On an afternoon wandering the West End, French Bubbles bistro Champagne + Fromage catch's Hazel Nevard's eye, so much so that she has to head back to experience it from the inside.
On leaving One Aldwych with my business partner and having enjoyed a couple of G&Ts and a convivial meeting with a banking friend, we turned the corner into Wellington St and my eye was immediately drawn to an elegant window, where inside a table laden with cheeses and champagne bottles beckoned. This looked like somewhere to disappear for an afternoon but on that day it was out of the question. I was called away, not quite dragged but I had already thought I would like this place. I was left with a lovely impression of my first sighting of Champagne + Fromage – something ‘other worldly’.
A few days later I was talking to a very dear friend and she happened say she had heard there was a good cheese and champagne bar in Covent Garden. Co-incidence enough that we decided to include Champagne + Fromage into an already hectic day we had planned of lunching, dining and generally just being self-indulgent. We started early and had brunch, in a basement brasserie where we were served by a brusque waiter who made us feel as if we ought to be on our way even though we had just arrived and the tables were two thirds empty.
There was a cold wind and for some illogical reason we decided to walk the mile or so to Champagne + Fromage where we had planned to have a glass of champagne before going to our next venue but as soon as we entered, we were cosseted and seated at a big rustic table next to the blackboard. I almost wish I hadn’t eaten anything, as I wanted to try everything on the menu – it was all French and authentic; pates, jambons, rillons and saucisses. Of course we started with a glass of champagne and this was really good stuff – the sort of champagne that sends happy bubbles to your head and makes your heart glow. Within minutes we were in another world, one of bubbles, hospitality and fine food. We decided to sample a selection of cheeses, which were delicious and the triple cream brie was heavenly and I didn’t care how many calories were melting in my mouth.
We discovered the owner knows her champagne and her cheese and so we tried a different vintage, at her recommendation (there are 25 award winning Champagnes to choose from) – and neither of us wanted to move on from here and so we didn’t for a while. We tried the charcuterie board and it was so good that we had another glass of the fine champagne to accompany it.
We didn’t lose an afternoon in Champagne + Fromage we gained a sweet memory, of being indulged and happy. This is a foodie heaven, run by a knowledgeable team who are French and passionate about what they are serving you. All the food is available to take away and there seemed to be plenty of customers. I bought a selection of cheese to take home, including the triple cream cheese and some great Munster.
This is a real gem in the heart of Covent Garden and I shall certainly find it hard to resist going in next time I am passing by.
22 Wellington St WC2
Telephone: 0207 240 1604
Written by Hazel Nevard