Was lucky enough to go here yesterday for lunch. Hidden away, this place is a secret from the start, and a real treat.
Basic decoration, with beautiful art and a busy service, I warmed to it from the moment I stepped in. Surprising to see so many suits though ;)
I had a caramelised onion & goat's cheese tart to start, which was absolutely divine. Just thinking about it is making my mouth water actually. I'd go back just for that. Looking around, the pork rillettes also look really nice - but I always have that, so thought I'd mix it up.
For main I had the roast duck special, served perfectly pink with red cabbage, fried and dressed green salad. Utterly lovely.
Left feeling satisfied but not overfed. Will definitely be back.
Service is exactly quick though, so maybe good for an afternoon or an evening.
Tucked away down a cobble-stoned archway you'll find Cafe du Marche. A lovely French restaurant set over 2 floors and popular with the legal professionals who live and work in the area.
The interior has that simple, French, rustic, pastoral feel. A bit like Le Pain Quotidien only better.
Downstairs was packed out so we were redirected up stairs, where the rustic wooden look continued on into the roof slats.
Our waitress seemed a little moody and distracted but the food was excellent. I had the Beetroot and Goats cheese which was delicious and beautifully complimented with hazelnuts, I had the special for main, a wonderful light and fluffy Plaice served with a lemony Hollandaise sauce. Mains came with fries and salad. The salad was disappointing and uninspiring, just a bunch of mixed leaves in a bowl, no dressing. To drink we had a lovely, light red called Savigny - Le - Beaune.
In general the atmosphere was warm and inviting, and had a good buzz.
Excellent old-school French fare in a tiny, out of the way location. Bonus is that you get to learn the meaning of the word mews.
Tucked away in the Mews right off Charterhouse Square, Cafe Du Marche was the perfect spot to hide away from the cold and rain. Great atmosphere that was cozy and warm complimented by some relaxing piano music.
We went with the American Express restaurant festival menu for 30GBP which included champagne, starter, main, salad, fried dessert, coffee/tea, and petit fours. The food was excellent. Super tender beef, fresh fish and a giant pot of very crispy french fries!
Soupe de poisson
Assiette of charcuterie and crudite
Poisson du jour
Onglet of beef, shallots, garlic and parsley
Sorbet ou Glace
Chocolate pot, hazelnut biscotti
This is a really nice venue with very friendly staff.
I'm afraid I cannot comment too much on the menu as was here for a party with a set menu but the food choices we did have were all excellent and the house wines were a cut above what you usually get with house wines.
I have to agree with Carolina below - this is a really well kept secret. It's small, hidden away and I'm only the second review.
A group of us dined at Le Grenier, the "cabin" upstairs. It had a very quaint and homey feel and the service was friendly. You choose between 2 and 3 courses (~£30 for the former and £40 for for the latter). The steak was a good pick and so was the pork belly.
Although the food was tasty, the price was a little steep for what you got. That's my only real gripe about this place.
It's difficult to fault this place; a longstanding favourite on the outskirts of the City, situated down a picturesque alley off magnificent Charterhouse Square. On the ground floor of an old converted wharehouse there are two rooms - the main restaurant (Le Cafe) and the smaller Rendevous Brasserie, while upstairs Le Grenier is full of old beams.
The food is authentically French and uniformly delicious and is available prix fixe as well as a la carte. There's a good wine list. But the thing to go for are the grills with frites, which are only served in Le Grenier (unless you plead) - which anyway is the most atmospheric of the three rooms and perfect for a date. Unfortunately if you go at lunchtime you will be surrounded by businessmen, so go in the evening when there's a pianist and later view the vast plane trees in the cobbled square by moonlight.
Except maybe for the City workers gabbing about multimillion dollar transactions over their foie gras, you'll feel as though you've been transported to the French countryside within minutes of being seating at Le Cafe.
This is a fab restaurant and one of the best in Clerkenwell (and there are some very good restos in Clerkenwell). The rustic interiors, attentive service, excellent wine and phenomenal menu make it a safe bet for any special occasion.
Down a little alleyway wedged between the Smithfield Market area and Charterhouse Square, it's got a secret, romantic allure to it.
If you're looking to wow someone - anyone - keep Le Cafe du Marche in mind!
I've been wanting to come here for months and months and months. And then I saw Chris was doing an event here and basically badgered him until he let me come and play.
He's now my favourite person.
Cafe Du Marche is very tucked away, looking all super cute and French, in an alley between Malmaison and the wonderful Fox and Anchor. Staff were friendly, despite me looking dishevelled after running across half of London because the underground failed me. I was greeted by friendly people wanting to take my coat, pouring me drinks, finding me somewhere to sit, giving me food. Yep, I like that kinda service. Everything was done with a smile. Even though I was late I felt instantly at home.
We were seated in the private room upstairs and it's very beautiful. All open plan and you can spy into the kitchen (which meant I spent a lot of the evening eying up the cheese and ham). The charming guy telling us about the cheese was so utterly fascinating I'd have happily listened to him for two more hours. He jumped about at one point just because cheese is that yummy. I want to get that excited about eating something! To be fair, he was dishing up some excellent samples so it's understandable. Including one that tasted so rich it was like eating chocolate. I was in cheesy heaven. And more than made up for missing the first few samples.
The wine was excellent (although I'm still never going to be a sweet wine kinda gal, even with a harsh cheese to go alongside it). I understand a bit more about why you pair some wine with certain cheeses. And I need to get me a Lancashire bombe as well.
But as is often the case, I fell in love with the meats more than anything else. Excellent terrine and Parma ham really made the evening for me. But more than that, they've made me decide that I should stop typing this review and go and book me a table in the restaurant. This is a gem of a place and you should all go immediately.
Last Thursday's cheese and wine tasting at Le Café du Marché was exactly what was needed to slough off the late-January blues.
The restaurant is hidden down a cobbled alleyway just off Charterhouse Square: one of those charming surprises that London tucks away in odd corners. It's in a converted Victorian warehouse - all huge windows, profusely flowering window boxes, white-painted brickwork and pretty signage. Our event was up a spiral staircase in the upstairs room - featuring very handsome exposed beams, warm brick and delightfully French decorative touches.
I immediately sensed I was in good hands with the staff, who briskly whisked away my coat and proffered a welcoming glass of sparkling rosé. After a brief chat to meet the other Qypers present we all sat down to the main event.
Tom Badcock of Cheese Cellar and Joel Lauga of Great Western Wine had prepared an amazing evening of cheese and wine pairings. Tom especially is a fabulously over-the-top cheese genius (I grew up on a farm milking goats), and I scrambled to type notes on my iPhone as Joel's parade of wines took swift hold of my freshly-detoxed January brain:
Cheeses are dynamic - they move;
Thistles are coagulants - hence milk thistles - but the ancient Romans used snails to coagulate their cheese;
Swiss Vicherin killed more people than any other cheese (Tom was particularly strong on European cheese culture wars);
And perhaps the comment of the night:
The best Roquefort is put down a cave and stroked for six months by French troglodytes.
Tom explained that blue cheeses only go with sweet wines, and illustrating the point perfectly was Joel's choice of 2008 Domaine Castera Cuvée Privilège - a divine wine which is definitely going on my must-buy list.
Another stand-out pairing for me was the 2009 Gewurztraminer Classici DOC, Alto Adige, Colterenzio with lactic goats cheeses. I also loved the Rioja with the Vicherin (Mont d'Or).
Cheese-wise it is unfair to expect me to pick a highlight as anything cheesy rocks my world, although I came away with a firm resolve to eat more Vicherin (in season NOW) and to hunt down a Lancashire bomb.
Our hosts at Le Café topped the evening with more Rosé and a wonderful spread of charcuterie and crudités. To finish, a fudgy and deeply flavoursome rhubarb sorbet. What an amazing restaurant - I highly recommend a visit; in fact I am planning to go back for my birthday next month.
Thanks Qype for arranging this truly stunning evening.
The wine and cheese pairing event at Le Cafe du Marche was out-of-this world good! The service was incredible, atmosphere:gorgeous, food:cheesy deliciousness, wine:mmmmm, company:lovely!
I think all the reviews below say it all, but I definitely want to come back as the tastings were got were fantastic and being in there was like being a little chalet with servers happy to be there for you.
Located down a narrow alley off Charterhouse Square, this restaurant is very central yet intriguingly tucked away. However, while narrow alleys may be a typically London feature, Le Cafe du Marche is a little piece of France. Rustic without being twee, it made the perfect location for the Qype cheese and wine tasting.
The fabulous cheeses and fact-packed yet entertaining commentary came from Thomas Badcock of the Cheese Cellar; Joel Lauga of Great Western Wine paired a range of interesting wines with them and gave us real insight on how to match cheese to wine. Not only did I eat and drink a lot, I also learned a lot, as well as having great fun.
What also shone through, though, is that this restaurant is well worth a return visit. Service was exemplary, and we had enough of their food to gain an impression of its quality. Alongside charcuterie (I loved the excellent home-made pork rillettes) were delicous salads including beetroot spiked with horseradish and the best remoulade I've had. Afterwards came a memorably good rhubarb sorbet. A treat for the eyes in rose-pink, it was even better to taste: that perfect blend of sweet-and-sour that only the best rhubarb dishes achieve.
After an evening like this, one thing is certain: I'll be back soon!
Twenty five years ago a delightful French restaurant seemingly dropped from the sky and landed on the edge of Charterhouse Square, where it has nestled amongst the cobbles ever since, Cafe du Marche seems a million miles removed from the bustle of Smithfield and Farringdon.
I was fortunate to be included in a group of qypers for an evening upstairs which was a most extraordinary collection of amazing cheeses from Thomas Badcock of the Cheese Cellar perfectly matched by Joel Lauga with wines from his Great Western Wine company. It was a delightful evening of tastings and stories finished off with platters of perfect charcuterie, including gorgeous rillettes and patés made in the kitchens of Cafe du Marche. Service was charming throughout.
If there's one thing better than cheese it's cheese followed by a nice glass of red wine, so from this I knew that the cheese and wine pairing that I was invited to via Qype was going to be my kind of event. Located next to the Malmaison, Le Cafe du Marche is set down a cobbled street and this paired with the wooden beams and rustic decor makes it seem a world away from London.
The staff were incredibly helpful and at the door I was greeted by one staff member with a glass of champagne, while another dealt with my coat.
The evening was superb and whilst the cheeses were fantastic, it was Tom, from the Cheese Cellar's enthausiasm for his product that really made the evening memorable. We tried a wide variety of different cheeses from ancient sheep's cheese which hasn't changed its recipe in thousands of years to the fantastic Lancashire bombers - a cheese that is literally made in a nylon stocking, but comes with a kick.
The wines were also fantastic and we got to try a formidable selection from all over the world. My favourite was the Pinot Noir - but it was fascinating how drinking a particular wine at the same time as eating a certain cheese could change the whole taste of the cheese. I had a fantastic time and will definitely be back to try some of the full meals in the restaurant.
There are few things I love more than wine and cheese, so when I heard that Qype was organising a tasting event at Le Café du Marche, in combination with the Cheese Celllar and Great Western Wines, I was quick to sign up. I'm pleased to say it was everything it promised, with a fantastic setting, an extensive range of truly excellent wines and some the tastiest cheeses I have ever encountered. A special mention should of course go to cheese-master Tom from the Cheese Cellar, who made the evening particularly enjoyable.
The wine and the cheese ensured the evening very good indeed, but what made it great was the absorbing and intimate atmosphere of Le Café du Marche. Hidden away on a cobbled side-street with wood-beam ceilings and a rustic chalet feel, I could quite easily have been 500 miles away in the French countryside.
For excellent food and fine wine in a unique and romantic setting, I heartily endorse Le Café du Marche.
I came here once before. The experience left me tearily grateful to be alive.
My return visit was for a wine and cheese tasting in the beautiful upstairs function room, which was put on by the good people of Qype (many thanks to this man - qype.co.uk/people/tikich…) . Before this, I was unaware that I could get drunk on cheese.
I'm fairly sure it was the cheese that did it.
I could go into geekish detail about how everything at Cafe Du Marche is as close to perfect as is possible without offending a deity somewhere, but looking at the other reviews, I think I'll just say that Qype does not lie and leave it at that.
Apart from the array of matched wines and contextually enhanced cheeses, my highlight of the evening had to be the explanations and back stories that accompanied each round of dairy based excellence. These were delivered by Grand-CheeseMaster- Mr Tom Badcock (BADCOCK!!!). I've never heard such impassioned cheese-talk in all my days as a wandering opportunivore and my dad is a vegetarian Italian.
There are many reasons to visit Cafe Du Marche and all of them are -
BECAUSE IT'S AWESOME. Okay?
And the rhubarb sorbet.
I had a great time at Le Cafe du Marche when attending the Tasting of Fine Cheese and Wine with Thomas Badcock and Joel Lauga last Thursday!
The venue is welcoming and bucolic. It is perfect for an evening with friends or for corporate gatherings. The combination of cheeses and wines was carefully thought through; I particularly enjoyed the delicate pairing of the Vacherin Mont D'Or and the 2005 Rioja Reserva, Marques de Riscal.
Staffs deliver first class customer service and have a great attention to detail. I had a fantastic and memorable evening.
I highly recommend Le Café du Marche for an authentic French experience!
Just like being in France.
Cosy, delicous and tasteful.
Wine list is what you'd expect from somewhere this authentic that is so close to the City (and its expense accounts!).
I would agree with reviews written so far. It's not cheap, but the food is consistently excellent, staff lovely and altogether very French. Currently rates as my favourite London restaurant.
Just had lunch here. Was not full but sill good atmosphere. Great location and building. Very traditional French bistro feel but quite authentic. Good menu and interesting specials. Absolutely love it.
In order to feel the exciting French atmosphere, you can go to this restaurant and try one of the dishes. The place is stylish and pleasant. The prices of some of the meals are not so low, but it depends on your choice. So choose carefully and be ready for an excellent dining experience.
Best service I have seen so far. Really yummy food.
Amazing restaurant! Great atmosphere, excellent food, very decent portions for the price you pay and last the service is always good. This place caters for all tastes and never disappoints. A tip from a regular visitor there- try the ice cream even if you aren't such a big fan.
One of the best kept secrets in central london. Really you cannot see it from the main road. To get here you must enter a cobbled street through the gates that take you to this gem. Le Cafe Du Marche is an old warehouse conversion that now houses three restaurants. On the ground floor Le Café, offers a three course, fixed price, and à la carte menu. Live background jazz is featured every evening or a piano solo. Adding a very romantic touch to the evening.
Above is Le Grenier, the emphasis is on grilled foods with frites a better choice for larger groups and on the top Le Rendezvous, it's a smaller restaurant and has more of a brasserie feel about it.
I prefer it here, you an choose your food from the blackboard and it still has a very intimate, romantic feel to it. The steak tartare is definitely on the top of my list and the cheesecake with raspberry coulis. I guess I also prefer the top bit because I still find the fixed menu of Le Cafe a bit much (£33) and sometimes with a £7 supplement if you want the meat with bearnaise sauce, for example.
If you decide to head to Le Rendezvous for dinner make sure you give them a ring, as it a very popular venue for private parties.
J'adore this restaurant. So charming hidden down a little alleyway off a square and so French although with friendly service. The wine list is superb and although the food is pricey it is excellent quality. The whole atmosphere is very relaxed especially for within the square mile at lunch time. What a fabulous hidden secret.
You know you've had a good night when you wake with the cheese sweats at 3.45am the next morning. Luckily it was totally worth it.
Last week I attended the very special tasting event with Qype hosted by Le Café du Marche restaurant in partnership with Cheese Cellar and Great Western Wine.
This fantastic, romantic French restaurant is tucked away in the alleys off Charterhouse Square and offers a different place in time - a traditional brasserie-style dining with rustic ambiance. The night started well - champers on arrival in the private room upstairs and then 20 dedicated qypers sat down to be educated.
The inimitable Tom from Cheese Cellar started us off on which cheeses not to love, before passing around amazing platters of cheeses starting from ancient sheep's cheese to the lactic Cirencester, old and rich gouda, acidic and moist Lancashire, pungent Mont D'Or, and finally my favourite, the strong agressive blues of the Roquefort and Gorgonzolas.
Coupled with these presented by Joel from Great Western were different wines from all over the globe, including prosecco, Gewurtztraminer, a Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Spanish Rioja, Trinity Hill Syrah from Hawkes Bay and a Castera Cuvée.
After the tasting finished I tried a few charcuterie platters and fresh-baked breads before heading home to dream of goats rolling cheese in ash.
I really want to return soon to try the full a la carte menu as the food we did have was sublime.
Best quotes from Tom the chhese-man:
''In the Pantheon of cheeses, roquefort and gorgonzola are at the pinnacle - the Holy cheeses of Zeus himself''
''Wensleydale is effectively failed roquefort''
''The Swiss version of Mont D'Or killed more people than any other cheese''
''Let me demonstrate milk proteins on my fingers if I may''
''Ironically, hatred of your neighbours is responsible for some of the best cheeses''
Never has delicious cheese been presented in such a knowledgeable and acerbic way.
Gorgeous food- and for French food, not too heavy. Lovely ambience, with exposed brick, piano and old French furniture. Tucked away down an alley so feels like a real find.
Amazing place. So many treats. Definitely recommended.
What can I say here that hasn't already been said? I've been coming here for a while, I kind of wish that I could keep it as my own little secret. The food is amazing, the staff are warm, friendly & knowledgeable, the atmosphere both cosy and classy. The best thing about the place is that despite it being a bit expensive (worth every penny though), the service doesn't feel stuffy or overbearing, it's just the right level of attentiveness.
As for the food, I've mainly eaten in the downstairs room, which has a piano player (on most nights) and has a bit fancier menu than the upstairs room, which is quieter and a bit smaller. Like any good restaurant the menu changes seasonally, but they do have some regular items on the menu, such as the Soup de poisson, a rich fish soup that my one of my friends absolutely adores and orders it every time we visit. I usually split the Côte de boeuf (it's for two) and sometimes there is a bit of disagreement amongst my dinner companions if we have an odd amount of people. The steak is a great cut of quality meat and is grilled to perfection. And while I prefer mine rare, they will not complain if someone orders it well done (as did some clients I took there for a business meal). Also, I have come here with a friend who is lactose intolerant, and they have no problems catering to his needs, advising what he can have or preparing items without butter.
When the kind people at Qype organised a free event here, I couldn't resist! The wine & cheese tasting they organised was really special. The whole upstairs room was reserved for the event. The room was laid out beautifully, and I was warmly greeted with a glass of Prosecco. Then there was a bit of theatre as a cheese connoisseur enthusiastically described each cheese, not just in its taste & texture, but how it was made, along with some history and even a few "bad" cheeses for comparison. The wines that were paired with the cheeses really did taste different depending on the cheese you had with it. I always thought that wine complimented food, but I learned that actually it's more the other way around, it's the wine that tastes different depending on what it is paired with. I left feeling a bit tipsy, with a few new friends and a still solid appreciation of Cafe du Marche. It's the best place in London for fine wine & unpretentious French cuisine.
Make sure you book in advance though, as it's difficult to get a table for dinner on the weekend without a reservation.
Down a small, well-lit alley in London's Smithfield there is a small piece of land that belongs to France. On it exists a cafe with wood beams, waiters in white aprons, a piano and double bass combo with food that will have you breathing sighs of pleasure. Escargot with wild mushrooms, pheasant, filet mignon with foie gras, and a small but excellent carte des vin that will wisk you out of London and into a side street of an Arrondissement. The service is friendly, the waitresses are beautiful hard working girls, and you will feel taken care of. A secret in London for now...
Relaxing and very French restaurant with good (though not completely outstanding) food at a reasonable price by City standards. Just off Charterhouse Square down a narrow alleyway.
Definitely one of my favourites. Great steak frites and tasty specials. Pianist plays live music downstairs.
La bonne bouffe!
Le Café Du Marché is a classic, elegant French restaurant, that creates the right atmosphere from the moment you step in.Clean, sophisticated , and charming place, with dishes that stay in your memory.Perfect for a special event!
I wanted to take my girlfriend to a very nice French cuisine restaurant. That's why I decided to go to le cafe du marche. We had a very nice experience over there. These guys know what they are talking about. We ate a cote de boeuf sauce bearnaise and drank a delicious La chapelle de Calon, Saint Estephe.
A wonderful dinner
What a fantastic diner! I'd been worried that on the Saturday night it might be packed and therefore uncomfortable, yet it wasn't when I visited, and so I had the joy of being in a position to look into it myself and chat perfectly with my guests.
The wine list was intriquing, notable and the bar staff really informed and helpful. I can't wait to get back there and check out more food or carry out a wine tasting.
This place is perfection and I would recommend it to all!
Very clean and nice venue with great food.
The service is impeccable, never experienced service like is before. The food 10 out of 10. It is $$$$ but worth it In my book for the experience.
This user has arrived from Qype, a European company acquired by Yelp in 2012. We have integrated the two sites to bring you one great local experience.