There are many things I HATE about autumn and winter: the darkness, the cold, snow (just doesn't work in London when you need to get places) to name a few BUT I do love that those are the seasons for cosy dining and hearty dishes and what is more cosy, hearty and indulgent to brighten up a gloomy day than a cheese fondue!!!
Even better when it is served in the quirkiest and most wonderfully weird of places and Bistro Walluc was JUST that.
From the outside this place really looks rather unassuming, bang in the middle of Shoreditch on Redchurch street, with no real signage and a big old, heavily graffitied shutter down whenever they are closed.
Indeed, I had worked on the same street as Bistrot Walluc for 3 years back in my PR agency days and the shutters then seemed to be more down than up which meant I really never knew what hidden gem I was missing out on!
With a real craving for a cheese fondue one weekend (I blame the sudden onset of winter) I went on a google search for London's best offerings and suddenly stumbled across Bistrot Walluc.
The fondue looked more than enticing and, even better, it also happened to be a 2 minute walk from the cinema for which my dear friend Arian and I had tickets for to see the newest Wes Anderson film.
And what wonderful place to spend a cold Saturday evening Bistrot Walluc turned out to be! It's not slick or hip but who needs that when you have a lovely couple running the place, literally a 2 man show, who almost make you feel like they have invited you into their home.
The bistro itself feels like a treasure trove - velvet arm chairs, candles aplenty and every corner and surface filled with trinkets, antiques and instruments. The minute you step through their doors you are a world away from the hustle and bustle of East London, jazz gently playing in the background while you get to sit back, marvel at your surroundings and of course dig into the fondue!
Yes, we need to talk about the fondue and food of course! As an independent little spot, Bistrot Walluc requires a £10 deposit per person and only takes reservations via WhatsApp, which I found refreshingly personal and really I don't mind putting some money down beforehand if it helps them run their business.
There is basically only one menu at £25 per person which is tailored to either veggies or meat eaters. Veggies start the dinner with a cheese plate while carnivores get a big selection of charcuterie while the main event of course consists of a cheese fondue, served with white crusty bread and boiled potatoes.
We got a gorgeous and generous cheese plate each to start with, featuring an amazing selection of burrata, mozzarella and all sorts of other great cheeses which got us off to a great start for a very cheesy eve (excuse the pun!).
The fondue was a winner too - cheesy, a bit boozy, gooey and was gobbled up by us in no time and we washed the whole meal down with a great white wine, all the while being looked after wonderfully by the couple!
We left very happy, very full and very pleased to have discovered this hidden gem in London. It's the sort of place you don't want to tell too many people about so that it remains your secret but this winter make a trip to Bistrot Walluc because one seldom finds such a charming and genuinely welcoming place to eat at that also happens to makes a damn fine Fondue.