Champagne + Fromage
The shop itself is Gallic at its most gorgeous with displays of Champagne, cheese and charcuterie making for quite the chic centerpiece, whilst mismatched furniture and reclaimed materials add a stamp of authentic French flair. The focal point, however, is a fabulously oversized fromagerie that’ll have foodies tripping over themselves to fall inside.
Until now, French foodies have been keeping grower Champagne to themselves, but Champagne + Fromage has its own secret cellar with a selection of artisanal grapes for the uncorking right here in London.
Unlike well-known Champagne power-houses, grower Champagne is made entirely by producers in their very own vineyards, as opposed to blending together grapes from different vineyards to create a generic house style. And because of its pure quality, grower Champagne reflects the subtleties of its terroirs.
And with 25 award-winning grower Champagnes on offer, as well as a range of half bottles, discerning drinkers certainly know where to come for a drop of something decent. Whether enjoyed in the bistro, chez moi, or bought as a gift for a fizz-fiend, Champagne + Fromage is a Francophile’s home-away-from-home.
Plates of rustic French fare fill the menu, with everything available to eat in the bistro or to take-away come day or night. The star of the show is the tartine, a single slice of homemade bread draped in slivers of cheese and charcuterie or fruit, drizzled with rich olive oil.
Other foodie faves include Auvergne — figs with melted Fourme d’Ambert; La Nordique — salmon gravlax with Langres cheese mousse and a special Champagne dressing; Champagne –sautéed pear with melted Langres cheese; and Montbélliarde sausage with Morbier and shallot confit.
As you’d expect, frogs’ legs and snails also make an appearance with ‘cuisses de grenouilles’ – served the Champagne + Fromage way in tempura with Roquefort cheese and snail raclette forestiere.
The Fromagerie & Shop offers plenty of products with no less than 50 soft and hard cheeses, all sourced from Une Normandeà Londres from brie and camembert to cantal and tome, as well as a range of blues in addition to charcuterie, pâtés, jamons, rillons and saucisses. Other decadent delights aren’t in short supply; think shelves piled high with jars of terrine, rillettes, cassoulets, confits, soups and jams, all sourced from tiny suppliers across the channel.
We can all learn a thing or two from the French, which is why a calendar of monthly Champagne and cheese master classes offer an insider peek into an often inaccessible world. Cutting through the industry jargon, the events teach guests how to get to grips with grapes, how to pair cheese and Champagne, and the difference between regions, producers and production techniques.
And the best bit? All master classes are practical, ensuring theory is supported with plenty of food and fizz. Interactive blind-tastings, meanwhile, are great for team-building and provide the perfect present for those who appreciate the finer things in France.
Open on Tuesday to Saturday from 11am – 11pm and Sunday from 11am – 8pm. Closed on Mondays.
Champagne + Fromage
22 Wellington Street, London
0207 240 1604, www.frenchbubbles.co.uk/Champagne-Fromage