My darling, unconditionally loved cheese.
There is no part of you that I don’t adore. From your hard outer rinds to your gooey soft centres, every side of you is arousingly delicious.
*Please note this is post has been rated 12+ due to its unintentional amount of innuendos
One person who gets those same butterflies over a whiff of anything remotely cheesy is my bestie Beth and so of course when the lovely team at Truly Experiences offered us a chance to catch up over cheese and champagne… well the reaction went something like “ermegah yes give me all the cheese please”.
Reuniting in Covent Garden on an (apparently) summer’s Friday evening, we wandered over to Champagne + Fromage, one of three French bistros in the city. As well as selling a selection of cheeses and bubbles from a shop front, a small rustic restaurant sits those looking to nibble and graze over artisan bites.
Beth and I took a spot on a shabby-chic table, me looking out across the shop floor whilst Beth gazed at the giant chalkboard, much of which we’d be sampling in a menu exclusive to Truly customers.
Our Cheese and Champagne tasting began with a glass of vintage 2008 Pertois-Moriset, a chardonnay brut that welcomed us to the weekend with a smooth fragrant sip.
Not long after, a basket of bread was brought to the table with a giant rustic board, our companions for the evening lain across in various forms.
We were given a quick tour, a descriptive introduction to the banquet of cheeses that were seductively spread over cherry jams and quince jellies.
Let us begin with the Pont L’Eveque from Normandy, a soft mild slice that spilled a creamy sticky core from its centre. A love child of Camembert and brie, it was as though it had been conceived with the most luxurious splash of rich cream.
With even more of an alluring ooze was the Pouligny-St-Pierre, this time a soft goats cheese that combined its creaminess with an intense nutty taste, an unexpected feature that had us going back for more.
Next door was a soft wedge of Epoisses from the Burgundy region. This one was a grower on me. Initially I wasn’t overly smitten, but as its fellow cheeses became slimmer by the second, it continued to reveal more and more, grafting on our affection until we fell for its crisp nutty rind.
Now time to go hard, with texture and punch. The confident Roquefort, an impressively strong blue that despite its empowering tang respectfully left a pleasant aftertaste. This butch strapping cheese was beautifully complimented with a dainty sweet spoonful of chutney, a classic case of opposites attract.
The softer version of the macho Roquefort was its sister from Haute-Loire, Ms Montbriac. Although similar in strength, it left a little sourness behind, which was only enjoyed once mopped up with bread and a fruit drizzle.
Where to go next?! Let’s continue to the Chebris. Made from both goat and ewe milk, this semi-hard cheese was rather delightful, but mostly just as friends. If I had to strictly judge it against its competitors, then surrounded by boasting confident players it just didn’t stand out from the crowd. As Beth concluded, a ‘posh Babybel’ would have been an appropriate slogan for its Tinder profile.
But there was only one real disappointment in the group. A smooth Cabri Frais immediately got me excited, promising me a creamy goats cheese that spread like a white mousse. However my interest came crashing down as I waited for the flavour to hit… and was left short. Perhaps we’d enjoyed too much of the stronger characters but this weak feller wasn’t getting any affection.
In true form, I’m saving the best till last, or my preferred contender anyway. A strong, hard, slim slice from Auvergne, it was nutty and packed with personality. Its name… Cantal. This one reminded me of another beloved beauty, the Manchego, who always satisfies, especially when paired with a slice of chorizo sausage.
Okay this is officially cheese porn now, sorry Dad.
After a couple of hours of catching up over cheese, Beth and I finished our champagne, goggled the gigantic slices in the window and mooched back into Covent Garden for a cocktail or four two.
If you’ve got an occasion coming up soon or perhaps just want an excuse to gossip with a gal pal, then I highly recommend booking with Truly Experiences. Their personal concierge service easily matches you with an experience you’ll never forget and there’s no lengthy booking process either, they do it all for you!
From cheese tastings to indulgent spa days, from learning the secret of sushi to Michelin starred dining, these guys have got it all covered. PLUS I’m got an exclusive 10% discount for you, my lovely readers until the end of October. Simply click here and find the perfect experience for you!
Our tasting at Fromage + Champagne was complimentary but as always, all views are my own, even when I’m in cheese heaven