This weeks Londoner is Clodagh McKenna who is currently studying a MA in American Literature at Goldsmiths – her reason for coming to London – whilst working as a cheesemonger on Broadway Market, in the French deli and café – La Bouche. Catch some cheesy banter below…
Welcome Clodagh! First question, tell us how long have you lived in London, where and why?
I came here to study two years ago, so in search of cheapish housing, in an area vaguely knew I ended up in Stepney Green. Although it’s the area most darkly rendered as home to multiple sadistic murderers in the latest series of Luther, it’s not so bad – it has character, a few good hidden gems and it’s within easy cycling distance to almost anywhere I find myself needing to be.
You work in cheese, tell us where can we find the very best cheese in the city?
Well… That’s just asking for a plug… L’Eau à la Bouche on Broadway Market offers the finest French selection going this side of the channel. Otherwise, Neal’s Yard and La Fromagerie are great, and Gordon’s Wine Bar to eat cheese boards whilst drinking wine in atmospheric caves. More generally, I’d say by avoiding supermarket cheese. You want to head anywhere that you can encounter people with knowledge of what they’re selling, where you can get the cheese freshly cut, and where it has been given the chance to develop some interesting flavours. But most importantly, somewhere you can get some samples – as much to know what you’re getting as to try new cheese, and, well, to get a couple of freebies.
There’s some cracking cheesy tips right there! We’re have to admit we are pretty jel of your working location, what are your fav place on Broadway Market?
Bella Vita: the pizzas are great, plus the Linguine Mare is unbelievable – last time I went we had to order a second round of main courses to eat it all over again! If I’m looking for a hangover, beers at The Dove with an accompanying pint of chips never goes a miss. And at the risk of this sounding like another plug, I’m happy to spend most of my money on cheese, charcuterie and wine in La Bouche.
OK we’ll be heading to La Bouche soon – don’t you worry! Finally what would your perfect day in London be?
Waking up at the crack of dawn and cycling to Billingsgate Fish Market to grab the freshest, cheapest fish and seafood available in London, followed by coffee, reading, and most likely a nap to recover from the early rise. The afternoon would require a trip to the little-known wild swimming spot nearby, affectionately referred to as “the Wapping Lido” by those in the know… A few hours in one of the Thames-side pubs around Wapping/Limehouse and of course it would be finished off by cooking that wonderful fish with plenty of wine and some dear pals.
Sounds like a plan to us Stan! Don’t forget to check out La Bouche people, a little birdie…we forget who…tells us it’s where the best cheese is at!