The best places to overload on cheese in London
10 un-brie-lievable places to find fromage in the British capital
France might be better known for its fromage, but the UK has been producing cheese for more than 1000 years. While the World Wars wreaked havoc on the UK’s cheese production, it has since been revived, bolstered by the nation’s appreciation for the tasty yellow foodstuff. Here’s our pick of the capital’s 10 best places for cheese.
Would you picYou can't feel blue with cheese like this / Image : Nic Crilly-Hargrave
The conveyor belt of cheesy dreams at Pick & Cheese/ Image: Nic Crilly-Hargrave
Those who love cheese as much as we do will understand the unbridled joy that comes from sitting next to a conveyor belt of the stinky stuff and selecting as many as you please. And that’s exactly what you can do at Pick & Cheese in London’s West End, the first cheese conveyor belt restaurant in the world.
Sit back and let the cheese come to you, as plates of creamy cow’s milk cheese, Perl Las blue, or nutty Old Winchester drift by at grabbable height, garnished with all types of chutneys, crackers, and charcuterie.
To get the most cheese for your cheddar, reserve a place on a Wednesday for its bottomless plates offer. You can have as many dishes as you can handle in your 1 hour 15-minute slot.
Seven Dials Market, Short’s Gardens, WC2H 9AT
Head to this convivial spot in Leadenhall Market for a lunch that really is the, erm…cheese knees. It has a selection of more than 100 artisan British and European cheeses, which are used in their dishes and also available to try then buy.
4-5 Leadenhall Market, EC3V 1LR
We couldn't camem-bear not trying this baked cheese / Image : Nic Crilly-Hargrave
The Cheese Bar is true to its name / Image : Nic Crilly-Hargrave
Owned by the people behind Pick & Cheese, The Cheese Bar in Camden Market is their flagship eatery. Its aim is to champion British cheese, so every dish contains at least one of their favourites, along with locally sourced ingredients. Accompanying drinks include small producer and natural wines, as well as London craft beer and cocktails.
Unit 93 – 94, Chalk Farm Rd, Chalk Farm, NW1 8AH
A cosy cheese shop-cum-café with higgledy-piggledy towers of international cheeses and fully stocked shelves of their own crackers and biscuits for visitors to peruse and purchase, La Fromagerie is a cheese-lovers dream. Just looking at the delectable selection can severely increase one’s appetite, and luckily there’s an on-site café that serves cheese boards and salads, and even fondue on Friday evenings.
La Fromagerie opened three decades ago in Highbury and has become so loved that it now has two more locations around London, in Marylebone and Bloomsbury, all with both shops and cafés, all very gouda.
30 Highbury Park, London N5 2AA
If you’re looking in the market for some fromage, pay a visit to this artisanal cheese shop in Covent Garden. It sells a range of farmhouse cheese from the UK and Ireland, as well as tiered celebration cakes made from your favourites. Want a slice of the action right away? The shop offers tastings, or you can head to Yield N16 wine bar (44-45 Newington Green, N16 9PX), which serves Neal’s Yard cheese boards.
17 Short’s Gardens, WC2H 9AT
You have to be willing to wait at Gordon’s. Thought to be the oldest wine bar in London, this gem right by Embankment station is extremely popular – and there’s no option to reserve. It’s certainly worth it, though, to quaff its huge array of wines from Spain and France to Macedonia and India, and – most importantly – to indulge in its cheese. What else would a wine bar serve? Every cheese, from the gorgonzola to the creamy brie and smoked comté, has a suggested wine pairing so you can enjoy it to the max. Plus, they’re all served with fresh French bread, salted butter, pickles, chutney and quince jelly.
47 Villiers St, WC2N 6NE
This shop-cum-restaurant brings together rustic French fare and quality bubbles. They have a few spots around London, but we’d recommend the original in Covent Garden. Settle in for a pleasant evening of small producer champers and cheese-oriented dishes such as baked camembert, oozing with rosemary and honey, runny raclette served with roasted potatoes and cured meats, or a simple but delicious cheese and charcuterie sharing board. Champagne + Fromage does exactly what it says on the tin, and we’re not mad about it.
22 Wellington St, WC2E 7DD
No, not a boat made of cheese (which would be cool but very impractical), but rather a 96ft double decker vessel that serves cheese boards, grilled cheese sandwiches, and a host of cheese-centric dishes. The terrace, overlooking The Regent’s Canal where the barge is moored, is a great place to graze on cheesy snacks, while the main dining room downstairs is a slightly fancier affair. It serves a seasonal cheese-focused menu that can include anything from a huge Baked Baron to a beef shin spelt risotto with goats’ curd that we’d cross oceans to eat.
Sheldon Square, London W2 6DL
Fondue fiends should make a beeline for this Swiss restaurant in Soho. Set up in 1974, it has become an institution in the British capital for big pots of delightfully gloopy cheese. St. Moritz offers eight different types of fondue, including Fondue Neuchateloise (gruyere and Emmental) and Fondue Forestiere (cheese and wild mushrooms). Plus a chocolate one for dessert. Heavenly.
161 Wardour St, W1F 8WJ
Just because you’re vegan, there’s no reason you should miss out on the remarkable flavour of cheese. Thankfully, La Fauxmagerie – the UK’s first plant-based cheesemonger – sells a gamut of artisanal vegan cheeses, such as Camemvert and Betta Feta. Book into The Cheese Cellar for an intimate vegan wine and cheese night.
20 Cheshire Street, E2 6EH