This spring Mathew Carver, founder of Pick & Cheese and The Cheese Bar, will rock the boat with his new restaurant, The Cheese Barge – a permanently moored double-decker vessel found on the Grand Union Canal at Paddington Central. The menu will focus on serving seasonal dishes centred around the best of British cheese.
The boat’s designer, Adam Richards Architects, has come full circle with its design, taking its cue from the Electa Bookshop in Venice, which was itself inspired by ship design. A copper “veil” will act as an awning for the 40-cover lower deck dining room, whilst an open-air upper deck provides the perfect spot for a glass of wine, cheese and Crown & Queue charcuterie.
Head Chef Reagan Ellenbroek and Executive Chef Ross Keeling have been working to create a refined menu of honest British dishes using small producer cheese including: Windrush Valley Goats’ Curd with Lamb Scrumpets and Pickled Walnuts; Cropwell Bishop Stilton ‘Devils On Horseback’ (medjool dates stuffed with Stilton and wrapped in bacon); and Maida Vale, a washed rind cheese from Village Maid, served on treacle soda bread with smoked mackerel and green sauce.
For guests looking to feast (and why wouldn’t you when there’s cheese about?!), sharing plates will include Aligot, made with Mrs. Kirkham’s Lancashire, and a half-kilo Baron Bigod, made bespoke by Fen Farm Dairy for the Barge, and served baked to order. The team have also devised the perfect sharing snack, in the form of fried Quicke’s Cheddar curds, curried and tossed in chilli honey. Those with a sweet tooth can get their fix with Yorkshire Curd Tart and a Malted Milk Chocolate Cremeux.
Head cheesemonger, Sam Wilkin, will be curating a weekly list of seasonal British cheeses served with individual pairings including Spenwood with Quince and Almond Fruit Cheese; Winslade with Chilli Dukkah and St Andrews Cheddar with Green Kimchi.
“Hailing from Jersey, I spent my childhood years messing around in boats. So, when the opportunity of opening The Cheese Barge came along, we couldn’t say no! The fact that it was British-made by real craftsmen appealed to our continued efforts to support British industry. Win, win! We’ve always set out to create fun restaurant experiences, and what could be more fun than eating the best of British cheese on the Grand Union Canal. ”
The Cheese Barge will open in April 2020 at Sheldon Square, Paddington Central.
The Cheese Barge, Sheldon Square, Paddington Central, London, W2 6HY