Cheese and Champagne are two of the greatest pleasures in life, so a restaurant serving almost solely these two things, sounds like heaven.
It is heaven. A minute little café with artisan jams and jellies on the shelves, bottles of Champagne stacked and a fridge with gorgeous cheese of every kind.
I sat down on a cute wooden table, alone, as my date for the night was stuck at the hairdresser. These solitary moments presented me with the perfect opportunity to chat to the Co-Founder and Co-Director, Maud Fierobe who explained the idea of the boutique restaurant and talked me through each of the sparkling Champagnes on offer. After listening to my preferences, Maud delivered a pretty glass of bubbly, the sensational Lacroix La Reserve (60% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Meunier) – delicious fruity taste, light and incredibly moreish. This champagne suited my palate perfectly, Maud kindly clinked glasses with me… to avoid me saying ‘cheers’ alone!
French Bubbles, as the eatery is affectionately known, is a lovely rustic place to hang out, couples huddle over effervescing flutes and friends chuckle with mouthfuls of cheese. We tried a cheese board and charcuterie platter first, moving on to the insanely tasty tartine afterwards. Everything was divine: immaculately chosen and presented food. Each guest ordering a cheese board is allowed to choose from the epic selection, I was overwhelmed by the diversity and found it almost upsetting picking just three from the array. Eventually I decided on Compte Extra Vieux (36 months), Brie de Meaux and Chevre de St Claude. My only disappointment was the absence of Manchego, but as a French restaurant I must excuse them for omitting this famous Spanish cheese. The board promptly arrived garnished with grapes, membrillo and chunks of bread. Comte is a hard, nutty cheese, the Brie rich and creamy and the Chevre delicately flavoured and fresh. The charcuterie was a hit too, wafer thin slices of peppery salami and meats of the highest quality, I savoured every mouthful.
A lovely rose champagne, Pertois-Moriset Rose Grand Cru (85% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir) arrived to accompany the tartine. This bottle was fragrant with an obvious hint of strawberry, very elegant and satisfying. We chose the Montbeliarde tartine with Montbeliarde sausage the gooiest melted Morbier cheese and a shallot confit. Tartine is a toasted slice of traditional French sourdough,“Pain Poilane,” topped with fine French cheese. Ours felt very naughty… oozing cheese, meat and a generous smear of mustard, just like a posher and more exciting cheese on toast.
Champagne & Fromage started life as a pop-up and thanks to obvious popularity has deservedly gained a permanent place in Covent Garden’s Opera Quarter. I am so glad it stayed and we are able to enjoy this brilliant concept. Perfect for a bite pre or post theatre, I will definitely be popping back in to get my cheese and Champagne fix.
More information here.