Despite somewhat freezing weather, the area around the Glassboat Restaurant on Welshback was, for an afternoon, transformed into a buzzing, lively market full of stalls showing off some of the best artisan cheeses from local suppliers.
As I was approaching the venue, the first thing that greeted me – besides the happy bustle usually associated with any lively fair – was a pleasant and very familiar smell – cheese on toast! My imagination began to run wild as I joined dozens of others hoping to find something to please their taste buds.
Trethowan’s Dairy, Keens Cheddar, Papa Deli – all were displaying some of their best produce next to stalls from Bath Ales, Great Western Wine, Lido and Wayne the wood craftsman. There was something for everyone, from handmade ricotta (made by Lido) and Hafod, Welsh organic cheddar (Holden Farm dairy) to cheeses such as Vacherin Mont-d’Or & Picos Blue, and just about everything you could need to go with them.
The first thing that caught my eye was a small stall run by Angela Morris and Tim Homewood. They were offering a selection of handmade pickles and condiments alongside their homemade curd cheese called Old Demike (apparently named after one of the Pendle Witches).
As I headed towards Trethowan’s Dairy Shop stall, the busiest of them all, it became very clear just how enthusiastic some Bristolians are about their food. An elderly couple was in the middle of a very passionate discussion with Ben Ticehurst, one of Trethowan’s own, about their purchases. A large selection was on offer – Gorwydd Caerphilly (Trethowan’s signature creamy cheese), Dorstone & Ragstone (local goats cheeses) and Stichelton Blue.
For those looking to find something more unusual, the Papa Deli stall had organic honey, Membrillo (Quince paste), Queso Tetilla (a mild, soft cheese), Manchego (the most famous Spanish cheese), olives and countless other food items on display.
There was something for everyone. All of the cheeses on display looked absolutely irresistible and so I have to admit that I left the market with my fair share of them.
It was a wonderful afternoon out…despite the weather I had a great time browsing through the stalls and we certainly enjoyed the cheese platter that we had for dinner the following night!