Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Say CHEESE on the South Bank

By Flick Hardingham.

Last week the Gods smiled upon the Capital and graced us with a day of glorious sunshine.  I decided to take a stroll down the South Bank (via a sneaky Fruli at Borough Market) to sample the delights of the annual Spring Cheese and Wine Festival.

Over the weekend a plethora of fromagiers, vintners and epicurean taste-makers descended upon Southbank Centre Square with all that is stinkingly wonderful.

Did I know my Pont l’Eveque from my Port Salut? Only time and many, many samples would tell!

Amidst piles of chevre and charcuterie I made a bee line for La Cave A Fromage.  This smelly South Kensington gaff had ventured far from home to bring us a whole heap of heavenly cheese. I simply asked for the best goat’s cheese they had.  A slightly passive and typically French gentleman pointed at what resembled a grey, mouldy donut!  To my delight this menacing, fluffy round turned out to be a scrumptious and my friends were so alarmed by the musty fungus, I gladly guzzled it all myself. 

Next up was an oozing hunk of yet more cheese. I had spotted the raclette when I arrived and tried so hard to resist but the dripping, ambrosial mass pulled me in.  The raclette was piled upon a generous portion of sausage stew and potatoes.  Was it worth the half hour wait in line? Hell yeah!

As well as the chance to taste, there was a great mix of tastings and demos with the experts including The Guardian’s wine writer, Fiona Beckett and Donatella Bernstein from Drink Italy. 

Utterly satisfied, I waddled home to lie on my sofa for the rest of the weekend. I’m still trying to shift my cheese hangover even now but I’m definitely planning to return next year.

Are you a cheese lover? Then check out the Top 10 Best London Restaurants for Cheese.

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