REVIEW: Champagne + Fromage, Covent Garden
Champagne + Fromage is the type of tucked away bistro Richard Curtis dreams of stumbling across when scouting locations for rom coms.
Warmly lit, staffed entirely by French and Italian people (bar one lovely English lady) and just off the bustling streets of Covent Garden and Soho, you couldn’t ask for a sweeter spot to duck into when the rain starts pouring.
With 50 types on sale at the counter, this place is for cheese lovers – but there’s plenty to keep you happy if you can’t stand the stuff (if the smell doesn’t send you running).
There’s no getting away from its pungency, a true mark of authenticity that’ll only add to the experience for fromage enthusiasts.
Walls are lined with beautiful champagne bottles, blackboards listing which are on that day. Staff slice cured meats and fresh bread at the counter as customers perch on high wooden stools, waiters gladly explaining which bubbles go best with their Basque or Bourgogne.
We arrived starving, celebrating a birthday – as good an excuse as any to go wild with our order.
We tried a glass of extra-dry Brut and vintage Lacroix demi-sec, before a piping hot bowl of French onion soup (£6.50) with Savoyarde tartine (£8) – melted Raclette cheese with thinly sliced potatoes, onions, salami and Corsican ham.
Next up came ten snails doused in garlic parsley and butter (tartine Bourgogne) for £8, and the Corsican cured meat selection – jambon corse, lonzo and coppa (£8), washed down with a sweet Kir Royale.
Finally, we naughtily ordered a baked camembert covered in sundried tomatoes and pesto (£8) – an unnecessary addition that we made short work of despite full bellies.
Dessert was a showstopper of a chocolate fondant (£6.50) including a lump of Bleu des Basques cheese, which won’t please everyone but must be tried by fans of salted caramel, sea salt chocolate and the like.
A plate of five small macarons comes in at just £3.95, a light yet decadent way to finish the meal.
It’s little finds like this that make London so great, making us pine for dark rainy nights that call for soul food and friends. We suggest you recruit the biggest cheese fans you know and book a table, sharpish.
Amy @ Fashionbite xx
Address: 22 Wellington Street, London, WC2E 7DD