From cheese bars and restaurants, to cheese mongers and market stalls, London is full of fun-filled from age experiences. With hundreds of varieties of cheeses from both domestic and foreign producers in the capital, serving up combinations for all palates and occasions, here are the places cheese lovers need to visit in London. Grab a map and make some space in your dairy—sorry, diary.
Where to buy
If you’re looking for shops which offer a more boutique approach, London’s boasts an abundance of cheesemongers who go far beyond the fare offered by your local supermarket. Perhaps the most renowned cheese shop in the capital is Neal’s Yard Dairy. Based in Covent Garden, NYD was founded in 1979 and specialises in cheeses from the UK and Ireland, and is credited as a forerunner in Britain’s wholefood movement.The shop has around 40 producers contributing to their cheese list, and sell their products to countries across the world. NYD also now has a larger sister store in Borough Market.
For those wanting something more continental, LaFromagerie is the place to go. With branches in Marylebone, Highbury and Bloomsbury, the store sells an array of farmhouse and artisanal cheeses, with products from across Europe and the United States. What makes La Fromagerie even more unique, however, is that it practises affinage—the process of sourcing raw cheeses and ripening them in maturing rooms.
As well as shops, there are various markets where you can enjoy your fromage fix. Borough Cheese Company is one of the capital’s most respected cheese stalls. Based in Borough Market, the business travels to Franche-Comtéin Eastern France every five or six weeks to hand-pick Comté and Tome cheese for sale back in England. BCC now have a presence across London, including market stalls in Clapham, King’s Cross and Stoke Newington. Blackwoods, Kappacasein and Heritage Cheese are just three of the other businesses that sell delectable market stall cheese.
Finally, if you don’t fancy venturing out of the house but still want to try the best cheese London has to offer, many of the above companies sell their produce online. There are also online-only companies like The Cheese Geek that deliver carefully-considered cheeseboxes to your front door on a monthly basis.
Where to eat
Cheese lovers in the market for a restaurant or cafe in the capital where they can enjoy some brie-lliant food are again spoilt for choice. An absolute must-visit is the The Cheese Bar in Camden. Its menu is delightfully diverse, with the restaurant selling everything from cheese ice-cream and cheese cocktails, to more simple selections like goats’ cheese sandwiches, fondues and macaronis. Featuring a classy interior with exposed brick walls, a stylish marble bar and floor-to-ceiling display fridges showing off the restaurant’s 30-odd cheese variations, plus craft beers and wine, The Cheese Bar makes a lovely dinner spot.
Another essential spot is the Mac Factory in Oxford Circus.Selling gourmet twists on the classic Mac ‘n’Cheese combinations, turophiles are treated an array of imaginative choices. This includes The Spicy Chorizo, which incorporates chorizo, harissaand caramelised onion for a mouthwatering pot of spicy Mac ‘n’ Cheese, and Mambo Italiano, which adds smoked pancetta, wild mushroom and garlic into the mix. Scrumptious stuff.
For those seeking a more sophisticated sit-down, Champagne + Fromage is a great bet.With locations in Covent Garden, Brixton Village and Greenwich, the restaurant serves up French cheese and champagne combinations for visitors. The menu largely consists of cheese and charcuterie boards, tartines and salads,and is ideal for a catch up with friends over a few glasses of champagne and light bites.
Cheese experience days
If you’re looking for full-on from age experiences,then London again delivers the goods. One such experience is The London Cheese Crawl—akin to a bar crawl but visiting some of the best cheese hot spots in the capital instead. Featuring interesting cheese-related trivia, and even a trivia quiz at the end, The London Cheese Crawl is a perfect afternoon out for cheese lovers.
Want to go beyond just eating cheese and learn how you actually make it? Well, with The Smart School of Cookery’s Cheese Making for Two day, you can do just this. In this three hour class, you’ll learn how to craft mozzarella,ricotta, soft cheeses and more, taking on board tricks of the trade from professional chefs. Combining fresh, local ingredients with informative yet fun tuition, this is another ideal weekend activity for turophiles, with delicious cheese to devour at the end.
But if it is traditional tasting events that you desire, then rest assured London has a wealth of options. Farringdon’s Le Bar runs a highly rated French cheese and wine flight for two, where visitors get to try six different types of cheeses washed down with three perfectly paired glasses of wine. Hotel Xenia have an Italian alternative to this, whilst those willing to splurge can hire out Paxton &Whitfield cheese shop for their brilliantly named ‘Beer, Beer and Morbier’ cheese and beer tasting evening. London is unquestionably one of the best cities in the world for cheese enthusiasts.Whether you want to pick up some dairy delights to enjoy at home, go for a cheese-based meal or experience a cheese-themed day out, the capital has you covered.