A neighbourhood cheese and wine store
Holloway Road is a long road stretching from Highbury Corner to Archway. It doesn’t compare or contrast with the likes of Crouch End or Highgate but is showing a spurt of new trendy openings. The cheese and wine store Provisions is one of them.
Wine o’clock – time for celebration
I was planning on organising a cheese night with friends for a while so when a colleague mentioned the cheese and wine store Provisions: Wine & Cheese, I knew I had to stop by there. 5pm on any day from Wednesday is ‘wine o’clock’ in London so it was no exception that Thursday evening. Celebration was in order as my birthday was that week and a colleague had just been promoted. After leaving the office, we headed north to Holloway Road, home of the Gunners or Arsenal for non football fans.
Friendly welcome and cosy atmosphere
Provisions: Wine & Cheese is a cute little cheese and wine store. As you enter the shop, your nose is assaulted “in a good way” with the smell of cheese. Be assured that you get used to it straight away. The entrance opens into the cheese store on the left and wine bar on the right. A large table sits in the middle of the shop displaying a selection of cheese and wine. There is also a small table at the back of the room that fits 4 people.
For such a small shop, Provisions: Wine & Cheese offers a fair amount of seating. It is useful to know that the store operates as a shop during the day and cheese and wine bar in the evening. It is cutely decorated with an artisan feeling. Our group were seated at the big table which also serves as display table during the day.
The fairly simple menu ranges from charcuterie boards to cheese platters as well as several sides like cornichons and olives. The drink list cater for all tastes whether you like alcohol or not. You can have spirit, beer, soft drinks or wine so you shouldn’t have a problem if you are not in the mood for wine. However it is the wine list that makes Provisions: Wine & Cheese an interesting cheese and wine store. With more than 100 wines stocked from vineyards in Italy and France, the shop also offers a refill system where you can refill your bottle for £7.
We decided to go for Italian wines: Nero d’Avola Ciello Rosso and its white version Ciello Bianco Catarrato. Both were fresh, fruity, and unfiltered wines. When making our cheese choice, our group decided to trust the shop owner in making the selection for us. The store offers a wonderful cheese selection of about 75 cheeses from small farmers.
While some had a charcuterie board with a trio of salami, the no meat eaters like me opted for a “vegetarian” platter consisting of olives and cornichons with sourdough bread.
For the cheese board, we knew we had to try a little bit of everything so we went for 8 different cheeses! The owner talked us through the types of cheese ( cow’s milk, goat’s milk or sheep’s milk) and different categories of cheese: fresh, semi soft, soft ripened, semi hard, hard, washed rind and blue. We started with Chaource a soft ripened cheese with a slight mushroom scent and a rich creamy flavour. It is not to be confused with Brie or Camembert! We also had other cheeses including Tomme de Savoie, Saint-Nectaire and Mimolette, an orange looking semi hard cheese is the french version of the Dutch Edam.
On offer in the store is a selection of artisan pastas and sauces, chutneys and jams, gift boxes to take home or spoil the family. Events are also organised to help people learn all about cheese and how to pair them with wine or beer.
Provisions: Wine & Cheese store is a nice option for a chilled evening with friends paired with good wine, great cheese and nice setting. What else can you ask? If in the area, why not take the time to see what else is going on there.
Provisions: Wine & Cheese is opened Tuesdays to Thursdays from 1pm – 9pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am – 11pm and on Sundays from 11am – 7pm.
167, Holloway Road