We moved to Highgate in October and I've been loving getting the know the area.
We are pretty well versed on the pubs in Highgate Village, which we started getting to know as soon as we moved in and in the last 2 months I've enjoyed getting to know Muswell Hill a lot better.
Highgate is for drinking and eating in the fantastic selection of pubs and coffee shops and then walking it off round the post card village. Where as Muswell Hill is for your shopping. It's inundated with a wide variety of shops from well known high street shops to little boutiques and it is the best place to do your food shop.
One thing I always felt it was missing was a butchers. It has a fantastic fish mongers which I mentioned in this recipe and the big supermarkets M&S, Planet Organic, Sainsburys (Unfortunately to my dismay only a tiny Waitrose Local !DEVASTATED!) I mourn the loss of my huge St Katherines Dock Waitrose daily.
But NO butchers (the supermarket meat selections are super basic), and then I heard, on the Muswell Hill grapevine (being Tilly mainly) that one was coming...
It arrived in all its glory!! Doesn't that window of well hung meat just made you go all tingly??!!
(If you are a vegan/vegetarian perhaps not)
All too soon it was open and we could feast our eyes (and stomachs) on its delights!! I had already been buying copious amounts of meat when I was invited to the official opening!
An evening of wine, canapés and perusing the shop. Lots of Muswell Hill locals seemed to be there so it was a pleasure to meet people in the community, be them blogging mums, twitter aficionados or people who were involved in the making of the new shop.
Dan and I helped ourselves to the delicious canapés made at the shop. Showcasing their famous sausage rolls which they sell every weekend. We had already heard about these so were very excited to try them and they very much lived up to their reputation!
(I do apologize for the terrible photo)
Selections of their charcuterie and cheese
and fabulous dips!
There was a vast platter or smoked slow cooked brisket making the rounds too as well as wines from the in-house selection. We left with 2 bottles of the Cote de Provence Rose.
It was a delight to meet Phillip, the man behind it all. With a background in the hospitality industry, when Phil moved to Hampstead he felt there was something missing in the Village. When a space opened up the original Hampstead Butcher was born in 2010. West Hampstead followed and now finally Muswell Hill can enjoy its delights.
There isn't any doubt as to why the shops are so successful. They are beautifully designed, well lit and present their goods so well. Plus you can almost do your entire shop in here.
As Phillip explained, everything in the shop is deigned to compliment the main event of the shop. The meat.
As you may suspect you can get any cut of meat from here. From any animal and all at the most amazing quality. You can taste the difference I promise you.
There is a huge selection of 'ready to go' meat in homemade marinades and a BBQ selection to die for. I have had the lamb kebabs and I can't recommend them enough.
I've got my eye on the ribs next (inserts drooling face)
Like I say all the shop is beautifully designed and well lit to show off all the produce in its best light. From the lambs hanging in the fridge at the back
To the charcuterie
and the concise but broad selections of wines and craft beers.
This truly is a dinner party one stop shop!
The wide range of cheeses, pates and hams
to the chiller section which houses fresh veg, all sorts of cured meat, a VAST sausage selection, foie gras, fresh pastas and sauces. The list goes on. Really you have to just go see for yourselves.
There is a fabulous chocolate selection and all sorts of dry goods to round out your table.
The shop, like the others holds wine tastings and is just about to start butchery classes. If you ever needed a good dad/husband present, who are always so notoriously hard to buy for, this is probably it!
Head to the website for all the information on events and classes they hold.
This post is something a little different to what I usually do but I feel it's pretty important. Like I said at the end of my previous post I do believe it is so important to support our high street and independent traders. Plus, I can't tell you how much I like feeling part of something, even living in the notoriously unfriendly London.
I use supermarkets a lot, of course but there is nothing I like more than going into this shop. It's so much nicer to say Hello Vince! and have a bit of a chat. The quality of the meat as well just shines through. It is fresh, well handled and you can get the most unusual cuts (which quite often are much cheaper!) The proof is in the pudding as they say! Plus if there is anything you are unsure of the guys are always on hand for tips or preparing meat the way you need it.
Stay tuned for Ox and Pig Cheek recipes and next time, opt for a butchers. Get a piece of Bavette steak (I got two huge pieces for £8!) or try something new for a dinner party.