My Independent Marylebone: La Fromagerie

Q&A with Patricia Michelson, founder of La Fromagerie.

Tell us about your business?

La Fromagerie started in 1991 from my garden shed in Highgate. We opened in Marylebone in November 2002 at the beginning of the areas facelift to what is now know as Marylebone Village.

It was an exciting time, The Howard de Walden Estate invited me to the area and much to their amazement I chose the store location on Moxon Street as my preferred store-front. I loved the building and the big garage doors as the entrance. Howard de Walden went into action and completely re-built it from a builder’s yard to a store along with the the other shops next door. It was an amazing time to be in Marylebone and I think we were absolutely part of the areas rise in popularity, not only to shop but also to live too.

What makes your store special?

We are an independent family run business, and you will see me on the shop floor every day, along with Sarah Bilney who is a shareholder and has been working with us since the inception of La Fromagerie in Marylebone; we have a great team and work closely together.

We stock wonderful produce from other independent suppliers and cheese makers who we have worked with for many years. It is all about connecting with artisans and farms from all over the UK and even some farmhouse cheese makers in the US, to showcase in our shops. Previously, you could only purchase these products on holiday, but we have searched them out and brought them here to welcome and celebrate the seasons throughout the year. Our kitchen uses the produce too, and our menus reflect the seasons and regionality of the dishes.

What is your favourite produce in your store?

We offer a wonderful fondue using alpine cheeses, and I also believe our toasted sandwiches are the best. The secret? We brush white wine on the bread to soak in a little before toasting. We follow the seasons, so there will be warming stews in the winter as well as soups and tarts, and delightful salads in the summer, dressed up with feta, mozzarella and burrata.

We also make great dressings with our olive oils and balsamic vinegar. We have developed our to-go dishes to include many items on the restaurant menu. They are packed and ready to take home, heat up quickly or simply serve straight onto the plate. Freshly made every day and in tune with the rhythm of the store.

What do you love about Marylebone Village?

I grew up in the Marylebone area, moving here with my family in 1965! I have seen many changes to the High Street, and although I don’t live around there now, my heart is definitely firmly set in Marylebone. I love the fact that it is a community with schools, colleges, open playing areas, Regent’s Park and local shopping, whilst being a stone’s throw from the heart of the West End and theatres. It is a very special part of town that still holds the live/work/play ethos.

What is your favourite memory in Marylebone Village?

I have many memories as a teenager. Walking home from a club in Soho at midnight and taking the short cut through Moxon Street and Grotto Passage without fear or thought of being accosted!

One of my favourite memories was in the early days of the shop when we just had a long communal table in the restaurant, and Clement Freud enjoying our duck rillettes with toasted sourdough and a glass of red; he said we had the best rillettes ever! Such a great character and I really enjoyed sitting down and chatting with him.

Best memory from Paddington Street was the Beatles ‘Apple’ shop being decorated from top to bottom in psychedelic colours, as I was able to watch that being done and loved it.

Marylebone Village has always seemed ahead of the game on certain things, as it is now, and the artisans and independents were there in abundance; I do hope it never changes! Whether it is Perfumer H on Blandford Street, or Websters Ironmongery on Chiltern Street, this is what makes Marylebone the place to wander around as well as find things you need.

Where is your favourite place to eat?

In Marylebone, I would pick Fishers because it has such a relaxing and calm atmosphere. I love the Schnitzel; and they are very generous with their portions! 

I love Dinings; sitting at the counter and watching how they prepare everything with such dexterity.

I have to say I am a bit partial to people watching in the garden area of The Firehouse on Chiltern Street; it is a lovely space on a sunny day.

2-6 Moxon St, Marylebone, London W1U 4ER
+44 (0)20 7935 0341