I personally think that if you’re the genius responsible for London’s cheese conveyor belt restaurant, you’ve well-and-truly done your bit for humanity and deserve a good old rest. The man in question – The Cheese Bar founder Mathew Carver – clearly doesn’t agree though, as he’s also graced the capital city with a floating cheese restaurant: The Cheese Barge. Not all heroes wear capes, folks.
A double-decker barge modelled on the marine-inspired Electa bookstore in Venice, The Cheese Barge was forged in the fires of a Somerset boatyard. It’s moored securely in the Paddington Basin, and has made waves across London’s restaurant scene by serving seasonal dishes that champion the very best of British cheese.
Small plates such as White Lake Goats’ Curd, and Whipped St James Feta Bruschetta are available to munch on, and in a nod to the local area, you’ll also be able to tuck into ‘Maida Vale‘, a washed rind cheese served on treacle soda bread. A rather addictive-sounding snack – Quicke’s Cheddar curds, which are curried and tossed in chilli honey – prove popular too.
Diners with a bigger appetite can indulge in sharing plates, foremost amongst which is 250g of Baron Bigod cheese, made specially for The Cheese Barge and baked to order and the barge also offers (e)dam gouda selection of grilled cheese sandwiches.
As the temperature drops, Londoners are in search of some delicious winter warmers and what better way to warm those cockles than with fondue? Luckily for us, November sees the return of The Cheese Barge’s Fondue Thursdays; a collaborative series with some of London’s best chefs, each of whom will create their own take on the classic cheese fondue. Every Thursday from November – March, they’ll be bringing a taste of the Alps straight to central London. Count me in.
There’s a forty-seat dining room on the lower deck that looks lush, but I reckon you’d be best making a beeline for the open-air upper deck, where a plateful of fromage and a chilled glass of wine should cut through the chill of a winter day nicely.
All in all, The Cheese Barge is absolutely swell. Truly, it’s the Mayflower of manchego, the Cutty Sark of cheddar, the Titanic of taleggio – erm, maybe not that last one…
Also published on Medium.