli and the cycle begins again.

An attentive staff member, who I think is called Jenny, wanders over to double-check with the kitchen why my order is taking longer than usual. I hadn’t even noticed as I’d been enjoying the relaxed atmosphere and eavesdropping on some of the cheery chats on other tables.

During the quieter moments, I overhear one of the regulars having a catch-up with a member of staff, remembering what he had last week with an impressive level of detail and suggesting something new to try next time he pops in.

Other customers are content to relax with a cuppa in the cool and airy café area, watch the world go by and see the sunshine streaming through the large windows that look out onto the High Street.

Everyone leaves with a smile, a wave and some kind words about the food.

By the time I clear my plate, the deli has started to empty as most of the diners leave to watch the big England match - and some of the staff are planning to do the same.

Though the sandwiches have left me pleasantly full, there’s just enough room for one last thing to make my lunchtime truly complete.

I inquire about ice cream and get two generous scoops - one vanilla and one mint choc chip - for £3, plus a little extra of each for free.

As the delicious dessert is being prepared, owner Sue Belcher recognises me from the paper and mentions a call she’d had from one of our photographers the day before my visit.

These reviews are supposed to be done incognito, but my poor attempt at a poker face gives the game away and she realises the true purpose of my visit.

With my cover well and truly blown, I thank them for the food, say my goodbyes and leave before my ice cream melts.

I’d make a terrible spy.