When it comes to reinventing the wheel, no one does it better. Nothing is overdone, or cheesy per se, but ever since we discovered the famous shops of Neal’s Yard Dairy in London, it’s been all smiles.
Let’s start at the beginning. In 1979, a man with a nose for exquisite odors, the cheesemaker Randolph Hodgson, founded his first artisanal cheese shop in the vacant warehouse space around Covent Garden. Success was immediate. After all, who doesn’t love cheese?
Not to treat our cheese with superstition, but it is said that all good things come in threes. So it comes as no surprise that a trifecta was completed with the birth of the Borough Market Shop and the Bermondsey Shop, the location where cheese is carefully turned, brushed, and washed in maturing rooms under brick railway arches. The result was imperial: Neal’s Yard Dairy produces approximately 500 tons of cheese every year, from its shops in London to its exports around the world. This is the makings of an empire.
As London’s leading cheese retailer, the artisanal products of Neal’s Yard Dairy are sourced from more than 70 specialist cheesemakers and farmhouse producers in the UK, Scotland, and Ireland, ensuring the most authentic flavors and happiest customers. You'll be overwhelmed with the endless amount of variations of cheddar and aged blues, hard and soft, goat and sheep. When it feels as though it’s impossible to choose (and it will), ask questions. The experts, who are sophistically dressed in black aprons and berets, are at your service. They might recommend a curated cheese selection: delicious slices of Stichelton (the real one), Beenleigh Blue, Coolea, Ragstone, and St. Jude straight from the English countryside. Or they might suggest a subscription so that each month a well-balanced cheeseboard - of seasonal cheeses and some products of experimental maturation techniques - is delivered straight to your doors.
We’ve heard it again and again, “I’ll never get bored of cheese.” But just in case, Neal’s Yard Dairy offers delectable accompaniments, like Fig Relish and Spiced Plum Chutney, to sublimate your cheese course. Before we forget, celebrate with one of their cakes (or cheese towers), which can be customized for special events. Cheese for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Zero complaints.
After just one visit, you'll become hungry (no pun intended) to learn more. Fortunately, Neal’s Yard Dairy offers customers a little education. Personally, we found the “Champagne and Cheese,” “Farmhouse Cheese and Whisky,” and “Spring Cheese and Wine” courses very enlightening, and especially useful for our bi-monthly dinner parties. Now, if only our kids found school this exciting.
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