The Best of British cheese all wrapped up for the perfect Christmas feast.
Tracey Colley from Academy of Cheese selects delicious cheese boxes from our fabulous British cheesemakers around the UK; ideal as gifts, the party season and to enjoy with all the family this Christmas. All boxes are available by mail order for sharing virtually or in person with family and friends.
This year more than ever supporting British cheesemakers is so important to ensure their survival and the great news is there is more choice than ever available to be delivered direct to your door.
The Ultimate Welsh Cheese Gift Box
Wales now boasts several dozen cheesemakers and this gift box showcases five artisan handmade cheeses. The Adams family at Caws Cenarth in South West Wales have been cheesemakers for over 30 years. The selection includes their superb and extremely popular blue cheese Perl Las (meaning Blue Pearl), Cenarth Brie their decadent creamy and rich soft cheese, and the boxed Golden Cenarth. If you love a baked cheese you can pop the Golden Cenarth in the oven for 20 minutes at 200°C and this already soft and scrumptious washed rind cheese becomes even gooier ready for dunking crusty bread! There are two hard cheeses in the selection the first is Hafod a handmade organic cheddar made using raw cow’s milk from the Holden family herd of 80 Ayrshire cows. The texture is soft and springy, the cheese melts in the mouth and has deep, mellow, rich and buttery flavours. The second hard cheese is Teifi Mature a gouda style from Caws Teifi cheese in Llandysu. They have been making artisan cheeses since 1982, when the co-founder John Savage-Onstwedder moved from Holland to set about reviving the lost tradition of using raw milk from local farms to make high quality cheeses. It is dense yet creamy with a deep mellow caramel flavour. The deliciously crunchy Welsh Cradoc’s Sea Salt Crackers are included with this delightful selection.
Blue Cheese Selection
Blue stilton is associated with Christmas all over the world however, there are so many other delicious blue cheeses to try. This box of four brilliant blue cheeses selected by award winning cheesemonger Andy Swinscoe makes the perfect gift for blue cheese lovers. Starting with Cote Hill Blue a soft blue brie made by the Davenports in Lincolnshire using unpasteurised milk from their own herd. Heading North to Scotland, the next cheese Lanark Blue is from Errrington’s made since the 1980’s using their rich sheep’s milk, similar to Roquefort it has become a modern British classic. Hop over the water to Northern Ireland for the rich lingering flavours of Young Buck, an outstanding raw-milk blue. The fourth blue cheese in the box is Devon Blue with sweet, mineral & flinty flavours it is perfect with a dessert wine such as Sauternes.
British Farmstead Cheese Board
Quicke’s cheesemakers have partnered with likeminded cheesemakers from the South West, who all make their cheeses from milk produced within metres of their dairies. Each cheese imparts flavours and characteristics from the fields, milking breed, seasons and maturation rooms.
On the board – Quicke’s Vintage cheddar handcrafted using milk from their herd of grass-fed cows, wrapped in cloth and matured for 24 months. Rich intense flavours exude from this hard, crumbly textured cheese from buttery to brothy to caramel. Next up, Sharpham Rustic from Sharpham Dairy near Totnes, stands out on the board with its distinctive shape, crumbly texture and fresh lemony taste. Ceri Cryer at Brinkworth Dairy is the creator of the blue cheese for the board – Royal Bassett Blue, soft and creamy, mild blue. For the goats cheese lovers Eve is a delightful soft cheese washed in Somerset Cider brandy and wrapped in vine leaves. Made by White Lake Cheeses in Somerset using their own goats milk the cheese has mild, sweet, nutty and slightly yeasty flavours.
Winter Cheese Selection
Four individually wrapped cheeses to tantalise the tastebuds including the melt in the mouth Godminster organic cheddar, soft and gooey Oxford Isis washed in mead, Tunworth Britain’s equivalent to camembert made by Stacey Hedges in Hampshire and the delightful goats cheese coated in ash – Ashlynn. Serve with dollops of the British Damson Plum conserve atop the crunchy, malty Peters Yard sourdough crispbreads that are included in the hamper.
The Santa Baby
Husband & wife team Mathew & Tayler Carver have taken the London restaurant scene to another level by championing all British cheese menus in their restaurants The Cheese Bar and Pick & Cheese – the world’s first cheese conveyor belt! Soon to open is The Cheese Barge, a moored floating restaurant again serving an all British cheese menu. It might sound gimmicky but I can guarantee you it’s not and to prove it take a look at the cheese boxes they have been delivering since the pandemic took hold.
The Santa Baby is a selection of true British classic artisan cheeses, the first cheese out of the box is the powerful Westcombe Cheddar made by Tom Calver and his team down in Somerset. It has a firm smooth texture and deep complex flavours ranging from mellow and lactic to hazelnuts and caramel. Classic blue stilton is from Cropwell Bishop Creamery, the cheese has an even web of blue veins, a crumbly texture that becomes creamy as it matures, and complex dairy, fruity often meaty flavours. The soft cheese is a cheese that has taken the British cheese by storm – Baron Bigod from Fen Farm in Suffolk. It is a Brie de Meaux style cheese made in small batches using traditional methods and fresh warm milk direct from the farm. Deliciously smooth with savoury butter fried mushroom flavours. To complete the cheese selection, Sinodun Hill a goats cheese from Norton & Yarrow in Oxfordshire, fresh and slightly nutty with a light mousse- like texture. Accompaniments included are handmade Rosebud Preserves Piccalilli, Pickled onions and Miller’s Damsel Crackers.
Strictly Cheese Night
Great fun for a memorable cheese evening with family & friends. The box contains four premium cheeses and scorecards so that each participant can rate the cheeses based on texture, appearance, and flavour.
500 years of British Cheese
A cheese selection to honour our past and get excited about the future. Eat cheese history with a selection of five cheeses that take you from the 17th century until today. Generous freshly cut chunks of cheese beautifully hand wrapped.
A Cheesemonger’s Christmas Selection
Accompanied by an online virtual tasting with the experts at Neals Yard Dairy this selection of five ‘what’s great today’ artisan British cheeses, also includes savoury crackers, tasting notes and pairing suggestions
The Union Jack Cheese Box
Going Patriotic with four fabulous British cheeses – Lincolnshire Red, Stichelton Blue, Baron Bigod brie and Vintage Lincolnshire Poacher. A delightful Christmas cheeseboard selection
Christmas Cheese Selection
Curated by award winning cheesemonger Andy Swinscoe five farm-made cheeses celebrating the best of British, from Scotland to Northern Ireland; St Andrews cheddar, Dorstone, Kirkhams Lancashire, Tunworth & Young Buck
Ultimate Cheesemakers Box
One for the stilton loversthis luxury selection from Cropwell Bishop Creamery includes Classic Blue Stilton, White stilton, potted stilton & Beauvale their decadent creamy blue, plus a chunk of Double Gloucester, a jar of relish and sourdough crackers.
Festive Cheese Box
The Festive Cheese Box is a very fine selection of Spanish artisan cheeses hand-picked by Rupert Linton, Head of Cheese at Brindisa. This selection of fine cheeses together makes an exceptional and indulgent festive cheese board.
Villarejo Manchego Semi Cured: ORIGIN Castile – La Mancha NOTES Made with raw ewes’ milk from indigenous Manchega sheep. It has a combination of lactic and herbal aromas. The flavours are fresh with a pleasant acidity and a mellow sweetness, typical of ewes’ milk
Payoyo: ORIGIN Andalusia NOTES An artisan cheese hand-made from milk of the Payoya goat. Well-rounded, creamy and nutty with a faint acidity. An extraordinary flavour and consistency.
Picos Blue: ORIGIN Castile and Leon NOTES A pasteurised blue cheese made from a blend of cows’ and goats’ milk. This maple leaf wrapped cheese, has a creamy and mushroomy aroma, a buttery melting texture and nutty, savoury, sometimes spicy flavours
La Retorta: ORIGIN Extremadura NOTES A full flavoured ewes’ milk cheese, made using thistle rennet, with a soft, sometimes liquid interior. With a smooth, and creamy texture and ochre and pungent rind with aromas of mustard and dry hay. Vegetarian.
It available to buy online, £35: https://brindisa.com/products/festive-cheese-box
Amazonian, The Made By Women Cheese Selection Box
The Fine Cheese Co. presents this delightful cheese selection from women cheesemakers, a slightly unusual range for cheese lovers looking to try something a little different. It includes St Cera, Hafod, Burt’s Blue and Cornish Yarg. Julie Cheyney makes the luscious St Cera on the farm in Bungay, it is a washed rind soft cheese with a buttery, fruity complex flavour. Burt’s Blue is made by Claire Burt in Cheshire, it is a soft cheese with tiny blue veins, sweet and buttery. Hafod, an organic cheddar and Cornish Yarg wrapped in nettles make it the perfect cheeseboard for sharing.
To learn more about cheese history, provence, cheesemaking, presentation and tasting cheese the Academy of Cheese courses are currently available as online eLearning or virtual classroom courses www.academyofcheese.org