Looking for bars in Covent Garden? Read our review of Pick & Cheese, or check out our guide here.
Pick & Cheese in a nutshell
Cheese and wine gets the conveyer belt treatment at this lively addition to KERB’S first bricks and mortar site.
Where is it? A four-minute walk from Covent Garden underground station.
What’s the vibe at Pick & Cheese?
Located on the first floor of the open-plan Seven Dials Market, Pick & Cheese sees a conveyer belt bearing pretty pastel plates of fromage and charcuterie surrounded by a sweeping counter in trendy pink terrazzo marble, with high (slightly uncomfortable) yellow bar stools. It’s buzzy, busy and crowded, although there are a couple of booths if you prefer something more private.
Sit at a counter in Pick & Cheese and grab plates of cheese off the conveyer belt
What’s the menu like?
Think of Pick & Cheese as the turophile’s equivalent of YO! Sushi. Plates of (all British) cheese – price coded by the colour of their plates – proceed in a stately fashion along a conveyer belt, ready for you to grab. The menu (there are 25 cheeses in total) comes with detailed descriptions of each cheese and their individually paired condiments (plus wine recommendations), and there’s also a small of roster of cheese dishes you can order ‘off belt’ – from English halloumi with honey and oregano to four-cheese grilled sandwiches.
Cheese and charcuterie plates on the conveyer belt at Pick & Cheese
Which dishes and wine to order?
Cheese and condiment pairings are imaginative, with an occasional misfire but some real showstoppers. Londonshire from Wilde’s Cheese in Tottenham was a surprisingly firm soft cheese, creamy and mellow. It was winningly matched with an (overly generous) smear of honeyed garlic purée that impressed with its funky, tangy character.
A surprise dream pairing saw flaky eccles cake fragrant with dried currants compliment salty, buttery, lemony Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire – fans of eating Christmas cake with cheddar would love this combination. Another star dish of the night was Cornish gouda with crunchy hazelnut brittle, the latter bringing out the gentle nuttiness of the cheese.
Wines – sourced from Les Caves de Pyrene – are of the natural, small-producer ilk, and orange and white varieties come properly chilled. A 2016 Benimaquia Tinajas is intriguingly complex, with fragrant jasmine and honeysuckle, dried fruit and woody herb notes; while another orange winner, 2018 Baglio Bianco Cataratto, was super-accessible, clean and light, with just a hint of farmyard funk. Domaine Albert Mann Riesling Tradition 2016 was a classic example of the grape, super dry and flinty, with a whisper of lip-smacking juiciness. Austrian Fuchs und Hase Pétillant Naturel Vol 1 2018 had lovely delicate bubbles, with apple and rhubarb notes.
This bar could have been a gimmicky concept but makes an ideal destination for a post-dinner cheese and wine course or, given its central London location, as a shopping-trip pit stop.
Where to go nearby for dinner
Take your pick! Seven Dials Market is full of choices, from steamed buns at Yum Bun and Japanese Nanban to pasta joint Strozzapreti. Or check out our guide to Covent Garden here for more restaurant options.
Don’t skip dessert – olive Chef Awards 2018 winner Happy Endings has created an incredible blue-cheese soft-serve ice cream (using Beauvale) that’s magic – the salty cheese pairing perfectly with super-sweet shards of honeycomb and chocolate shavings.
Price: From £2.95 for a cheese plate; £3.60 for a (75ml taster) glass of wine
Photographs by Nic Crilly-Hargrave
Words by Hannah Guinness