As the winds whip up and the temperature cools, the restaurants we’re craving most tend to be cosy, comfortable and, in this case, cheese-filled. Patricia Michelson established La Fromagerie in 1991 and, as well as supplying dairy goods to top London chefs, has shop-cum-cafés in Highbury and Marylebone. Her third site, along like-minded shops and restaurants on Lamb’s Conduit Street in Bloomsbury, is now open for breakfast, lunch and – on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays – dinner.
Upon entering the late Georgian building – a former bakery – you find yourself surrounded by freshly baked breads, generously iced cakes and seasonal fruit and vegetables (right now, plenty of pumpkins, squash and figs). To your right is La Fromagerie’s signature cheese room, while straight ahead a marble bar with brass accents leads to the 26-cover café. Settle into one of the green-velvet banquettes at a table gently illuminated by antique light fixtures.
Start with an aperitif – the “sacred” negroni is hard to beat – and a snack of fried cheese (fontina meets truffle). The autumnal menu features a twice-baked soufflé, a tin of Portuguese sardines and, my favourite, a delightful baked autumn pumpkin brimming with parmesan, sage and truffle cream. Naturally there’s a separate menu for cheese boards – each with suggested wine pairings – and an array of charcuterie and colourful side salads. For fish fans, there’s even a smoked salmon and oyster bar. And who could forget the famous fondue Savoyarde.
La Fromagerie, 52 Lamb’s Conduit Street, London, WC1N 3LL.
Photo: La Fromagerie.