France in London: La Cave à Fromage

In the first of our blogs about The World in London, we’ve asked Coralie, author of the fantastic Tea Time in Wonderland to tell us where to find the taste of France in London. Here’s a post to make your mouth water!

You know the French. They can discuss food for hours (to dip or not to dip a croissant in your cafe, that is the question). One of our favourite addictions is cheese. Cow, goats, ewe, soft or hard: we have an impressive collection of 400, each jealously defended by its region.

In France, the Sunday ritual is to walk to the market, visit the local cheesemonger, admire the cheese selection presented on a straw mat and choose the perfect one for the family lunch. Baguette, cheese and wine is one of our favourite meals – we are easy to please!

In London, we struggle with Cheddar and Stilton. We long for a wider range of textures. So we rush to La Cave a Fromage, in the heart of South Kensington. You will always find a French fellow admiring the display longingly from the outside, eyes twinkling with desire, hand already on the doorhandle…

Step in! I love the smell and wish I could bottle it – an instant reminder of holidays in sunny parts of France, of picnics on the lawn, it makes your mouth water in no time… So many varieties, colours, shapes, assortment of flavours! This is just like home. The staff is friendly and very patient: let them guide you with simple questions about your preferences in textures, strength of taste, aromas, letting you taste a selection… Freshness, excellence and tradition are the keywords here.

You get addicted from the first visit: there is always a new one to try, a flavour to discover, maybe lemony, peppery, or melting on your tongue. Most of us do not even leave the shop: it has a handful of tables on the side, also sells wine and bread and we just sit there in true heaven. Tasting events are regularly held in the evening, perfect for aperitif time! www.la-cave.co.uk

Read more from Coralie at Tea Time in Wonderland, or feel free to check out the French event she takes part in every month, as she explains:

l’apero-blog: the French-speaking bloggers (or those loving those blogs) meet in a pub and practise their French, exchange tips, visions of England, best addresses, and recipes (of course!). It is very merry indeed. Three hours are never enough, we are always asked to leave the pub as it is closing. And still, we linger on the pavement for another half an hour…

Do you have any more ideas about France in London? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. LazyLondon says:

    Baguette, cheese and wine – that’s also one of my favourite meals! Will def check this out next time I’m in the area. Can I also recommend Cafe du Village in Wandsworth Common – a delicious French restaurant. Also, really good value for money.

  2. Zoe J. Griffiths says:

    My favourite place for feeling like you’re in France without leaving London is Le Chardon in East Dulwich. Fantastic moules frites and great steaks too. And I love the decor. http://www.lechardon.co.uk/

  3. Cheese Lover London says:

    I’ve been longing to find a place like this in London, somehow most fromageries just don’t quite match up to those in France. Better go – the cheese is calling!

  4. Chocoralie says:

    There is a Paul just 20 steps away if you want some nice French baguette and croissants…

    Has any one tried the sketch for perfect pastries @ tea time? I guarantee this is just heaven!

    http://bit.ly/6LotfC

    • Boo says:

      Sketch is my fave spot for afternoon tea and cake.

      • Chocoralie says:

        Have you tried Yauatcha for cakes? Their pastry chef is French and ooooooh, this is such a delicious place.

        I also have driven passed La Maison Carree (57 old Brompton rd, down Hummingbird Bakery) and the cakes looked superb there. I just have to go and try those… and the bread looked gorgeous too!

  5. jose adams says:

    Best French restaurant in London is La Poule au Pot in Pimlico. Gorgeous food. Thank you to the many French people living in London for giving us some of your fabulous food and culture. Vive la France a Londres!

  6. Mathieu says:

    Getting a Pain au Chocolat at Paul is nothing extraordinary, but it brings back memories and the feeling of being right back in France, just of a minute or two.

  7. cedric says:

    Whole Food Market has a surprisingly wide range of great French cheeses. For the rest, I rely on Royal Mail to keep my mother’s parcel land safely on my doorstep. They are usually full of chocolatey treats and other nougats.

  8. Chocoralie says:

    Have you tried the Androuet cheese shop in the Old Spitafields Market? It’s difficult not to step in if you’re nearby… It just drags you in!

    http://www.oldspitalfieldsmarket.com/eat-drink/androuet.html

  9. Zoe J. Griffiths says:

    ‘A Nous Deux Londres! (Guided walks in French in London) have annouced their Christmas and New Year programme, with a NEW walk on Charles Dickens on 27 Dec, two walks in Westminster on 26 Dec and 2 Jan, together with a mystery walk on 1 Jan. See http://www.anousdeuxlondres.co.uk for all details

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