Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New places to buy cheese

I've just been checking out a couple of new places to buy cheese in the UK, one shop, one online.

The shop (to the right) is called La Cave - an ambitiously large cheese shop and café just by South Kensington tube station in London. It's got a pretty good selection though I do find it depressing to see a display of cheese wrapped in clingfilm and one or two of the cheeses looked as if they had seen better days.

They do however hold regular cheese tasting events in the form of a fortnightly cheese and wine tasting session which might be a fun thing to do if you're in the area. (They cost £35.)

The other is a new on-line cheese retailer called Pong - a brave move, I feel given that not everyone is into stinky cheese - but it has a very funky site with some sexy photography, some imaginative and fairly priced cheese selections and some appealing recipes. I love the sound of the Westcombe Cheddar and bacon stuffed baby baked potatoes as a party nibble.

It's a difficult time to be selling artisanal cheese which suddenly seems very expensive. The other day I bought some sheeps' cheese at my local farmers market that cost more per kilo than fillet steak - although of course you don't need quite so much of it.

I can't help but feel that La Cave must be struggling in such an expensive location and in competition with cheese meccas like Neal's Yard and La Fromagerie. But not everyone has a good cheese shop near them and for them the answer could well - if they hold their nose - be Pong.


Dave, London said...

I've tried Pong recently and I was really impressed. I ordered an Epoisses, a Finn and an Oxford Blue and they came within 2 days, in great condition, nestled in straw and in lovely packaging with handwritten tasting notes. The cheeses were gorgeous! I think it makes a great way to send a present and what better present?

Fiona Beckett said...

Not a mate of the owner by any chance, are you Dave? ;-)

Seriously they do sound good and I love their website. I'll have to give them a try.

Molly Jean said...

Mmm I wish we had a store dedicated to delicious types of cheese!