Having just returned from our holiday in France, I was delighted to hear about a new food stall at the back of The Spires. Between the showers last Saturday I dashed out to take a look.
Chez Francis & Sylvie is a family-run delicatessen selling personally selected cheeses, charcuterie and other specialities. Based in Mill Hill, they have been in business since 1993 and also run stalls in Swiss Cottage on Wednesdays and at The Sidings farmers’ market in Winchmore Hill on Sundays.
Francis talked me through his stock while offering samples and I settled on a Basque ewe’s milk cheese, Osaba Peio, similar to Ossau-Iraty from the Pyrenees and an aged Comté after tasting it against a younger example. I also succumbed to a beautifully fine, silky mousse de canard, confit duck and some mellow, creamy Sicilian garlic sauce, crema d’aglio.
To a Francophile foodie like me, it’s all seriously tempting. A truffled Brie and an Italian cooked ham with a seam of truffles both really stood out – deliciously decadent, and there are also plenty of saucissons, pâté, Dijon mustard, pesto, as well as fish soup and cassoulet. The prices are good, too, particularly compared to what we were paying in France thanks to the dire exchange rate.
Chez Francis & Sylvie will be there from 9am to 4pm every Saturday until Christmas and, hopefully, into the New Year and beyond. It’s (almost) like being back on holiday.