A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of being invited to discover the first and only wine bar in Blackheath, London. With a name like “Le Bouchon” there’s no doubt about the nationality of the place. (It means the cork by the way.) I was expecting the owner to come from the Lyon area as this is a typical name for a little restaurant in this region… but no! Jean-Philippe, the owner, comes from the Paris area and he recently moved to London.
Le Bouchon is very new – they only opened their doors to the public a couple of months ago.
They are located in South East London (72 Tranquil Vale, Blackheath Village, SE3 0BN):
With a wine bar you generally expect:
- An extended and varied wine list
- Light food or none at all
- … and a good atmosphere
Le Bouchon won’t let you down!
Several other bloggers were invited to this soirée and we all gathered round a couple of small tables to share our dishes in a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere. It was great to meet other people as passionate about charcuterie and cheese as I am! In France more or less everyone is really into these two foods, and they are eaten on a daily basis by most French people. Whereas in the UK I know some people who are crazy about cheese or charcuterie, but most people don’t seem that fussed. Sacrilège!
I am sure you know that you can’t eat cheese or charcuterie without enjoying a glass (or several) of good French wine to wash it down. And we weren’t disappointed as you can see below…..
What I had at Le Bouchon
- 1 glass of Champagne Pierre Mignon brut 1er cru
- 1 glass of rosé, Côtes de Provence, Domaine de la Courtade (Mourvèdre/Grenache/Tibouren)
- 1 glass of red, Côtes de Bordeaux, Château les Platanes (Merlot/Cabernet franc)
- 1 glass of red, Pinot noir, Waipara, Sherwood estates – New Zealand
- Tapenade, fresh bread (tapenade is a paste made of black olives, or sometimes green olives, garlic and dried herbs)
- Sundried tomatoes
- Bresi: cured beef filet, smoked for 8 weeks
- Wild venison saucisson: traditional French dried saucisson, the venison gave it a deep gamy flavour
- Comté saucisson: a tasty traditional saucisson with bits of Comté cheese in it
- Fourme d’Ambert: unpasteurised creamy blue cheese with cows milk
- Mature goats cheese
- Époisse: unpasteurised delicate cheese made with cows milk with a rich flavour and a creamy texture
So what did I think of Le Bouchon?
- Quality wine list with a wide choice of individual glasses which is quite rare
- Excellent food products served on original slate plates
- Nice location, nothing outstanding but nice all the same
- Very approachable owner who pays a lot of attention to his customers
- Easy to get to from Central London with frequent trains from London Bridge station
- The staff is only French for now with a limited level of spoken English; this is good to stay typical but this may not suit some people
- Nothing is cooked there so don’t expect any hot dishes, or “meals”
- The charcuterie board is possibly too heavy with saucissons which is great for me as I love them, but if you don’t then your choice is limited
- The sundried tomatoes were a bit of a disappointment as they were quite dry and salty on their own like that; they would have been nicer rehydrated in some olive oil which would have gone very nicely with the fresh bread
Would I recommend it? Well I would gladly go back there with Sophie for a romantic evening even though it’s a bit of a detour from ours, so that would be a yes!
Disclosure: Franglaise Cooking was offered this event, including food and drinks, in exchange for this honest review. As ever all words and opinions are our own.