Our regular customers will know that we have a great selection of traditional cheeses on offer for you to make up your own cheeseboard. Our chefs and food bar staff have much experience in the world of cheese and regularly try different cheeses to add to our existing range or to feature as a monthly ‘special’.
We work with a number of suppliers and cheese makers to get a good variety to please all tastes. Our aim is to please those who enjoy the traditional flavours and textures but also to offer up something new, a re-discovery or indeed a re-interpretation, such as some of our smoked cheeses.
We take note of the reviews that are left by our customers and try where we can to meet suggestions, especially if improvement is necessary.
The cheese specials board is updated regularly and is driven often by demand, or by finding something to complement a new wine or change in season. This month we met with cheese gourmet, Brent Wilkinson of London Speciality Food, and proprietor of the Cheddar Deli, who presented us with a challenging array of cheeses!
Beginning with a platter of blue cheese including a Dorset Blue, resurrected after 200 years to produce a half fat, mild blue cheese. We tried a mild, crumbly Isle of Mull Blue and one of our favourites, a mild German Montagnolo Affine, and the Irish Cashelle Blue. We finished the ‘blue’ platter with a firm favourite, a smoked English Stilton where the gentle cold smoking process leaves the cheese with a mature but subtle flavour.
Having cleansed our palates with a modest amount of our off dry Riesling we moved on to a second platter including a beautiful Irish goats brie, Gortnamona. We will be adding this to our steadfast Chevre, but we have to await an increase in milk production from the cows on Breda’s farm – this is a boutique cheese maker in the truest sense! A soft, creamy Welsh cheese, Pearl Wen was followed by the formidable Isle of Mull Cheddar, made from cows fed on the mash left over from the whiskey distilleries giving a unique and powerful flavour. Our palates were tempered by the triple cream Vignotte, a versatile salty, creamy cheese which goes equally well with sparkling wine to cut through the richness or a robust red wine complementing the mushroom flavoured skin.
Recovered from the riot of flavours we moved on to some firm favourites; the cedar wood smoked Comte and the delicious Old Amsterdam Gouda, a cheese matured for 18 months. It has a wonderful deep golden yellow colour with a rich, buttery flavour and almost cheddary texture, finished with a hint of a honeycomb. Fabulous!
In the coming weeks the special we will be offering will include:
Red Fox – a mature crumbly Red Leicester
Old Amsterdam Gouda
Asiago – an Italian white cheese