“ Address: The Cliffs Cheddar BS27 3QA / Somerset „
Cheese I have to be honest love it and although I am a fan of french cheese I truly believe you cannot beat a good bit of cheddar. So on a recent visit to my Sister-in-Law when decieded to start on visit with a trip to Cheddar yes we admired the gorge but no not for us a visit to the caves instead a trip to the sweet kitchen and the Cheddar Cheese Company.
What is it ?
Well this is the home of cheddar and a cheese lovers paradise this shop stocks everything cheddar and best of all you can try and the variety is extensive from chilli cheddar to cave aged and blue cheddar to oak smoked if you can think of the flavour they stock it my own personal favourite was the extra mature which was strong, yet mellow and unlike some strong cheddars the flavour didnt linger in your mouth afterwards.
The shop also stocks biscuits to go with the cheddar , a stock of goast cheeses and chutneys and jams my favourite was the chilli jam just lovely.
I felt that the prices were reasonable considering the area and the quality of the product the most expensive is the cave aged and that is £4.69 for 190g this is a cheddar for a cheese board not for a cheese and cucumber sandwich!
A jar of chutney will cost about £3.25 again this is top glass products and the price doesnt reflect this in regards to quality.
Where is it?
The cheddar gorge cheese company is situated in Cheddar Gorge postcode BS27 3QA. Cheddar is a tourist location and is well sign posted in the area, Car parking is easy to locate and their is plenty of it although in peak season you may have a walk however there is plenty to see and so this is no hardship.
You can also order this delicious cheddar on line at cheddargorgecheese.co.uk.
Well not only can you try every type of cheddar your heart desires you can also watch the cheese being made at an additional cost of £2.25 with a max of two under 16's per Adult going free I am sure this would be interesting and done very well unfourtunetally due to illness that is something for next time.
Cheddar is a great place to visit and the shops would thrill both shopaholics and foodies alike the Gorge is a spot of beauty and a great place to walk of the cheddar! The caves are amazing and worth a visit.
When I first came to live in the West Country one thing I never really gave a lot of thought to is the differences I would find to my diet. Coming from and living in the West Midlands for most of my life I wasn't used to farm produce, fresh fish and the only cheese I'd really ever consumed was packaged stuff lol.
Moving on in the three years I have now been here I now go to Cheddar Gorge for fresh cheese, jam and cider in the main, aplace not only famous for the caves you can pay and visit but for the shops. I go to a farm shop for my fruit and veggies, a stand on the side of the road that sells freshly laid eggs and I have to admit my diet is so much better and richer for living here and I do think you should make the most of local produce and support it whoever you possibly can.
Nowadays I wouldn't dream of buying pre-packed and/or supermarket cheese or chutneys and weekly I go to Cheddar Gorge to get some.
This shop is the best one for variety, prices and famous for not only selling cheese but its the only shop there that actually makes the cheese on site and stores some cheeses (like Chuckle or Extra Mature cheddar) in the caves and if you go on a visit to the caves you will see these massive like boulders of the stuff stored up high to take on the crystal and water the cave gives off to give them an extra dimension flavour wise.
The Shop itself:
The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company
So that's the address but hey not everyone can get to the shop of course. Not to worry though you can order it online as well, which is what my parents now do as they love this cheese shop when I take them down there and like me they are now very partial to 'fresh' cheese.
So the shop itself is really nicely presented. Its not a huge store, it is child and wheelchair friendly and around the edges of the store there are refrigerators with a variety of cheeses in and also sets of cheeses, some with boards, some with cheese knives and the likes. As you walk in you are greeted by a small table with small pieces of oat cakes which this shop specialise in and then you usually get three chutneys to try here and there are little spoons and you can help yourself to try them and the ones on offer are stacked there and this of course is to try to encourage us to buy them. Further up the store there are again pieces of oatcakes and spoons this time there are chilli sauces to try, a delicacy here is to have on oatcakes with cheese and you get a sweet chilli jam like product right through to a jalapeño one with a warning that its very hot on it and again all these products are close by to buy and chutneys and sauces are about £3.45 a glass jar full.
Then in a massive u shape you have a large wooden counter, usually manned by about 4-5 smartly uniformed staff and here you have about 25 different cheeses you can sample. The cheese is stored under large shiny silver domes, the person serving grabs you a tiny piece and you take it off the knife. You can try one or two, or all if you want to. Me I have to admit I have tried them all but my particular favourites are the chuckle cheese (matured in the cave), natural blue (my favourite I buy weekly and this usually has £2.00 off a block as well on offer), I like the yeast cheese (this is Marmite cheese but they are not allowed to call it that, instead next to the dome there is a huge jar of marmite though giving the game away) and I also like just the normal mild cheddar from here. I do not like port or chilli cheese and they do do Vegetarian cheeses and the likes. My only moan is they don't do Somerset Brie here and I love that so I have to go to another shop to grab that and they also don't do jams or anything.
Prices really vary here on the cheese depending on what you go for and the size of course and you can pay by credit/debit or cash and there is a cash machine inside this store as well (just to encourage you to spend of course lol). You can however spend as little as about £1.50 on a small amount of cheese right up to pounds and pounds a block, so there is something for every kind of budget here.
The staff are incredibly knowledgeable about the products and the process it takes to make cheese, you do not get followed about the store or mithered though at weekends the place does get absolutely packed solid with tourists and I find it best to nip down at the end of play really as I know what I'm getting already.
There is plenty of parking in the area though it is all play and display really as it is a tourist attraction, as there are other shops nearby (another of my favourite shops here is Wilcox) which sells not only some cheeses though they are not made in Cheddar they do, do lots and lots of different ciders (including 'raw' cider), jams, pickles and the likes though to park here is expensive though one of the car parks providing there are spaces do free parking after 3.30pm though of course this shop closes at 4.pm every day of the week. After all the munching on the oat cakes and sauces and cheese the are public loos close by and places to stop and get refreshed from little tiny cafes to a large and busy pub.... take your pick!
This is my favourite place to grab my cheese and I think the prices are excellent and of course I can see clearly the prices so I know what to expect from the cash out. I never leave without a jar of sweet onion chutney and some natural blue cheese x's two blocks though I don't like their new oat biscuits since they changed the brand they use in the shop a couple of months back.
I recommend this place wholeheartedly. Fabulous products, fabulous quality and pop them in the fridge they last ages (though my stuff always gets eaten all too fast). Even if you can't pay them a visit its worth trying my local cheese and chutney believe me and for that you simply need to log onto wwwcheddarcheeseco.co.uk!