South London


Abbeville Road is riding high as Clapham’s current ‘gourmet alley’, where The Ginger Pig rubs gentrified shoulders with ‘artisan bakeries’ and multicultural bistros. But MacFarlane’s – a dazzling splash of lime and Prussian blue among the muted contemporary facades – has been an adored fixture here for 17 years. A fabulously eclectic deli, with regulars on first-name terms with the owner, it’s equally happy serving delicate, lemon-infused Italian olive oil and epic chilli pulled pork sandwiches. ‘You should never feel hungry two hours later,’ insists owner Robert Marsham, formerly Head of Hospitality at Fortnum & Mason. ‘I’d rather someone shared our sandwich than serve a skinny little thing.’
MacFarlane’s has a heart of cheese. At any one time it sells 70 to 100 varieties, from a creamy Oxford Blue and
18-month-old Lincolnshire Poacher bursting with summer grass to a Swiss Jura Cironé offering a late hit of pineapple. Add in regular guest cheeses, those found in French village markets but rarely at home, including a mini Clacbitou from Burgundy, and it’s clear this is a serious fromagerie.
Naturally, the cheeses are paired with fine wines from super-value fruity Pays d’Oc whites to excellent Real Rubio rioja; and recently a Balthazar of Saint-Emilion was sold for a wallet-twitching £895. Stir in a constantly updated range of bespoke chocolates, fresh breads including a Campaillou declared ‘magnificent for bacon sandwiches’ and specialist goodies like Peckham Rye and East Dulwich honey, and it’s obvious why MacFarlane’s will continue to inspire local loyalty for years to come. IB. 48 Abbeville Rd,


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