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British Cheese

My wife and I will be in London next month, and are very excited to try some wonderful British cheese. I am especially interested in trying small farmhouse cheeses that I might not be able to get in the States. Anyone out there have some nice suggestions? Also, I've been told Paxton and Whitfield is THE place to go. I'll be staying near Notting Hill, so I was also told to check out Jeroboams. Sound good?

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  1. I think the obvious one would be Neals Yard - branches in Borough Market and Covent Garden. They do export some to Whole Foods in the US, but many aren't available there, due to restrictions on many types of raw milk cheeses.

    1 Reply
    1. re: limster

      Placemark for Neal's Yard in Covent Garden:

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      Neal's Yard
      17 Shorts Gardens, Camden Town, England WC2H 9, GB

    2. Placemark for Paxton & Whitfield in Jermyn St:

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      Paxton & Whitfield Ltd
      93 Jermyn St, London, England SW1Y 6, GB

      1. Definitely Neal's Yard because it specialises in cheeses from Britain and Ireland. In Kensington you have La Cave a Fromage which might be of interest. I like Rippon's on Upper Tachbrook St in Pimlico but it's not a British cheese specialist in the way that Neal's Yard is.

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        Neal's Yard
        6 Park St, London, England W1K 7, GB

        1. Paxtons is certainly worth a visit, and I expect that Jereboams, first class wine shops, will have good cheese too. However, limster is correct on Neals Yard. Their stock is about 95% British and there exists no better place to buy it.

          18 Replies
          1. re: Robin Joy

            Definitely Neals Yard. Try to have some Black Bomber - Welsh cheddar - my current favourite!

            In fact a very nice person bought me one of their cheese tastings for Christmas so have a look to see if there are any running when you're over:

            http://www.nealsyarddairy.co.uk/chees...

            1. re: helen b

              Wow. Neals Yard definitely sounds like the place to visit. Thanks so much to everyone for their info. Anyone have a favorite cheese? The Black Bomber sounds excellent. My tastes are all over the board. I love bloomy, sharp, raw cow, sheep, whatever. The only cheeses I just can't get down with are strong goat's milk. I think my carry on luggage is going to be a bit smelly on the way home to the States! Cheers, Prizat

              1. re: prizat

                Enjoy but check first that you're allowed to import unpasteurised cheese to the US. I hear they're quite strict in Customs!

                  1. re: t_g

                    Second the vote for Stinking Bishop.

                    The following are also favourites of mine (all available at Neals Yard):

                    Montgomery's Cheddar
                    Stichelton
                    Tunworth

                    1. re: NorthernFood

                      Can't beat a well ripened Wigmore.

                      Or a Single Gloucester

                      Or a Blue Vinney

                1. re: prizat

                  neal's yard is woinderful - tell them what you like, try the samples they offer (don't be shy in asking if they have other options when they offer one or two ideas) and buy your favourites for a cheese picnic.

                  1. re: abby d

                    Berkswell, Wife of Bath and Oxford Isis - loveliness.

                  2. re: prizat

                    Have the cheesemonger vacuum pack your purchases for air travel. Trust me - you do not want to use a suitcase that pongs of cheese three months after you emptied it.

                    Cheeses aged over 60 days are legal for import to the US.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      I've brought cheese back from abroad...just wrapped it up well amongst my clothing in my checked bag and didn't have any problems. I just didn't say anything about it. Also had some NY sharp cheddar in my carryon bag in December with no issues, but that wasn't an international flight.

                      1. re: myturkishjoys

                        NY sharp cheddar will never, ever make your clothes and luggage smell like a ripe raw-milk chevre. EVAR.

                    2. re: prizat

                      There's more than one Neals Yard branch. I suggest the one on the edge of Borough Market, which is itself well worth visiting (expensive, though).

                      I'll add my vote to NorthernFood's Stichelton suggestion. Even the French call Stilton the king of cheeses and Stichelton is (effectively) the king of Stiltons. I think it's made by an American!

                        1. re: t_g

                          My wife and I will definitely have a cheese picnic. I am so happy we decided to rent a flat instead of staying at a hotel. The hotel might have kicked us out, because of the funk!!!
                          I have had the Stinking Bishop before, and LOVE it. The Montgomery's Cheddar is also one I've tasted and really enjoyed, but its been a few years. Thankfully, I am blessed by having an excellent cheesemonger, DiBruno Brothers, close to me in Philadelphia and a very generous Aunt who lives in Wisconsin, so I almost always have a delicious cheese close at hand. If any of you are ever in the Philly area, you MUST get to the DiBruno in the Italian Market on 9th Street. Its a claustraphobic condensed space that is floor to ceiling meats and cheeses, olive oils and vinegars. A true offense if missed while visiting Philly.
                          One last question for everyone- As much as a cheesehead as I am, I am equally (if not more) in lust over cured meats and charcuterie. My idea of heaven involves Iberico pigs, cask ale, and Brooklyn Decker... Where was I? Oh yeah, are there any small production guys and/or gals out there making really nice artisanal ham, bacon, pate, etc? Would LOVE to have some swine to compliment my cheese. Thanks again, you guys are a wealth of info, Prizat

                          1. re: prizat

                            If you are a lover of Spanish meats, you should definitely have a lunch (go early - they get mobbed) at Brindisi at the Borough Market. It's the restaurant, not the stall selling Spanish products. You should be able to get lots of goodies at the Borough Market.

                            I'll make a note of DiBruno's as I'll be in Philly this autumn. I grew up there before it became the foodie heaven it now is. About the best we had then was Lee's Hoagie House. :-)

                            1. re: zuriga1

                              Zuriga1,
                              Philly has definitely become a foodie spot. Make sure you check the Philly posts here on Chowhound, there are so many good restaurants and markets now its almost overwhelming. Some of my top picks right now are- Zahav, Barbuzzo, reading Terminal Market, Amada (for your Spanish fix) or really any of Garces' restaurants, Nick's Roast Beef (been there forever and is such a great South Philly dive that you can't miss it), and Honey's Sit and Eat in the Northern Liberties (a neighborhood that rose out of empty warehouses and burnt out buildings). Enjoy in the Fall.
                              Brindisi sounds right up our alley. We were in Spain last year, and whatever town we've been in since, we always end up at a Spanish joint at some point. Thanks again, Prizat

                              1. re: prizat

                                You can cover all three bases at once at Borough (cheese, iberico ham and cask ale). As previous posts have already mentioned Neals Yard (cheese) and Brindisa (iberico ham) are there, and The Rake is also there. The Rake is a tiny pub run by Utobeer, a beer specialist on the market. They will always have some excellent ale on draught.

                                1. re: prizat

                                  Thanks for the recommendations. I was last there 2 years ago for a high school reunion, and we ate very well, mostly downtown. Enjoy my new hood. :-)

                  3. Cheesewise, I recommend cheshire. So often overlooked, and yet so crumbly, sharp and creamy all at the same time.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Isobel_A

                      There are two specialist cheese stalls at Borough Market that I like. There's the chaps who sell nothing but wonderful aged Comte - not British I know but so good. And there's a Caerphilly stall that I find exceptional.
                      Ticklemore goat is good and I think there's a nice Swaledale ewe.

                      1. re: Jenny Sheridan

                        The Bath Soft Cheese Company are at Borough as well, and I love their stuff, especially the original, which is a square, brie-like cheese.

                    2. Not British, but if Vacherin Mont d'Or is still in season when you're there, you should certainly try to get some, as it is illegal for export to the US. Easy to get in London at any good cheese shop or at Borough Market.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: mrs bacon

                        I just googled it -- and it looks to be available in several major cities across the US.

                        It is, however, coming to the end of its availability (it's available only in the winter, as it's made while the cows are in the barns in the valleys -- before too much longer, they'll be taking the herds back up to the alpine meadows for the summer, so that milk will become a different cheese, the name of which escapes me at the moment)

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          There are pasteurized versions but the real thing is still not allowed in the US.

                          1. re: mrs bacon

                            Upon further research, the Swiss version is pasteurized -- so it will be Swiss, but will still carry the name.

                            Until the US gets over their hangup about raw-milk cheeses, it's better than not eating it.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              Mini-correction re Swiss Vacherin Mont d'Or, which is made from therm(al)ized, not pasteurized milk (lower temperature, less time) and is gorgeous - it'll be on sale till mid-April. After that the same dairies make Gruyère all summer

                          2. re: sunshine842

                            That would be Comte from the summer milk

                        2. Also Lanarkshire Blue. Had some last night. WOW!!!! Better than Roquefort.

                          1. they do tastings at neals yard that are fantastic. you taste 10 different cheeses, and all come with a story, pairings and back history from the very knowledgable guys.

                            i think i'm right that the name stichelton is old english for stilton and was a bit of a poke in the eye for the cheese council who refused for the cheese to be called stilton as it's made with unpasteurised milk and the recipe for a ture stilton dictates making it worse through pasteurising.

                            i'd recommend tunworth, berkswell, obv stickelton and on it's day liconshire poacher - my favorite.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: FatEddy

                              A lot of people rave about Lincolnshire poacher and I buy it at my local market but not rate it myabe its just been on there off days. I like buying local but tend to avoid this brand. Cote Hill Blue is nice if you can get it but think they only supply local to Lincolnshire (blue soft cheese).

                              Glad to see people of the world seeing we produce so much good cheese we are definately competing with the french these days.

                              1. re: FatEddy

                                No Stilton (cheese) has always been called Stilton, Stichelton was old English for the village of that name. It isn't the recipe as such that specifies un-pastuerised milk but the EU PDO Protected Designation of Origin) certification which allows a dairy to use the name Stilton. As the PDO specifies pasteurised milk the boys at Neal's Yard can't call their "stilton" stilton. Bureaucracy gone mad!

                                -----
                                Neal's Yard
                                6 Park St, London, England W1K 7, GB