blog

Meeting boxes

Meeting boxes

Meetings! Most organisations have them. And meetings - if they're all day - need lunch. It's our firm belief that cheese improves most things - and that very definitely includes meetings - so we thought The Cheese Shed could draw on its fabulous selection to put together a beautiful cheese-based lunch for meetings of 5, 10, 15 or 20 people. Here's how they work, and what you get ...   read more »

Fondue, Mark Two

Fondue, Mark Two

Our fondue-related offerings have just been revised and improved via the addition of one extra-special cheese ...   read more »

Introducing Pomona, and the Blue Moon Hamper

Introducing Pomona, and the Blue Moon Hamper

We've stocked Somerset Cider Brandy for a while ... now we've broadened out a bit with more mature versions, plus their unique 'Pomona'.   read more »

Nourish 2017

Nourish 2017

In 2014 we got together with two other organisations here in Bovey - Devon Guild Of Craftsmen and the Contemporary Crafts Festival - to start a new festival in the town. The idea was to create something based around contemporary craft (which the town is known for), food and music. We called it Nourish ... and here's how this year's festival went   read more »

New Wyfe Of Bath

New Wyfe Of Bath

If you know your Chaucer you'll probably say that the Wyfe of Bath was always both these things, but it has to be said that the cheese version was always quite sober and, well, mild. But no more! We've just started stocking two new versions of Graham Padfield's cheese, Extra Mature Wyfe Of Bath (above) and Merry Wyfe (below). To find out more, go here   read more »

Four Quarters Cakes

Four Quarters Cakes

New! Three cheese cakes built around the idea of the 'four quarters' cheese wheel. All the appeal of the classic wedding cheese stack, but now containing even more variety - whether you're catering for 40/50, 60/70 or around 100 guests.   read more »

River Cottage Festival

River Cottage Festival

James and I just spent a tiring but exhilarating weekend at the River Cottage Festival, flying the flag for this region’s incredible cheese. We heard music, basked in the surroundings and the extraordinary weather, met Hugh F-W, but mainly - you got it, we talked cheese. So what were the top five cheeses, based on the preferences of the keen food enthusiasts we met up there? Read my blog to find out.   read more »

Academy Of Cheese

Academy Of Cheese

How many of us would choose to go back to school? Maybe not that many. But how about cheese school? And a cheese school, or more specifically, the Academy Of Cheese, is exactly what has is now being created here in the UK. Last week I travelled up to see Mary Quicke, whose brainchild it is, to talk about the ideas behind it, and to find out just where the project has got to.   read more »

Polmarkyn: It's All About The Goats

Polmarkyn: It's All About The Goats

Well, ok, it's also about cheese ... but Katie Wood and partner Glyn do love their goats ... and know every one of their small herd by name. Polmarkyn Dairy is a real newcomer on the Cornish cheese scene but already they've filled a gap by producing three soft goats' cheeses - alongside raw milk yoghurt and milk - which no-one else is doing down here ...   read more »

Spruced-Up Website

Spruced-Up Website

The latest revisions to our website went live on July 27th. This blog explains what's new, and the thinking behind it ...   read more »

Fresh & Fruity

Fresh & Fruity

I don't know about where you are, but down here in Devon it's been pretty hot recently. So cheese-wise, what works in the summer?   read more »

Introducing: Our New Range Of Wines

Introducing: Our New Range Of Wines

For a while now, we've wanted to rejuvenate our wine selection, and finally, the opportunity to do that in an exciting way came when we spotted a new wine shop, Jaded Palates, opening just up the road in Chagford. Working with Ian, we've completely renewed what we offer. And: we've broadened it out ... and often these new wines come from Ian's own relationship with makers that are - as we would have it - 'off the beaten track' ...   read more »

Smörgås!

Smörgås!

In our pursuit of new and different things to do with cheese, this week I turned to my old friend Annika Skoogh for help. Annika is from Sweden but has lived in the UK for 17 years. Because I know she's a great enthusiast for her country - and its food - I asked her to give me a lesson on how to make Scandinavian open sandwiches (in Sweden, smörgås; in Denmark, smørrebrød) ...   read more »

Decorating Cheese Wedding Cakes ... The Paper Way

Decorating Cheese Wedding Cakes ... The Paper Way

We were out doing a show recently, and I got into a conversation with someone who was chatting about the cheese. "What do you do?" I asked. "I'm a paper florist", was the reply. Well, as Bee Watson of Wild Hive says herself - "a paper florist? Who even knew that was a job?"   read more »

Cheese Wedding Cakes: Three Beautiful Summer Looks

Cheese Wedding Cakes: Three Beautiful Summer Looks

An ongoing project in 2017 is to give our 'off the peg' cheese wedding cakes fresh new looks. To do that we're being helped by the very talented Kate Bainbridge from Simply Flowers, and last week Kate and I turned our attention to another three of the cakes: Haytor Rocks, Tintagel Castle and Corfe Castle.   read more »

Inspirational Sharpham's Latest: Washbourne

Inspirational Sharpham's Latest: Washbourne

All about my recent trip down to Sharpham cheese. I was there to learn about their latest cheese - Washbourne - but along the way I found out a bit more about the chap who runs the show. And as always when up close to cheese-making and the clever people who do it, I came away inspired and slightly in awe ...   read more »

Ticklemore And The Pinker-Than-Average Quiche

Ticklemore And The Pinker-Than-Average Quiche

Lucy and Alex Foley are the sort of bold people who leap straight from one life into a completely different one! In their case this meant leaving jobs as a walking guide in Italy and a factory production consultant and taking on the lease of the Guardhouse Café on Berry Head in Devon. The café is keen to use local ingredients as much as possible, and naturally, our wonderful Westcounry cheese is a key part of that. I visited on a stunning spring day to watch chef Danny (top left) make this beautiful pink-tinged quiche featuring Ticklemore goats' cheese ...   read more »

Introducing Cornish Kern ... And A Chance To Win Some

Introducing Cornish Kern ... And A Chance To Win Some

In The Beginning ... there was Cornish Yarg, made by Lynher Dairy. Very successful, and you could fairly descibe it as a modern classic. Now, it's taken Lynher a long, long time to produce a follow-up, but Cornish Kern is finally here. And my goodness it's been worth the wait!   read more »

My Favourite Bread: The Grant Loaf

My Favourite Bread: The Grant Loaf

In the early 1990s I had a neighbour called Lottie. And Lottie used to make this amazing wholemeal bread - bread which was quite unlike anything I'd had before. It was wholemeal but quite airy: not at all solid. The texture was unusual - you couldn't make breadcrumbs with it - but above all it had a lovely flavour. She taught me the recipe, and I've been making it ever since ...   read more »

Arancini!

Arancini!

Arancini are deep-fried rice balls with melted cheese in the middle ... and just describing it, you already know they're going to be good! Originally this Italian speciality was a way of using up leftover risotto - perhaps performing a similar function to our own pasty, i.e something a working man could take out to have for his lunch. Our recipe, by Hillside's Jay Allan, offers a slight spin on tradition: out goes mozzarella, in comes two great Somerset cheeses. The result is, frankly, hard to resist.   read more »

The Fondue Revival Starts Here

The Fondue Revival Starts Here

Recently in The Cheese Shed we've become slightly obsessed about fondue. Now - full disclosure: I had never tried it, and in fact had rather pigeon-holed it as a rather dated 70s thing. But it turns out that fondue is having a bit of a moment, being rediscovered.   read more »

Ten Years Of ... The Cheese Shed & Its Customers

Ten Years Of ... The Cheese Shed & Its Customers

I spent a really pleasant hour or so the other day updating the customer feedback on the site - pleasant because we do get a lot of very positive comments, and on that page, headed 'what our customers say', you can read feedback going back to 2010. As I read through them, it occurred to me that this area - customer service - is one we can be proud of, and ought to trumpet! So here goes. Parp!   read more »

Meet The Magnificent Seven!

Meet The Magnificent Seven!

Behind each beautifully crafted cheese we sell there's a name and a face. Because in our world cheese doesn't roll off a production line in some space-age Cheese Production Facility. It hasn't been dreamed up by marketing people or focus groups, and it's very unlikely that any flip charts have been involved. No, our cheese is made by people - by individuals - who love what they do and what they make.   read more »

Great British Cheese Awards

Great British Cheese Awards

It was an exciting day last week as I headed up to London for the announcement of the Great British Cheese Awards. We were finalists in the 'Best Speciality Cheese Retailer' category, and up against some pretty stiff competition. I arrived at the St Pancras Rennaissance Hotel to find some great names from the artisan cheese scene all waiting to find out who the winners were ...   read more »

Let's Hear It For The Chutney Makers, And One In Particular

Let's Hear It For The Chutney Makers, And One In Particular

Never apologise for liking cheese and chutney! At The Cheese Shed we absolutely love to add great chutneys and pickles to our lovely cheese - and today the spotlight is on one of the very clever makers that we work with: Clare Gault of Clare's Preserves. Oh! And there's a special offer running, if you don't hang around ...   read more »

The Sue Proudfoot Story

The Sue Proudfoot Story

Sue had done a bit of everything - taking free range eggs around Bude in a pushchair, milk churn painting, special needs work, sheep breeding ... then one day, in the late 90s, she turned to cheese. And I suppose that's when she found her vocation. ...   read more »

Autumn Cheese Cakes: The Gold Standard

Autumn Cheese Cakes: The Gold Standard

An autumn wedding is a a great opportunity to bring out all those gorgeous orange, gold and brown coloured cheeses for a cheese cake. Using our unique Cakebuilder tool you can select rich-coloured cheeses like Tornegus, Westcombe Red and Quicke's Oak-Smoked Cheddar - as seen here - or choose one of our off-the-peg cakes with the right sort of colouring. Then just decorate accordingly for the perfect autumn look!   read more »

Inside Culture: Your Guide To The New Service

Inside Culture: Your Guide To The New Service

We've offered a type of subscription for years, but began to think there was something else we could do. Something a bit more flexible, a bit less 'one-size-fits-all'. Hence - after a prolonged period maturing here in Bovey Tracey - the arrival of Culture. So what is it and how does it work?   read more »

The New Hampers: Our Top End Just Got ... Topper

The New Hampers: Our Top End Just Got ... Topper

Introducing our five new 'top of the range' hampers: Isca, Lulworth, Heligan, Plenty and Abundance ...   read more »

Smarts: Great Cheese Keeps Rolling

Smarts: Great Cheese Keeps Rolling

Monday's Bank Holiday saw this year's annual outbreak of Total And Utter Madness in Gloucestershire with the famous cheese rolling down Cooper's Hill. Every year many thousands turn up to see the competitors run, jump, slide, fall and roll (but mainly fall) down the dauntingly steep slope in pursuit of a speeding wheel of Smart's Double Gloucester weighing about three and a half kilos   read more »

Corsica, naked picnicking ... and beards

Corsica, naked picnicking ... and beards

There's got to be a 'point' to a hamper. In order to work out what should go into one, it helps if you're following an idea. To show you what I mean, here are three new hampers based around three different ideas: Corsica, naked picnicking ... and beards.   read more »

new cheeses for Summer 2016

new cheeses for Summer 2016

We're bringing in three new soft cheeses to fit in beautifully with long hot afternoons, days out and picnics on the beach. Coming from three great artisan dairies in Somerset, Dorset and Cornwall, we know they all have terrific provenance, and not only are they very different from one another, but each brings something distinctively new to our shelves.   read more »

The Not-So-Humble Cheese Sandwich

The Not-So-Humble Cheese Sandwich

This week is British Sandwich Week, so we had the idea of asking four of our friends on the local food scene in Bovey Tracey to create a sandwich based around some of our cheese. It almost started badly ...   read more »

A visit to Nethercott Farm

A visit to Nethercott Farm

A while back, we handed a cheque for £1064 to Tessa Stone, who runs the inspirational charity Farms For City Children. Tessa and I thought it would be great for me to visit Nethercott Farm in north Devon - it's one of three farms they run, and the original home of the charity which was founded by writer Michael Morpurgo and his wife Clare in 1974. It was a great trip ...   read more »

Further Off The Beaten Track: What Are Your Favourites?

Further Off The Beaten Track: What Are Your Favourites?

One of our key interests has always been to explore our region and find those great cheeses which you can't pick up on any old deli counter. Over the years we've driven the length and breadth of the Westcountry meeting cheese makers, finding out about them and what they do and, most improtantly, discovering what it is they make. Now we'd like your help.   read more »

Cheese Plus Wedding: The Perfect Partners

Cheese Plus Wedding: The Perfect Partners

Well, we had an important family wedding on Saturday where my lovely nephew Ben got married to the even lovelier Nidhi. Susie and I gave the pair a cheese wedding cake, and actually on this occasion the cheese cake shared top billing with a 'conventional' cake.   read more »

Ten Years In The Shed

Ten Years In The Shed

Unbelievably, it's coming up to 10 years since The Cheese Shed took it's first order (a lady near Honiton ordered some Keltic Gold). A magazine asked me to write a piece explaining what was behind the creation of the business, and why it is the way it is. So here's my look back at 10 years as Bovey's leading shed-based virtual cheesemonger.   read more »

Planning a Frawzy, or a Dong-Dong?

Planning a Frawzy, or a Dong-Dong?

We always knew that some people were taking the cheese cake idea and using it for events other than weddings. So there are anniversaries, leaving parties, birthdays - all sorts of 'do' where cheese might take centre stage, and where presenting it in the form of a cheese cake might add to the fun.   read more »

Spring Lambs

Spring Lambs

Spring ... lambs .... a new sheeps' milk cheese ... and a free giveaway to take us into April! Plus - another great cheese returns.   read more »

Simply Beautiful: A Cheese Cake for Spring

Simply Beautiful: A Cheese Cake for Spring

Well, we're on the cusp of Easter, and it's almost possible to believe Spring is around the corner. So I whisked five cheeses up the road to brilliant florist Kate Bainbridge of Simply Flowers, stacked them up and asked her and colleague Ellie to produce something quick, effective ... and above all, seasonal.   read more »

Easter: Is Cheese The New Chocolate?

Easter: Is Cheese The New Chocolate?

Ok, that might be pushing it. But cheese might just be starting to rival chocolate as a focus for food obsessiveness. So with Easter just around the corner we feel that cheese ought to be able to grab a bit of the limelight from the rather tired old chocolate Easter egg.   read more »

Calling Mums To Be ... and Vegetarians

Calling Mums To Be ... and Vegetarians

When you're expecting you're naturally concerned about what to eat and what not to eat, and we know that one of the things people worry about ... is cheese. So we've gone to the best source of advice - the NHS - to find out what they have to say on the subject, and we've created a gift box following that advice. Plus: we've made things easier for vegetarians!   read more »

the new hampers: a competition

the new hampers: a competition

We're very pleased with the new hampers that have recently appeared on our shelves. Each one is the result of a great deal of careful thought - trying to think of combinations that really work, a range of varied styles of hamper - in terms of both cheese and accompaniments - and of course a spread of prices. Anyway, to help get the word around about these lovely new collections, we have a competition for you!   read more »

New for January 2016!

New for January 2016!

Now this is one of my favourite things: finding great new things to add to the shelves of the Cheese Shed! For reasons to do with Christmas it's really hard to do this in the last few months of the year; now we're in the calm waters of January, however, there's a bit of space and time. Lovely. So what have we got for you? Well, no new cheese this time - but plenty of everything else ...   read more »

Ten Years Of ... Cheese Wedding Cakes

Ten Years Of ... Cheese Wedding Cakes

Our ten year anniversary is coming up. Hard to believe, but it was one day in May 2006 that I switched on the computer up in the old blue shed to find that a lady from Honiton had ordered some Keltic Gold. And with that significant birthday coming up, I've been looking back over some key aspects of the business. Cheese wedding cakes are definitely one of those ...   read more »

The Parke and Pepperdon Story

The Parke and Pepperdon Story

The story of two cheeses which have appeared in our Christmas boxes over the last few years, Pepperdon in 2013 and 2014, Parke in 2015. Made specially for us, you haven't been able to buy them anywhere else. This is how they came about ...   read more »

On the First Day of Christmas ...

On the First Day of Christmas ...

We had fun making this! Our version of The Twelve Days of Christmas has, well, a bit more cheese in it that you'd find in the regular version. We gathered together several cheesemongers and some more people who were passing The Cheese Shed at the wrong time, grouped them around the old harmonium and this is what happened.   read more »

The Connoisseurs' Collection

The Connoisseurs' Collection

One of the things we've always been interested in is finding really good cheeses from our region which either have something unusual about them, or are not widely available - or both. These are what I call 'great cheeses from off the beaten track' ...   read more »

The Christmas Cake Goes Cheese

The Christmas Cake Goes Cheese

Given that we've been busy sending out cheese cakes to the nation's weddings for years, it was only a matter of time before we thought of extending the idea to other celebrations. So take a look at this seasonal red-white-and-green beauty: a stack of six gorgeous cheeses guaranteed to cheer up any Christmas table!   read more »

Our Christmas Boxes: Hows & Whys

Our Christmas Boxes: Hows & Whys

For many of our customers, the Cheese Shed's Christmas cheese gift boxes are firm favourites which they return to again and again. In this post I explain how they work.   read more »

Westcountry Christmas Cheese

Westcountry Christmas Cheese

There just has to be cheese at Christmas. I know it. You know it. And because our big thing is telling the world about the great cheeses from this region, with Christmas approaching we want to say: our cheeses can give you everything you need for the festive season. More than any other part of the UK, the West is synonymous with dairying, and when it comes cheese types, well - we've got them all! So here's our guide to creating that perfect Westcountry Christmas cheeseboard.   read more »

The Cornish Gouda Story

The Cornish Gouda Story

A post about my trip to Talvan Farm near Looe, which proves to be a little outpost of the Netherlands in south-east Cornwall. I meet the rather amazing Giel Spieling who makes an authentic and exceptional gouda, along with parents Joost and Anne-Marie who run the farm. In the course of a trip round the dairy and lunch in the farmhouse kitchen (complete with strange Dutch apple syrup!) I learn all about how Giel and his Cornish Gouda kept one more struggling dairy farm from going under ...   read more »