If you like top notch champagne, charcuterie, and all sorts of wonderful cheeses, you’re in the right place my friends. Because today I’m telling you about Champagne + Fromage, the brilliant shop that takes fizz and cheese fans to their ultimate culinary heaven.
There are two Champagne + Fromage shops – one in Covent Garden and a second, in Brixton Village. As it’s on my doorstep, my friend Hannah and I ditched Paddy’s Day celebrations and hop skipped it down to the candle-lit Brixton outpost.
Many restaurants in Brixton Village are teeny tiny and have to be clever with their use of space. Champagne + Fromage is no exception and has chairs and tables spilling out onto the walkway of the market. But luckily, it was a Tuesday night and wasn’t too busy, so we pulled up a pew inside, complete with lovely blankets to keep us cosy and these most beautiful flutes (above), filled with a lively and fruity, yet oh so easy to drink Waris-Larmandier.
By the way, aside from a selection of dozens upon dozens of elegant champagnes, they also serve champagne cocktails.
I’ll be going back for the Brixton Fizz – a glass of sparkle, flavoured with apricot brandy and Amarena cherry.
But the big talking point aside from their bottles of the good stuff, is their signature, baked camembert.
There are three types on the menu – garlic and herbs, figs and thyme and basil with sundried tomatoes. But Champagne + Fromage Brixton manager Bertrand, suggested we tried the camembert infused with truffles, which I think may have been one of their specials.
Oh my word, delving into gooey truffle-flavoured cheese with fresh, crisp french bread was just divine.
The other culinary specialty you’ll find here, is of course, French charcuterie.
So it would have been criminal not to sample some of their best saucisson.
The shop is filled with an abundance of cured meats and salamis scattered on the shelves and hanging from various corners. You’ll find a surprising range of saucisson – ranging from duck to donkey (yes really). So have a proper chat with Bertrand or another member of staff who’ll match the right selection of charcuterie to your tastes.
For me, it was a Jambon Corse (Corsica ham) and a Sanglier and Saucisson Fumé (smoked wild boar and pork sausage) served with some gherkins on the side.
This was accompanied by a board of goats cheese (cabris frais), compté (24/26 month) and a soft cow brie de meaux.
I wasn’t expecting our meal to turn from savoury to sweet, but Bertrand managed to twist our arms into trying the homemade fondant au chocolat.
And just when we delved our spoons into the chocolate pud, a gooey chocolate sauce oozed out, laced with…
Chocolate and blue cheese is a beguiling flavour combination but it actually works. And as it had a savoury touch, it gave us licence to just dance between cheese, meat and chocolate. I know, so disgustingly indulgent, but incredibly delicious.
According to Bertrand, 18% (to be exact) of their customers are French, yet more than 80% of their diners come from the wonderful mix of people who form the footfall of the brilliant Brixton Village.
They’ll pop in to buy artisan cheese…
….terrines, patés, confits, rillettes and of course a vast array of champagne.
You may not believe it, but the shop really gets rid of the hoity toity reputation you can sometimes get with drinking champagne. For the French, it doesn’t really have that air of exclusivity that sometimes puts people off champagne venues. And that’s echoed in the reasonable prices you’ll get here.
Betrand, a man who was born in Normandy and brought up on this produce, is an incredibly humble manager, shown in his open-door policy. No one gets excluded here – even the man on the street who only has a fiver in his pocket but just wants to buy some cheese.
It’s the way restaurants should be.
If you do want to learn more about champagne and cheese, the Covent Garden shop does tasting nights – find more info here. Or drop them an email on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
J’adore this place. I think you will too.
Until next time x
Oh So London was a guest of Champagne + Fromage for review purposes but all views are my own. Huge thanks to Bertrand and the team for hosting us.
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