Renoufs, Westbourne

For those amongst you who are partial to a bit of cheese and wine, whether after dinner, at elevenses, for breakfast (no one’s judging anyone here…) then Renoufs in Westbourne is probably right up your street.

It sits but two doors down from the gorgeous pizzeria Baffi that we reviewed a couple of issues ago, and apparently a very popular venue. When I walked in just after finishing work at around 5.30pm, there were only two tables that had not been reserved, though the waiter did also say that I could eat up at the bar. I took one of the tables instead; it is less apparent that one is doing a review when you don’t have anyone watching you take notes or photos of the food.

With its purported fruity undertones, I opted for a glass of the restaurant’s Don Jacobo Rioja Crianza to accompany the cheese board I was to put together. There are several ways of eating at Renoufs — either with some of the set boards, which, by looking at them, are better-suited to people dining together, rather than just one person. The build-your-own-board option was a much better option in this case. Choose up to four cheeses and/or meats (all boards come with fresh-baked bread, a selection of crackers and chutney) for a total of £12.95.

Cheese board including a selection of bread and crackers, Little Black Bomber Cheddar, Swiss Gruyère, Mustard & Ale Cheddar, and Colton Bassett Stilton, and onion chutney

Cheese board including a selection of bread and crackers, Little Black Bomber Cheddar, Swiss Gruyère, Mustard & Ale Cheddar, and Colston Bassett Stilton, and onion chutney

Just look at that spread, though (pictured). It’s not something to sneeze at. I grant you, after having had that, the set boards with their mini chorizos and Pâté of the Day at a price slightly more expensive than that seems more attractive. Nevertheless, I left the restaurant feeling full.

On that board are the following cheeses: a Swiss Gruyère, with which the Rioja went splendidly; Colston Bassett Stilton, which, with its comparatively mild flavour, I would recommend to people new to blue cheeses. Then there were two cheddars, both of which from the special selection — Little Black Bomber, which had a very strong taste (just the sort of thing I like) and accompanied the chutney given on the side the best out of the four; and Mustard and Ale Cheddar; it goes without saying that this one had a good kick, being laden throughout with mustard seeds. Just delicious.

While I would have appreciated perhaps a bit more variety in the sides (perhaps a selection of chutneys to choose from?), and maybe more than one of each cracker, the white bread in the basket on the side could not be faulted. Soft and in possession of such a rich flavour for something so simple. I would have asked to take the rest of the loaf home, had such a thing been allowed.

Although I did not do so on this occasion, one does not have to stop for just cheese and meat here — desserts are provided, but remaining nevertheless faithful to the purpose of the place. A selection of cheesecakes is available, should the sweet tooth demand a little attention after all the savoury.

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