Cheese shopping at Neal’s Yard Dairy in London!
We are in London for a Jeff Beck concert at the Royal Albert Hall, and took the liberty to turn the entire week into a long city trip!
We are staying at the beautiful Pan Pacific hotel near Liverpool Street subway station, the perfect way to visit this gorgeous city flashing your Oyster card!
Are you a salty tooth? And a cheese lover?
Then you should keep on reading because I want to talk to you about a stunning cheese shop in London today, folks!
Pardon my French, are you a cheese obsessionist(a) just like we are? Or even worse than that? We want to talk about a really nice and cheesy spot in London here today.
I said spot but let’s make that plural because this extraordinary Britain cheese chain has got more than one shop in this lil’ funky British town.
Well, quite a few as a matter of fact.
We are talking about Neal’s Yard Dairy.
Neal’s Yard Dairy (London)
We first bumped into Neal’s magnificently pungent world a couple of years ago while we were visiting London’s Borough Market. That must have been in the beginning of February.
We were freezing our asses off that day, our toes as good as numb. But we kept on stubbornly following our tourist guide book that promised to take us on a foodie tour in and around the market.
Proved to be worthwhile. Pork belly sandwiches, hot Thai and Indian curries, burgers, mediterranean mezze, game…
Our tour also brought us in front of Neal’s Yard Dairy cheese shop.
We just died and went to cheese heaven.
We decided that it was time for an appetizer and munched away on tiny samples of cheese offered by the staff. I remember we went for a generous slice of rich Hawes Wensleydale cheese from North Yorkshire, England.
We also bought a coarse salt and thyme bun at Borough Market a little further.
Enough history, back to reality!
We are in London again a couple of years later, tourist guide on iPhone this time and on a walking trip around the Covent Garden area.
But look who is also here: the other Neal’s Dairy Yard shop!
Sounds like we’re in for a second early evening cheese snack.
Cheese heaven @ Neal’s Yard Dairy
But our e-guide sends us wrongly into the tourist nest at Covent Garden, claiming the cheese shop is right there. Not. Hubby asks 5 waiters where we can find it but they haven’t heard of the place before. At last a stall vendor points us in the right direction.
That is how 3 years later we are back on Neal’s Yard Dairy threshold with an appetite!
This shop is smaller than the one near Borough Market but the collection of cheeses is equally impressive.
See, that is what makes it so interesting for us. We know quite something about French cheeses but English cheeses are pretty much unknown grounds.
Cheddar, that is about it.
Oh and stilton.
I bet that the minute you walk into this Neal’s Yard Dairy shop you will start to wonder why you haven’t heard about English cheeses before.
The staff is pretty busy behind the counter helping other customers so we wait in line for our turn to come. A very polite and friendly lad in a tidy uniform soon asks if he can help.
My husband explains that we are here in London for the last night and plan on taking a couple of their lush cheese home with us. So how about 4 cheeses, my husband says to the lad.
He is free to choose which ones but we want at least one cheddar and one blue cheese, and all made with raw milk of course.
Excellent says the lad and starts to take us on a brief tour, slicing off bits of cheese to sample so we can decide which ones we like. I like this service. Prompt and friendly staff members who know what they are talking about.
About 5 minutes later we have made our choice.
I ask him for the names of the cheeses so I can write them down but he says he will label each cheese separately. Nice, thanks!
So here are the goodies from Neal’s Yard Dairy that we took back home with us…
Our choice @ Neal’s Yard Dairy
1. St. James
Made of unpasteurized sheep’s milk by Martin Gott at Holker Farm Dairy, Cumbria.
Rich and creamy cheese with a beautiful thin rind.
I liked this cheese best served at room temperature.
See how it oozes out!
2. Kirkham’s Lancashire
Made of unpasteurized cow’s milk by Graham Kirkham at Lower Beesley Farm, Lancashire.
The description says is all: buttery, crumbly, rich, with a pleasant dairy flavor and the necessary salty tangs.
I believe that this one is my favorite!
3. Montgomery’s Cheddar
Made of unpasteurized cow’s milk by Jamie Montgomery and Steve Bridges at Manor Farm, Somerset.
Beautifully crumbly and dry but still creamy in the mouth, nutty with sweet and salty accents.
This one is made with unpasteurized organic cow’s milk by Joe Schneider at Collingthwaite Farm, Nottinghamshire.
A lovely blue cheese, very rich and creamy, nutty and sweet.
Crumbled it on top of a fresh lettuce, red cabbage soup or a pecan nut salad.
We pay a total of £15,25 for 1 lb (450 g) of English cheeses, ask the lad where the best pub nearby is (he recommends the Cross Keys, indeed a very good choice) and walk out into the early evening hubbub.
Neal’s Yard Dairy (Borough Market)
8 Park Street
Neal’s Yard Dairy (Covent Garden)
17 Shorts Gardens