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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Creating a perfect Cheese Board with Matthew's Cheese Shop | The Grainger Market, Newcastle

*This is a collaborative post

We love our cheese here at North East Family Fun HQ and we're definitely not one of those families who only save it for special occasions - life's too short to deprive yourself of nice things! We have passed this love of cheese onto our children and after visiting Northumberland Cheese Farm and taking a tour around their cheese factory where we learned all about the process of cheese making, Jack (aged 5) is now absolutely obsessed with nettle cheese of all things! He's a funny one!

Creating a perfect Cheese Board with Matthew's Cheese Shop | The Grainger Market, Newcastle

We don't manage to get to the Grainger Market as often as we would like (why can't it be on our doorstep) but we probably visit once every 3 weeks or so to stock up on ingredients and our trip nearly always involves a visit to Matthew's Cheese Shop. You'll find them tucked in the corner of the market next to the French Oven and the plant stalls. We will always buy our parmesan from here and you will honestly not find a better selection of cheese anywhere else in the North East. 

Matthew's Cheese Shop sells over 200 types of cheese from around the world from the humble cheddar to something more exotic and even seasonal flavours. I was delighted with some of their special Christmas cheeses when I popped in this week. How nice does Mince Pie Wensleydale sound!

Creating a perfect Cheese Board with Matthew's Cheese Shop | The Grainger Market, Newcastle - cheese counter

The beauty of buying your cheese from a specialist shop is that it has that personal touch. You can buy as much or little as you need and ask staff for recommendations. The staff are so lovely and very personable. Nothing is too much trouble. You might be shocked by the prices too - they are very reasonable!

Creating a Cheese Board with Matthew's Cheese Shop


We have a festive tradition of creating a Cheese board to enjoy for supper every Christmas Eve (and on Christmas Day night). This year we even went as far as creating a Cheese Board Pinterest Board for inspiration. Yes, it's serious business! Nothing makes me sadder than walking past the cheese boards you find in the supermarket at this time of year. I've tried these before and the cheese is never anything outstanding. They all just look very 'samey'. We're all about creating a unique cheese board that we will both love. For us, food at Christmas time is a big deal and not the time of year to be buying something generic.

Creating a perfect Cheese Board with Matthew's Cheese Shop | The Grainger Market, Newcastle - cheese board

The lovely staff at Matthew's Cheese Shop prepared us our very own cheese board this Christmas. At this time of year you do need to give them 2-3 days notice as they're pretty busy but pop by and have a chat and they'll always do their best to help. 

Creating a perfect Cheese Board with Matthew's Cheese Shop | The Grainger Market, Newcastle - wrapped cheese board gift

The process couldn't be easier - you just need to tell them your budget, which cheeses you would like or if you need any recommendations they'll happily help you choose the perfect cheeses for your very own bespoke board. There is no order too big (they had just finished a corporate order for 100 cheese boards when I popped down) or too small.

Creating a perfect Cheese Board with Matthew's Cheese Shop | The Grainger Market, Newcastle

Matthew's Cheese Shop will go that extra mile and as well as properly wrapping each cheese individually for you, they'll also wrap the whole board with cellophane and top with a bow. I just LOVE that their logo has pride of place in the middle too - a nice reminder that you're shopping local. I think you'd have to agree that a cheese board from Matthew's Cheese Shop would also make a wonderful gift. If you've been invited to somebody's house over the festive period, I bet you'll earn huge brownie points if you turn up with one of these.

Our Cheese Selection


Creating a perfect Cheese Board with Matthew's Cheese Shop | The Grainger Market, Newcastle - cheese selection including Blackstick blue

Steve and I are at oppostite ends of the spectrum when it comes to cheese. He loves anything blue where as I prefer something with a nice crumble. I did try some stilton again during our trip to Edinburgh last week when we shared a Scottish cheese board and a bottle of wine. Nope, it still definitely isn't for me. Seriously all I can taste is mould! Cheese is such a personal thing isn't it! Steve absolutely adored the Stilton from Matthew's Cheese Shop and said it was pretty much one of the best he'd tried. If you like Stilton, give it a go.

Creating a perfect Cheese Board with Matthew's Cheese Shop | The Grainger Market, Newcastle

Over Christmas, my favourite cheese is Wensleydale and Cranberry. I can't get enough (I recommend cutting yourself a wedge and serving with a slice of Christmas cake - you won't regret it). I mentioned this to the staff and they recommended I try their Wensleydale with Cranberry and Kirsh. Wow - cheese just stepped up a level, it was very indulgent and a perfect recommendation for me.

Creating a perfect Cheese Board with Matthew's Cheese Shop | The Grainger Market, Newcastle

I could rave about the cheeses we tried all day - I love that there are so many unusual flavours to choose from and a lot of the cheeses on offer I just haven't seen anywhere else. 'Garlic Green Thunder', 'Afterburn', 'Lemon Crumble', 'Orange and Champagne' and 'Cranberry & Kirsh' were my favourites where as Steve loved 'Blackstick Blue', 'Blue Stilton' and 'Dulce de Bourgogne'.

Creating a perfect Cheese Board with Matthew's Cheese Shop | The Grainger Market, Newcastle

Cheese and wine go hand in hand and we teamed our cheese with a nice bottle of red from the Pip Stop (another local trader we love). We went for the classic Pip Stop Merlot which was a perfect pairing we thought.

We picked a large cheese board with 10 types of cheese and I am confident it is going to last us throughout December. It's the perfect treat to have in your fridge and dip into when you're peckish or have friends over.

Before you pick up a cheese board with your supermarket shop this Christmas, please remember this post and consider supporting our local cheese shop instead. I always worry that if enough people don't use these services, we'll be left with only the supermarket as an option and nobody wants that.



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Creating a perfect Cheese Board with Matthew's Cheese Shop | The Grainger Market, Newcastle

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4 comments

  1. OMG Sam what have you done to me! It's 9am and I'm drooling for cheese. You've sold this so well I'm actually going to go down to get one. We are HUGE cheese fans here. I love nothing more than a cheese board and we often have one Xmas eve, Xmas night and NYE too. So great we have all this locally and I've never actually bought any from there which is shameful. I think I'll head down Saturday. As usual we have the same taste in food. Although I like both cheese you and Steve like. To be honest it's rare I find a cheese I don't like. I'm laughing that jack loves nettle cheese, that's fab! He's such a character isn't he.

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  2. This looks absolutely incredible! Can you believe I never had a cheese board until I was 23? I was amazed to learn there was a course after pudding! I'm not a fan of anything with fruit in (or 'bits' as I call them!) but that garlic one looks right up my street!

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  3. Oh wow! This is insane!!!! We need to convince Simon how great cheese is, unfortunately he doesn't get it which means I can't have a cheeseboard cos I'd end up eating the entire thing myself!!! How do we convince him!?

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  4. Ooh man I just cannot get away with cheese unless it's melted 😭 🧀 Alan would love this though!

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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