Inspired by the local fromageries of Paris, husband-and-wife team Sarah and Owen Watson finally decided to leave the corporate world behind and open up the cheese emporium of their dreams.
The pride of the shop lines the side wall, ranging from hard, aged cheeses across to the fresher, soft varieties. Names like ‘Herve Mons Comte’ or ‘l’Artisan Fermier’ might intimidate the average cheddar nibbler, but the Cheese Cave is anything but pretentious.
Whether you’re making a platter for a dinner party or just after something with your lunch, the staff are warm and glad to talk you through the range and even let you have a taste while you think. If you feel like taking your time, there are handy information cards placed next to every cheese, describing the flavours, its region, which animal the milk comes from and even which kinds of wines and accompaniments to match it with.
The shop is laden with an enticing array of deli-style accompaniments like pickled beetroot, dried fruit, liver pates, chorizo, dips, fresh baguettes wrapped in paper and, of course, the humble cracker.
Share a cheese-board with a friend in the cafe or the new adjoined dining room, or order from their full breakfast and lunch menu. Breakfast warmers include the traditional porridge with winter compote or the omelette au fromage. The two stand-outs of the lunch menu are the ‘Dairy-man’s’ and the ‘Dairy-maid’s Lunch’ – plates of cooked eggs, sourdough and the cheese of the day with sides that differ in degrees of meatiness and daintiness.
You really are spoilt for choice at this lovely fromagerie. But at its essence, The Cheese Cave is really about the simpler pleasures: good cheese, a fresh baguette and a spot to watch the world go by.