Clark and Lake, Gillespie Place

Calling all fellow cheese lovers I have a new favourite cheese bar and it serves raclette. From the moment Clark and Lake opened (in August of last year) I had been dying to get down there and get my hands on the cheese. Finally I went for the first time in December and now try and go as often as possible.

Cheese board featuring: Brie, Taleggio, Blood, prosciutto di parma and red wine and chocolate salami
The cheese selection all comes from I.J. Mellis (aka cheese heaven) so you know it's a top selection. It's maybe not the biggest selection I've seen at a cheese and wine bar, but it's definitely all quality cheeses. I've never had the pre-selected boards but there is a Spanish, Italian and British selection available if you're a bit of a cheese and charcuterie beginner and not sure what to pick. I know what cheeses I like so I always know what I want. My top recommendations are the Baron Bigood Brie, the Ossau Iraty and the Taleggio. The charcuterie selection is also really great and there's a couple unique flavours (blood, red wine and chocolate salami for instance - which was actually really tasty) and some classics (parma ham, serrano ham). My favourites have to be the parma ham and the garlic and rosemary salami. Alongside these you get plenty of crackers, oatcakes and sometimes baguette to spread your cheese and meat on.

In addition to the excellent cheese and charcuterie boards, Clark and Lake serves raclette. Raclette. The melted cheese sent down from the heavens. That hot, melted goodness. Mmmm raclette...

Dreamy raclette
Clark and Lake's raclette is served, quite traditionally, over roasted potatoes with a side of pickles and pickled onions (plus the option of Cecina Pablo a Spanish cured beef). If you missed the little raclette stand at the market, get yourself over to Clark and Lake asap. You can also choose to have your raclette melted onto a sandwich! The menu features a 'Raclette Sandwich with Coppa Trentina' (an Italian meat) as well as a 'Meatball Sandwich with Raclette' (one I'm dying to try out ASAP). If you're reading this and it's still January, they currently have a great deal running where you can get a free raclette when you order a cheese and charcuterie sharing board and a bottle of wine.

Halloumi Fries and a board featuring Ossau Iraty, Brie, Garlic and Rosemary Salami and Serrano Ham
The menu also features some small plates as well as some changing specials. On my last visit one of the specials was halloumi fries so I, of course, ordered them with all my other cheeses for a total cheese overdose. I have seen on Instagram that they sometimes have raclette balls as a special and I always cry inside when I can't make it along for them. But keep an eye out on their Instagram to see their latest specials. If cheese with cheese and extra cheese is too much for you their small plate menu features some cheese-less items that still accompany the cheese well including 'Zucchini (Courgette) Fries', 'Fried Stuffed Olives', terrines and pates and more.

Of course no good cheese bar is complete without a decent selection of wines - and at Clark and Lake they are actually pretty well priced. There's a variety of types from a variety of countries, so there's something to suit everyone. There's also a selection of beers and spirits for non-wine drinkers.

It hasn't been around for long but has very quickly become my go-to for after work drinks and nibbles. It's also gone straight on my favourites list (a prestigious list indeed ;)) I don't know about you but after work the first thing I want to do to de-stress is get stuck into a cheese board with a side of raclette and a glass (or more often bottle) of wine. So what are you waiting for? Check out their menu for yourself over on their website.

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