Nice venue, a smart golf course in central Southern England. A number of us had gathered for the annual Christmas get together, as so many business do. The menu looked fine, I had the smoked Salmon, and then the steak, when it comes to the afters, I am always a bit more circumspect. I settled for the pavlova, you might ask why not the cheese platter, why not support the cheese industry? The answer is simple, the cheese offering is normally pathetic, and you come away disappointed and frustrated. My instincts were correct on this occasion. ‘The Cheese Platter’ was embarrassingly depressing, a Brie, with absolutely no flavour. A Red Leicester, why a Red Leicester? I know not, that you could have played tennis with. We won’t even mention the ‘Yellow congealed paste’ I assumed to be ‘Cheddar’, and a Blue that did pass the test. They then went on to fill the plate until it overflowed with Cream Crackers and three grapes. Why do these places always get the cheese wrong? All they have to do is halve the amount of cheese and buy better quality, easy really! There are competitions for best cheese board, perhaps we ought to start one for the worst cheese board, these guys stand a good chance.
Some nice surprises at the end of November. Stoney Cross was selected to be in the final 3 at the Hampshire Life Food Awards. Competing against Miss Witts Chocolate and Charcuterie from Parsonage Farm. We managed to make the grade, completing a very successful year for the cheese. We have made a number of Stoney Cross 1kg truckles again this year, and will be on sale at all the Farmers Markets we go to.
Not to be out done Old Winchester and the Lyburn Smoked turned in two Bronzes at the World cheese awards in Birmingham, but well beaten by Tunworth and Barkham who both took Gold.