Mathew Carver, the man behind Camden Market’s Cheese Bar and Pick & Cheese in Seven Dials Market, is headed to the water for his next project.
In April, Carver will open the Cheese Barge, a two-floor restaurant floating nearby Paddington Central. The custom-built boat, which is currently under construction in Somerset, is said to be inspired by the nautically themed Electa Bookshop in Venice.
Below deck, a 40-cover restaurant will be overseen by executive chef Ross Keeling and head chef Reagan Ellenbroek, who are promising “honest British dishes using small producer cheese”.
These will include Devils on Horseback, where medjool dates are stuffed with stilton and wrapped in bacon, fried cheddar curds, the curds then curried and tossed in chilli honey. There’s also the Maida Vale, which sees a treacle soda bread base covered with washed cheese rind, smoked mackerel and a green sauce.
Upstairs, the open air deck is being positioned as a casual spot for a glass of wine with a few nibbles.
Head cheesemonger, Sam Wilkin, will oversee a weekly list of British cheeses and pairings for the new spot, including the likes of Spenwood with quince and almond fruit cheese, as well as Winslade with chilli dukkah.
“Hailing from Jersey, I spent my childhood years messing around in boats,” Carver said. “So, when the opportunity of opening The Cheese Barge came along, we couldn’t say no.”
He added: “The fact that it was British-made by real craftsmen appealed to our continued efforts to support British industry.
“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.”
News from The Evening Standard