French artisan bistro and deli, Champagne + Fromage, has officially opened its doors in the historic quarter of maritime Greenwich. Husband and wife dream team, Stefano Frigerio and Maud Fierobe, along with cheese expert Frank Leblais, are now popping corks on Church Street, by the entrance of the iconic marketplace.
Champagne + Fromage is as French as it gets; serving the finest cheeses, seriously good charcuterie and the best boutique champagnes this side of the Channel. Decked out in rustic French interiors with mismatched furniture and reclaimed materials, Champagne + Fromage oozes authentic Gallic charm. The indoor and outdoor seating will allow ample al fresco opportunities for soaking up the summer sun, and the go-to spot for a sparkling nightcap on the weekends.
Bubbles ‘n’ Bottles
Champagne + Fromage boasts its own secret cellar with a selection of 25 award-winning grower champagnes, all sourced from importer French Bubbles and primed for uncorking right here in London. Just as the champagne and cheese are perfectly paired, the quaint bistro matches good quality with good prices. Starting at only £9 per glass of champagne and unlike well-known powerhouses, the grower champagne is affordable and made by small, independent, artisan producers in their very own vineyards, resulting in a pure taste and quality that reflects the subtleties of the French terroir from which it’s grown.
From classic bruts, demi-secs to vintage varieties, the impressive champagne list features everything from Rosé to Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noir and everything in between. A signature bottle is the Pertois-Moriset Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut NV (£59) – made from 100% Chardonnay it is a unique aromatic combination of apricots, exotic fruits, scented brioche and honeysuckle. The Furdyna Carte Blanche(£56) is one of the few champagne made from Pinot Blanc grapes and encompasses a rich, fruity aroma.
The ‘Champagne of the Week’ features regularly changing house specials at an exclusive discounted price, enabling loyal customers to try a new fizz each and every time they visit expanding their knowledge of grower champagne. Last but not least, all bottles at the bistro can be enjoyed in-house or in the comfort of your own home, with prices halved for take-away requests.
Food ‘n’ Fizz
Plates of rustic French fare include sharing platters, from baked Camembert with garlic and herbs served in a wooden box to a selection of boards that include salami, cured ham, terrines, tapenade, bread and pickles. A selection of rillons and saucissons sourced from tiny French producers include hazelnut, black pepper and blueberry; traditional pork; wild boar and rabbit Armagnac.
The 50-strong soft and hard cheeses range from Brie and Comte to Cantal and Tomme, and a selection of blues – sourced from Une Normandeà Londres in Battersea. Extremely unusual cheeses, including La Fumaison from the French mountainous region of Auvergne (renowned for its dormant volcanoes – The Chain des Puys), made from raw ewe’s milk and aged from the roof of a cave for 100 days. As a result, the cheese develops a smoky and ‘wood-like’ aroma, accompanied by a subtle taste of hazelnuts.
Knowledgeable staff will be on-hand to help pick and pair grower champagnes with each and every dish, or enjoy a special range of cocktails including the Royal Mojito – all the refreshing and minty tastes of a classic mojito but topped with champagne.
From 2pm to 5pm, Champagne afternoon tea is also served and priced at £24 per person. This includes a flute of champagne, a cheese board, five macaroons and four biscuits roses.
Grab ‘n’ Go
On weekends, Champagne + Fromage have a stall placed outside of the bistro, leading onto the market, bursting with a variety of French cheeses and deli produce.
Sip ‘n’ Learn
We can all learn a thing or two from the French, which is why a calendar of monthly champagne and cheese masterclasses will be on offer from September. Cutting through the industry jargon like a cheese knife through fine French cheese, the events will teach guests how to get to grips with grapes, how to pair cheese and champagne and the difference between regions, producers and production techniques. And the best bit? All masterclasses are practical, ensuring theory is supported with plenty of food and fizz. Interactive blind-tastings are great for team building and provide the perfect present for those who appreciate the finer things a la Française.
Champagne, cheese and charcuterie – what’s not to love? Champagne + Fromage – je t’aime.