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Cheese: London’s Top 10 Best Bars & Restaurants for Cheese Lovers. Cheese: melted, grated, fried, sliced, sauced, stirred into fondues or just eaten in delicious chunks straight from the block. What’s not to love about our friend fromage? But can you go out for a whole meal dedicated to cheese in London? We’re talking a meal full of calcium–fied goodness rather than a slice on a Jacobs cream cracker at the end of your meal. What, after all, is the point in eating cheese after three courses? After that much food it’s hard to know the difference between a processed cheese string and some 20–year old Rocquefort? The French, a nation who takes cheese seriously, have their cheese course before dessert and in Spain cheese is served at the beginning of a meal, so diners really appreciate it rather than having it as an afterthought before coffee.
And so it is with much relief that Fluid guides you through the Top 10 Cheese Restaurants in London.
Le Cave à Fromage
Kensington / Restaurant / Cuisine: Cafe
This cheese shop also sells 200 cheeses online but for a dining experience, its tasting events, reasonably priced at £25 each, give customers a chance to try before they buy. Held every other Thursday, tasting events range from cow, goat and sheep cheeseboards to sessions on seasonal cheeses, blue cheeses and cooking with cheese. All enjoyed with a shot or two of vino, of course.
L’Art du Fromage
Chelsea / Restaurant / Cuisine: French
L'Art du Fromage is a new addition to the list of cheese-inspired establishments and calls itself a cheese gourmet restaurant. The owners hail from the Alsace region in France and are hoping their Gaelic enthusiasm for cheese will catch on across the Channel. Alongside the usual suspects: fondue, raclette and tartiflette etc, diners can even choose a cheese ice cream from the menu.
Vivat Bacchus Restaurant & Wine Cellar
City of London / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: European
Spread out over two floors, the cosy cellar includes two walk-in cheese rooms where diners can choose what exactly they want on their personalized cheese plates. Expert advice is on hand to make the selection process. Priced at approximately £2.50 per 30g, customers can also go for a pre-selected seasonal cheeseboard. Live music and good wine complete the convivial atmosphere.
Marylebone / Bar / Cuisine: Cafe
As well as selling an extensive range of cheeses through its shop, La Fromagerie stocks homemade breads, cakes, jams as well as oils and vinegars. The tasting café has a huge communal table as well as smaller tables for customers to gather over a plate of cheese, sandwiches, homemade soups and terrines. The onsite maturing room ensures cheeses are as fresh as a honky sock - delicious.
Gordon's Wine Bar
West End / Bar /
Apparently, Gordon's is oldest wine bar in London. Its blink-and-you-miss-it entrance hasn't stopped this place being regarded by Londoners as a real gem and no matter what time you come, the atmospheric (think dripping wax candles, flagstoned walls and low ceilings) but compact cellar space is usually rammed. A large outdoor seating area, with heaters copes with some of the overspill. Choose which cheeses you want from the deli counter then enjoy the generous portions with crusty bread.
Soho / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Swiss
London's oldest Swiss restaurant, St Moritz, is all checkered red tablecloths and dark wood. Fondue dominates the menu. From its special Chinese fondue to the one which involves new potatoes, there's a fair amount of variety as far as melted Gruyere cheese goes. However, it is fairly pricey. Even the basic cheese and bread fondue costs £14.90 a head, going up to £21.95 for meat fondue.
Marylebone / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: French
Orrery, awarded a Michelin star in January 2000, is an elegant dining room on the first floor of the Conran Shop in Marylebone. The menu, changed seasonally, has many classical French undertones as Seared sea scallops, pork belly & cauliflower, Barbary duck with pain d'epice, foie gras tatin, Banyuls jus. The restaurant is light and airy with large arched windows, which offers diners have one of the prettiest views in London across the Marylebone parish church gardens.
Star & Garter
Putney / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Modern International
After climbing the steps from the beautiful riverside entrance, straight opposite is a climate-controlled ?cheese room? with an enticing array of whole, blue and hard cheeses from England, France and Spain. The Star & Garter has its bases covered for those who enjoy their ?fromage?. You can put together a personalised cheese board or, to take the difficulty out of the decision-making, there are six pre-selected options. The French selection is particularly appealing, the highlight being the powerful yet tangy blue ?Persille de Malzieu?.
Cheese at Leadenhall
City of London / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Cafe
Cheesemongers used to be bound by law to sell their cheeses at Leadenhall market. Now, however, the undercover space is popular with the after work drinks crowd. Cheese at Leadenhall is a shop/wine bar that also puts on special cheese tasting events. It has an extensive range of wines and ports to sample from. Its lunchtime menu, served weekdays 12-2.30pm wherever possible, injects a healthy dose of fromage: whether it's cottage pie with mature cheddar cheese mash or a raclette sandwich.
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