Despite the dairy-free revolution, our national love affair with cheese doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. There’s really nothing like a good cheeseboard, and at these London cheese shops, you’ll be spoilt for choice…
Paxton & Whitfield
One of the oldest cheesemongers in London, Paxton & Whitfield has risen to cheese royalty since opening back in the 18th century. In 1850 the company was appointed cheesemonger to HM Queen Victoria – the first of a number of Royal Warrants over the years. Winston Churchill was also a fan, once observing: “a gentleman only buys his cheese at Paxton & Whitfield.” An iconic brand.
A long-standing favourite on Northcote Road, Hamish Johnston has been selling artisan and farmhouses cheese to Battersea households since opening in 1994. A family run, independent business, the friendly shop has everything from blue cheese to vegetarian rennet, with knowledgeable staff to on hand to advise. They also operate from a wholesale base in Suffolk, but their cosy Clapham home remains the lifeblood of the company.
At La Fromagerie, the utmost care goes into the cheese-making process. They practise affinage, a process where raw cheeses are sourced from artisan producers and matured to perfection in temperature-monitored rooms by in-house affineurs. Their Highbury Park location is the original branch, with two more in Marylebone and Bloomsbury. All feature signature cheese rooms and tasting cafes, where visitors can tuck into a menu of cheese-based dishes, including some seriously impressive cheeseboards. Real cheese lovers should book into one of their evening tastings, where you’ll learn all about their selection.
Neal’s Yard Dairy
Many of the cheeses sold at Neal’s Yard Dairy are aged in their own maturing rooms in Bermondsey, where they are turned, brushed and washed to perfection. Randolph Hodgson founded their first shop in Covent Garden in the early 1980s, followed by a second ten years later in Borough Market and a third in Spa Terminus. All three offer a wide selection of cheeses sourced from the UK and Ireland, with in-store tastings and feedback encouraged. They also hold regular cheese events, including cheese making workshops and cheese and wine nights.
Brindisa Cheese & Charcuterie
Spanish-inspired Brindisa recently expanded their repertoire by opening a cheese and charcuterie deli in Balham’s Hildreth Street, nearby their Weir Road warehouse. From classic Manchego to Canary Island speciality Majorero, offerings celebrate the best of Spanish cheese, with many obscure varieties available.
Cheeses Of Muswell Hill
Cheeses of Muswell Hill proves the best things really do come in small packages. Despite being tiny, it stocks over 200 different types of cheese, as well as crackers, cheese wedding cakes, wine and cheese tools. A family run business, the shop opened nearly 40 years ago, with current owner Morgan McGlynn at the forefront for the past ten. Not only is it hugely popular with the locals – Morgan knows many customers on a first name basis – the shop has gained city-wide acclaim after being featured on TV shows such as Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries and Paul Hollywood’s BBC Bread.
After spending years managing fine dining restaurants, founder Rhuaridh Buchanan passed up the opportunity to work with renowned chef Thomas Keller to learn the art of cheesemaking at Paxton & Whifield. With his newfound expertise, he went on to open Buchanan’s in Connaught Village. The shop stocks a range of British and European cheeses, which change daily depending on what’s ripe in the onsite maturing rooms.
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