La Cave in South Kensington is one of my favourite places to grab lunch with friends. A little taste of Euro-chic in an otherwise cold & wet London town. You sit up at rickety, tall tables for two while friendly shop assistants buzz & fuss around you chattering about new cheeses & combinations you have to try. From the second you walk in you're transported to Barcelona, Paris or Roma... not bad for a little cheese shop on the corner.
The menu is very, very simple. In fact, I think there's only a choice of two plates... meat or cheese. I'm always sure to go with a friend, so I can have both!
A platter of freshly cut hams & salamis will be delivered to your table and your waiter will explain what is what & where it's from.
Then... the cheese will arrive. The main event. The reason we're all here. The big cheese, if you will.
8-10 different types of cheeses, from all over Europe will be displayed infront of you. The waiter will explain the variations and insist that you make your way around the board in one direction. They're laid out according to strength, so this will ensure that your pallet isn't overwhelmed. It's very serious business this cheese eating.
My favourite was the ludicrously rich brie, topped with flavoured honey. But you all know I'm a sucker for salty/sweet by now.
When you're done with your lunch, I highly recommend a browse around the fridges & cupboards.
Without fail I leave with bags & boxes piled high with soft cheeses, meats & baguettes.
If you're looking for an unpretentious, inexpensive but delicious lunch stop, I highly recommend it. Lunch for two, with drinks is usually around £25. You'll find them here & I never bother with a reservation, they can usually squeeze you in. If you're not London based, they also have a website where you can order a cheese selection. Get it delivered to your desk, put on your best beret, curl your moustache & enjoy your own little Parisien daydream. Oh la la!