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The Cheese Bar, Paddington
Photo: The Cheese Bar

An entire barge of cheese is dropping anchor in Paddington

The double-decker vessel will dock on Grand Union Canal

Samantha Willis

It’s been six long months since The Cheese Bar (as well as The Cheese Truck and Pick & Cheese) founder Mathew Carver announced the opening of his floating cheese restaurant.

‘How dairy take so long?’ you might ask. Well, he’s had a few hurdles to overcome, let’s say, but after a period of self-isolation in Somerset (for the barge and presumably Mathew, too), they’re both back in London and ready to get out on the water.

She’s been beautifully crafted by master boat-builders and Adam Richards Architects, with inspiration taken from Little Venice Biennale beauty Electa Bookshop. A stunning copper veil acts as the awesome awning and an open-top dining area makes for socially distanced dining with canalside views.

As for the menu, it has been carefully selected, championing British cheese and our island’s small-batch producers. Highlights include Windrush 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.

The Cheese Barge Food Menu
Photo: Nic Crilly-Hargrave

Think you’re fair enough to share? Then you’ll be treated to the barge’s finest baked-to-order Aligot, made with Mrs Kirkham’s lancashire, and a half-kilo Baron Bigod.

And if all that doesn’t sound like enough to give you cheesemares for a month, you can order fried Quicke’s cheddar curds, curried and tossed in chilli honey as a snack to start.

Now that’s what you call a floating homage to fromage! 

The Cheese Barge is open for business this autumn at Paddington Central. For more info and reservations visit the website.

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