Freelance writer and wanderer always on the lookout for quirky activities that take you off the beaten track.
Published November 30th 2011
Every time I walk down Abbeville Road, I pop into MacFarlane's Deli. It doesn't matter if my visit is intentional and I'm going in deliberately to buy a hunk of cheese or some fresh organic vegetables or if I'm simply walking down the street on my way to another destination; I can never resist a quick peek at what's in stock and perhaps a cheeky Portuguese tart to keep me going. It's just one of those places.
Abbeville Road is a gastronomically rich enclave in Clapham and upon discovering it I was left in shock and awe. Soon after, I came to realise that this little retreat from the hustle and bustle is up there with my favourite streets in London. MacFarlane's Deli completes the equation of independent sellers and eateries, with its diverse range of organic and locally produced cheeses, charcuterie and pastries.
It is, in essence, a fromagerie, and the variety of cows' and goats' milk cheeses on offer will excite occasional cheese bingers and seasoned cheese lovers alike. I definitely fall under the latter category, and a trip to MacFarlane's often has me quite literally squealing in anticipation and bliss at the enticing arrangement on show; as mortifying as that may be, I assure you that you'll be holding back your own gushes of delight when you pop in. Each cheese is of an extremely high quality, and whether you'd prefer pasteurised or unpasteurised, each one is sourced directly from the manufacturer or otherwise from trusted cheese vendors throughout Europe. Fine cheeses really are their speciality, so if you're after a delicious camembert or the perfect stilton, then you can certainly get your hands on a nice piece or two at MacFarlane's.
Aside from the fromagerie aspect of the shop, it also has a really lovely deli counter with loads of meats and salamis to feast your eyes (and you bellies!) upon. There are also artisan pates, olives, pestos, hummuses and dips aplenty. Then there's the quiches, tortillas, sandwiches, pies and sausage rolls – oh those sausage rolls! – you'll never taste anything so mouth-watering. Their claim of providing the 'Rolls Royce' of sausage rolls is justified without a doubt. To top it all off you'll also find organic fruit and vegetables, smoked fish, a well-stocked freezer section, confectionery, soups and salads.
If you're in the area then its well worth the visit and who knows, you might end up like me and unable to resist popping in frequently with the temptation of taking home a little bit of food heaven.