In a nutshell
Champagne + Fromage does exactly what it says on the tin. It brings an authentic taste of the best that France has to offer to three shops/restaurants in London.
This is a marriage of two companies. Frenchbubbles specialises in carefully sourced, limited production grower champagnes (those where the wine is produced by the same estate that owns the vineyards) with personality and heritage. The cheese is looked after by Une Normande à Londres, a family-owned company dedicated to bringing the best artisan cheeses, cured meats and preserves from France to London.
The menu is made up of cheese and charcuterie boards, baked cheeses, salads, tartines, and a small selection of desserts. Everything is designed for sharing. This isn’t a typical sit-down meal; it’s more a place to go if you want to linger over a few glasses of champagne and lighter bites while you catch up with friends.
There are over 50 different cheeses on offer, which could be daunting. But the staff are knowledgeable and friendly, and forthcoming in their suggestions. Plus you’re encouraged to go to the counter to taste and build your board. The charcuterie was all high quality so you can’t go wrong – the blueberry saucisson (although it sounds strange) was particularly good. Baked camembert with figs and thyme was oozing and delicious, and came with plenty of fresh, crunchy bread for dipping. The other half of the menu is dedicated to tartines, of which the champagne – sautéed pear with melted Langres cheese – was our favourite.
What I’ll order next time
We visited on a particularly hot London evening, so couldn’t face a warm dessert. But I would definitely go back to try the chocolate fondant with blue cheese. They also serve a French afternoon tea of cheese and traditional macarons.
What’s the room like
Even in the middle of Brixton market, everything felt very French. The décor is rustic and the atmosphere is relaxed. The room itself was all hard-wood floors and bare tables with the walls lined with produce, and there is additional seating outside with plenty of cushions.
What we liked
Actual French people go here, and if that’s not a glowing recommendation, we don’t know what is. When we visited, not only was the waiter French, but the group at the table next to us was as well, which made us feel like we were in Paris. You’re encouraged to take your time, relax, and share with friends; it feels like the kind of place that you could spend all day in.
They do weekly tastings. Head down to either the Covent Garden or Brixton outpost to taste a selection of different grower champagnes alongside cheese pairings.
A charcuterie selection is around £8, baked camembert £6.5, and tartines £7. Champagne starts from £8/glass.
By Sarah Kingsbury
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