Few things go together like cheese and wine. Nothing beats a glass of vino and a cheese board – particularly when you’re snuggled indoors in the winter. Luckily London is filled with places where we can enjoy this winning combination, from Italian-inspired wine bars to walk-in cheese rooms. Here’s the C&TH pick of London’s best cheese and wine tasting spots.
Cheese and Wine Tasting Spots in London
- Porte Noire
- WC Wine & Charcuterie
- Pick & Cheese
- Champagne + Fromage
- Gordon’s Wine Bar
- La Fromagerie
- Vivat Bacchus
- Cheese at Leadenhall
You might know Idris Elba from his on screen roles, but he has another string to his bow: a wine bar in King’s Cross. Run in partnership with founder of Connaught Wine Cellars, David Farber, Porte Noire is a stylish spot where you can try an array of wines, including bottles from Elba and Farber’s own brand of the same name. The menu offers a range of snacks, from charcuterie to arancini – plus, crucially, a cheeseboard.
Gasholder 10, A, 1 Lewis Cubitt Walk, London N1C 4BX, portenoire.co.uk
WC Wine & Charcuterie
Don’t be put off by the fact that it used to be a public toilet: WC is far from a novelty bar, and its history only adds to the quirky charm. Wine is really good and fairly priced, and you can enjoy it alongside sharing boards of baked camembert, garlic, rosemary and toasted sourdough bread and a selection of other meats and cheeses. With its candlelit tables and cosy booths, it’s a perfect date spot too.
Clapham Common South Side, London SW4 7AA, wcclapham.co.uk
Pick & Cheese
You’ll find the UK’s first cheese conveyer belt restaurant in Seven Dials Market, a project from the team behind Camden’s Cheese Bar. Diners can grab plate after plate from the 40-metre cheese-laden conveyer belt, picking from an all-British selection of small producer cheeses – from buttery Gubbeen to farmhouse-style Fellstone. Also up for the taking are British charcuterie plates featuring the likes of Hereford beef bresaola and beech-smoked chorizo, with off-belt dishes including a spin on the famed Cheese Truck grilled cheeses. On the drinks side, enjoy natural wine from Les Caves de Pyrene, who have designed a wine list to be paired with the cheeses on offer.
Seven Dials Market, Short’s Gardens, London WC2H 9AT, thecheesebar.com
Champagne + Fromage
Champagne and cheese: a slightly unconventional combination, but who’s complaining? With six London sites, you can get your fill of two of France’s greatest exports in the form of weekly tastings, masterclasses and fizzed-up afternoon teas, or just head straight to the bar to enjoy some of the finest grower champagnes around.
Multiple locations, champagneplusfromage.co.uk
Gordon’s Wine Bar
Established in 1890, Gordon’s is the oldest wine bar in London, and its original décor makes it a most unique watering hole. There’s an extensive wine list, which includes a dedicated vegan and organic section alongside all your usual suspects, from red to fizz. Pair with one of their famous build-your-own cheese platters, with over 17 types of cheese to choose from – all accompanied by bread, butter, chutneys and pickles.
47 Villiers St, London WC2N 6NE, gordonswinebar.com
Founder Patricia Michelson describes the original La Fromagerie in Highbury Park as ‘like going into a little country town and finding a cheese shop.’ These days, it’s more of a cheese empire, with three branches across the city, all boasting dedicated cheese rooms, tasting cafes and cheeseboards themed by country, each paired with different wines. On Friday evenings they host tastings, and there are often workshops and supper clubs – so cheese lovers should keep their eyes peeled on their events page.
Highbury, Marylebone and Bloomsbury, lafromagerie.co.uk
Vivat Bacchus’ famous walk-in cheese rooms are the stuff of dreams. Guided by cheese aficionados, guests are invited to sample various different cheeses from their 40-strong collection before deciding on the all-important content of their cheeseboard. The wine list, meanwhile, is predominantly South African (a nod to the South African owners) with walk-in wine cellars to peruse.
Various locations, vivatbacchus.co.uk
This cosy Italian-inspired wine bar in Old Spitalfields Market fits in perfectly amid its trendy East London location. Interiors are rustic and stripped-back – think dark wood, exposed brick and leather stools – and it specialises in sustainable, organic and bio-dynamic producers from independent producers and small vineyards. The Italian-focused wine collection is handpicked by Bottles’ knowledgeable sommeliers, who are more than happy to advise guests and offer tastings. Pair with a cheese and charcuterie board and settle in for a cosy evening. Bottles is the sister site to Bottles & Battles, based in food market Mercato Metropolitano, and the group has a third outpost on Chelsea’s Draycott Avenue.
Various locations, bottleswine.bar
Cheese at Leadenhall
An independent cheesemonger, wine and small plates bar in the heart of Leadenhall Market, this gem boasts a collection of over 100 artisan British and European cheeses. They offer informal yet informative cheese and wine tastings led by charming sommeliers – just don’t blame us if you end up buying the whole shop after a few glasses of vino.
4-5 Leadenhall Market, London EC3V 1LR, cheeseatleadenhall.co.uk