The other day, I found myself doing something I’ve never before done in London. Cafe hopping at lunch-time.
Starting out with a vibrant mix of Ottolenghi’s signature salads, I soon found myself drifting over to the Fine Cheese Company, a few doors down on Motcomb Street, to indulge in the most exquisite of cheese soufflés, which was quite possibly the size of my head. Let’s just say that it was enough to tempt me back within a few short days…
Not that I needed another excuse to visit Motcomb Street.
With its charming cobblestones, hidden courtyards and quaint Georgian buildings, this quiet pocket of Belgravia is one of of my favourite spots for whiling away the good part of any day.
The first London outpost of the Bath-based Fine Cheese Company fits right in – an understatedly elegant space with classic black-and-white checkered floors, marbled table-tops and a royal blue theme subtly running through.
This is primarily a shop with around 110 cheeses on offer from all over the world (although there is an emphasis on British producers), along with charcuterie and a medley of other treats, from artisanal chocolates to fresh fruit liqueurs and a wine wall lined with an eclectic range of European varieties.
But there’s a small area for eating-in too (spilling over into the quiet courtyard), with breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea on the menu.
The cheese soufflé here is near-perfect – delightfully light and fluffy with a melting centre. I only say near-perfect and not utterly-perfect, as the cheese could have been of a slightly stronger nature, especially given the versatile selection available here…
… It is this beauty of a selection, which I returned to sample more of with my friends.
Under the astute guidance of the deli’s sommelier, we chose traditional British, Italian and Spanish cheeses, all of which arrived with a scrumptious array of crackers and spreads. The pleasant summer’s afternoon also called for a beautifully prepared tomato and mozzarella salad, teeming with fresh flavours!
Seeing as we’d dropped in for weekend brunch, we enjoyed a bit of a yolky situation too, in the form of perfectly poached eggs served with crusty sourdough bread.
While it was all quite substantial and easy to fill up on, the enticing sweets and cakes on display just went to prove why there’s always room for dessert…
Top temptations included the flourless Tunisian orange cake, made with ground almonds. Drenched with orange syrup, it was moreishly sticky and moist but not cloyingly sweet, making for a pleasant change from the chocolatey desserts which usually cross my path…
All-in-all, I have to say that it was a stupendously fine afternoon. Wouldn’t you agree?
Have you visited Motcomb Street before?
The Fine Cheese Company, 17 Motcomb Street, London, SW1X 8LB