I have never been a big fromage person. I vote chocolate in lieu of a cheese board. I am known to finish the grapes but I hardly ever dive into the cheese. La Fromagerie in Marylebone is so much more than its name suggests. Yes, it is one of the finest cheesemongers in London with a beautiful walk-in cheese room and a dedicated affineur, also known as a cheese specialist. It also has an array of artisan products, incredible seasonal fruit and produce, a rustic presentation of local breads, a tempting display of homemade cakes (with two Sicilian recipes impossible to resist), and an impressive selection of kitchenware for the home cook. There is a long and inviting wooden communal table, vintage bar stools and various nooks for eating, sipping tea, or nibbling a Mirabelle plum galette, all with the full service of a restaurant or cafe.
The staff is a group of positively lovely, young people passionate about high quality food. La Fromagerie is my favorite spot for feeling at home in a large city, for its warm atmosphere, its divine Sicilian Lemon Pistachio cake, and its Marylebone people-watching. I still dream of the simple but visual plates that I enjoyed at the communal table: roasted eggplant and blistered cherry tomatoes on the vine, as well as a late summer bean, prosciutto, and peach salad. Founder Patricia Michelson has made La Fromagerie a larder of global tastes and crafts, and for Marylebone residents who appreciate understated quality, the concept is a dream shoppe.