We do love our food at High Living so, when we first heard about a new French food and drink shop opening in Whetstone, our ears pricked up. What’s more, not only would it be selling some of our favourite specialities, there would be an in-house bakery. They clearly aren’t mucking about!
The French Market has been set up by Alexandre Bal, Amaury Levisalles and Matthieu Sevagen and is their second project after Authentique Epicerie and Bar in Tufnell Park. Their aim is to showcase the rich diversity of all French and French-speaking regions including Morocco. Their backgrounds include the wine trade in both France and the UK and they also offer a broad range of wine and alcoholic drinks, some of the more special stored in a climate-controlled fine wine room at the back of the store.
At the front of the store is the bakery run by Mathieu Lagrange. He gives the dough a long ferment and resulting baguettes and pains au levin have a satisfyingly chewy texture, big evenly spaced bubbles and depth of flavour. You can choose between softer or harder, crunchier crust for the baguettes. I tend to go for the crunchy crust as it lasts longer (although this isn’t an issue in our household). Their croissants, pains au chocolate and other pastries are incredibly layered (and have great “lamination” – a word you’ll, know if you watch the Bake Off). There are also various tarts, vegan options and cannelés – a delicious and chic speciality of Southwest France. Look out for the salted caramel and raspberry versions.
Along with these, I picked up some duck rillettes, tarragon mustard (our favourite with roast chicken) and coppa à l’ancienne ham. The deli selection is very tempting and I’m a particular fan of their excellent Bayonne ham (and, of course, all the cheeses). It’s a comfortable, airy space for browsing and the staff are welcoming and enthusiastic – enjoy our pictures below, although you’d need to turn on some classic Stevie Wonder to repeat my full experience in the shop. A real treat!
Please check their Facebook page for full details and information of upcoming tastings and other events.
Tuesday to Sunday: 9am-6pm
Free delivery for orders over £50.
Final image courtesy The French Market