Swanage’S Purbeck Deli has won gold in the prestigious Taste of the West Awards.

The deli is one of only four Dorset retail businesses to receive the top award, and is the only delicatessen to make the exclusive list.

Only eight golds were awarded to businesses across the entire south west.

Owner Diana Littleton said: “Since taking over the deli four-and-a-half years ago, serving the community and supporting local producers has always been the core of the business.

“We aim to provide a friendly and informative shopping experience, offering visitors unique smells, tastes and flavours, tempting them to try something they may never have tried before.”

Award winners are decided by a panel of secret shoppers who rate attention to detail in displays, customer service and product quality.

Diana, who attended the award ceremony, at Cornwall’s Eden Project, said: “When I read the e-mail I sat at my desk and shrieked.

“We made the application at the beginning of the summer and hadn’t heard anything. We really had put it to the back of our minds.

“It was just a thrill to hear we had been chosen.”

Diana, who has lived in Swanage most of her life, added: “I think it is important to know the heritage and provenance of our delicious range of produce.”