Basil+Lily

We’d love to tell you a little bit more about us, the people behind the name and how we got here.

WHO WE ARE

My husband and I have always loved travelling to Italy. In the 15 years we have been together we have visited every year and we got married in Florence in 2010.

For as long as I can remember it has been a dream of mine to open an Italian wine bar and in a place I live and love and finally that dream has come true! Whilst I’m not in Italy I thought I’d bring Italy to us.

OUR OFFERING

We have tried and tested hundreds of wines and foods (it was a tough task) to find the best and most authentic products for you. With our wines we wanted to give you some names you would be familiar with but then some that you have never heard of from small, independent vineyards from across every region.

You can find out more about some of our suppliers here.

BASIL + LILY

Trying to think of a name was not easy, everything I thought of didn’t quite fit. I wanted something that had a story and meaning behind it and that is where Basil and Lily came from. Named after my paternal grandpa and maternal grandma who were both born and raised in Prestwich and were remarkable people seemed perfect and I am so proud to be able to use their names.

BASIL

My grandpa Basil was born on 1st February 1928 and worked as an accountant.

Basil was one of the first members of the Manchester Bnei Akiva youth movement and helped find the Salford premises which they are still in today. He was also a keen athlete running the 400 yards and even entering sprint races in his 50s. He managed and trained junior and senior football teams, and supported Manchester City.

He was conscripted into the Army in 1946, and served as a Corporal in Germany, based in Hamburg. The ship, Exodus, carrying 4500 Jews who had survived World War II attempted to reach Palestine, but were turned back by the British Army. The ship was forced to dock at Hamburg. Basil received orders to take men to the docks and operate a "shoot to kill" policy for any Jews attempting to leave the ship. When he was threatened with court-martial for refusing to go to the docks, he agreed to go, but informed his commanding officer that he could not guarantee the direction in which his bullets would be fired.

Grandpa Basil was a precise man who liked things in order but had a great sense of humour and was so fun to be around. He had two children (my dad and my aunty) and six grandchildren that he adored. He passed away aged 71 on the 9th September 1999 (9/9/1999) which was so very particular of him.

LILY

Born on the 23rd May 1924, my grandma, Lily once owned a children’s clothing shop named after my mum (Mandy’s) in the Mocha Parade in Salford and following its closure she helped my grandpa at his textiles warehouse in Cheetham Hill. During the Second World War, and just before her 18th birthday, grandma Lily joined the Women’s Land Army. Together with 6,000 other women they were responsible for sawing down trees, in freezing conditions, with six pound axes to help keep the country supplied with food and timber. If that isn’t a reason to be proud of your badass grandma I don’t know what is!

My brother, sister and I along with my cousins would go to her house every Friday after school and when I say there was a spread, you had never seen anything like it! She was a proud and stylish woman who was never seen without a string of pearls and loved inviting anyone and everyone into her home where she force fed them homemade biscuit after biscuit (and if you didn’t leave then a full 3 course dinner was coming your way!).

Grandma Lily had three children (my mum, my uncle and my aunty), 11 grandchildren and was lucky enough to meet seven of her great grandchildren. She passed away aged 92 in November 2016.