Victoria Purcell punctuates the Christmas shopping with an indulgent pit-stop at Champagne & Fromage in Greenwich
There’s no better time for indulgence than Christmas, but at Champagne & Fromage, it’s the season of indulgence all year round. Located on the corner of Greenwich Market, where Beachcomber used to be, it’s a great addition to the area’s food scene alongside Jamie’s Italian, Sticks ‘n’ Sushi and Black Vanilla’s fantastic organic sorbet. Rumour has it that Bill’s Restaurant will soon be opening on the corner of Nelson Road and Greenwich High Road, too.
It’s an area undergoing great change, as the market itself edges nearer to the completion of its huge refurbishment project, with a new glass roof, modern brick walkways and a pavilion for a food market, all set to launch in March. (In the meantime, you can still browse the amazing array of designer-makers, you just have to step around the odd barrier.) And now you can break up your shopping with something a little more intoxicating than coffee and cake – bubbles and Brie.
Champagne & Fromage is dinky inside, but that just adds to the charming, rustic-chic decor. The cheeseboards are out of this world, rustled up from a 50-strong selection of soft and hard cheeses. On the day I visited, that was a cracking Comte with those teeny nuggets of crunchy texture, the creamiest Brie I’ve ever encountered, and a deliciously potent Roquefort.
Three types of salami and cured ham grace your board, too, and it’s your job to discover which of these melt-in-the-mouth cured meats and lovely cheeses work best with which of the tapenades (fig, goji berry plus a basilic and garlic cream) to add that little je ne sais quoi. It’s a tricky task as the flavours are powerful, so I gave up, enjoying each luscious one on its own between sips of an elegant flute of the champagne of the week (their selection of 25 award-winning grower champagnes are sourced from independent, artisan producers).
The menu also features a selection of tartines, charcuteries, baked Camembert, confit de canard and even a new Sunday brunch, all of which I intend to return – again and again – to try. This great little place means you have even fewer reasons to schlep into central London. Why go to Covent Garden when Covent Garden has come to Greenwich?
Gastro Board, £25 (for two or three to share). House champagne, £9 per glass
Those who appreciate a good Brie
What to eat…
A cheeseboard is great for grazing, but that baked camembert…
What to know…
This petite place is busy, but it’s worth the wait for a table
34 Church Street, Greenwich SE10 9BL; champagneplusfromage.co.uk