So, the arrival of Le Bouchon last year did not lead to the ruin of Blackheath as some of the more shrill commentators suggested. It always seems popular, especially on days such as today (a pleasant early summer’s day but this Radical is slaving over this post!), bringing a touch of Parisian chic to our little village. No wonder as even if one does not get a much coveted outside table the cool interior with the big open windows is an escape from the bustle of the village, and it is quite er… cool too.
Owner JP offers a modest gallic je ne sais quoi when we comment on the success of the of the wine bar, but it is clear to us that it has proved itself a fine addition to the village. So successful that JP was able to do up the upstairs front room (the upstairs was used for seating when it was the Curry Garden) to host small gatherings and wine tasting. In addition LB hosts civilised music nights. Note to self: Must get along to one soon. JP also had the idea to convert the roof to a small terrace as the properties above the bookshop, Pizza Express and Giraffe do. It was intended to utilise this for small events but unfortunately the application has been turned down. We Radicals are baffled by concern about noise and people (especially ‘outsiders’), ruining our quaint village and have made the point before, and do so again: if you choose to live in the centre of a busy village you choose to live with the bustle that goes with that. If you don’t like it, move to a quiet side street.
JP has shown with LB that he has created a distinct space that is in keeping with the area and one of the arguments was that the terrace would be “incongruous” to the building and area, despite as we note many on that row have roof gardens that LB merely sought to emulate. But JP has proved his strident critics wrong with Le Bouchon and the best way to support JP and all the good venues in the village is to use them and we Radicals will continue to patronise LB!
And we’ll raise a glass, possibly at a future wine tasting (couple of South West France events in June) to that.