The Handbook
The Handbook

A floating cheese palace is about to be launched and you’re going to want a slice of it. The double-decker cheese barge is due to dock in Paddington Central next month and we can’t brie-leive how excited we’re getting!

The barge is the brainchild of fromagerist Mathew Carver (wasn’t he a Bond villain?), and promises to be a cheesy paradise on water. Carver’s cheese credentials are stronger than the down-wind whiff of a wheel of Roquefort: he’s a judge in the World Cheese Awards, has founded The Cheese Bar and the now infamous Seven Dials cheese conveyor belt. So who better to don a pair of (baby) bellbottoms and steer the good ship Cheese toward Paddington Basin?

The double-decker barge, perhaps unsurprisingly christened The Cheese Barge, was crowd-funded to the tune of £130,000, which means one hell of a lot of cheese fans bagging a slice of this latest opening, and it sounds like they’ve made a canny investment. The barge is currently under construction in a Somerset boatyard, but when it chugs into view we’ll be able to enjoy two shipshape storeys of cheesy goodness.

The design is inspired by the Electa bookstore in Venice with a copper awning protecting the 40-cover lower-deck dining space while on-deck diners can enjoy drinks (and cheese) from the bar, or partake in al fresco dining. Head chef Reagan Ellenbroek and exec chef Ross Keeling have paired up to create a menu that pays homage (and fromage) to small cheese producers including  Windrush Goats’ Curd with lamb scrumpets and pickled walnuts and Cropwell Bishop Stilton devils on horseback.

We are quite literally counting down the days before this floating smorgasbord arrives in London, with delivery expected in April!

The Handbook has teamed up with The Grill at The Dorchester for an exclusive competition. Entrants will have the chance to win a dinner for two at The Grill at The Dorchester when it re-opens!