I’m a big cheese fan. When I’m hungry I’d rather have a cheese and a pear than a chocolate bar or crisps. So when I was recently asked if I’d like to try a cheese box from Slate Cheese & Provisions I jumped at the chance.
My box arrived with the cheese inside in a cool bag containing three beautiful cheeses: Celtic Promise, Cashel Blue & Bosworth Ash. The cheese was accompanied by a box of crackers, a small jar of chutney and a set of tasting notes. It didn’t take me long to unpack the goodies and sit them on a board to warm up to room temperature. The aroma from the cheese was amazing so we couldn’t wait to tuck in.
My favourite was the beautifully tangy Cashel Blue which was perfect with a slightly sweeter cracker. The savoury goat’s cheese, Bosworth Ash was sublime with both a thick and gooey texture. For me, the Celtic Promise was more suited to eating with a piece of fruit such as a pear or fig; my husband on the other hand was all for piling thin slices on top of a cracker.
Having enjoyed every morsel I got in touch with the owners to find out more about Slate. Here’s what co-owner Clare Jackson told me.
“Slate is a specialist cheese retailer with two shops on the Suffolk coast, bursting with the finest artisan cheeses from the very best British and European cheese makers. We also sell cheese online at www.slatecheese.co.uk. We are passionate about cheese, especially those produced locally here in East Anglia.
We set up the business in November 2017 following my move the previous year to live in Suffolk with my husband and our three sons. Prior to that we lived in Highgate, just round the corner from my parents, visiting Suffolk at weekends and holidays. They have had a house in Suffolk for the last 35 years.
My Dad and I are both accountants and prior to Slate had no retail experience so this has been an exciting venture for us, learning to run the shops and exploring the world of cheese. Last week we were thrilled to win a national award “Best Newcomer” in the Guild of Fine Food “Shop of the Year” competition (https://gff.co.uk/uks-independent-food-retailers-crowned-at-shop-of-the-year-2019/).
Our online shop was launched in November 2018. We deliver cheese by overnight courier within mainland UK. Our website is designed to offer lots of cheese tasting notes and share tips from our team, as if you were visiting one of our Slate shops. We champion local produce with a menu of East Anglian cheeses and offer a number of mouth-watering cheese selections and gift hampers.
In both our Southwold and Aldeburgh shops we have a magnificent “wall of cheese” which we hope tempts customers to enjoy their favourite cheeses and discover some new ones. Our staff are friendly and knowledgeable. They have all received specialist cheese training and aim to share their enthusiasm for cheese with every customer offering tasters; sharing information about where and how the cheeses are made; and helping to create fabulous cheeseboard selections. Alongside our cheese we have a fantastic range of cheese accompaniments and can offer pairing advice for crackers, chutneys, nuts and preserves.
It is our aim at Slate to share the excitement we have for cheese. Each month we showcase a “cheese of the month” which is new, tasting great or recently award-winning. We post regular journal articles on our website to share news of team visits to local cheese makers and other gems of cheese-related information!
We also have our Slate Cheese Club. Members receive a monthly box of three carefully selected cheeses with complementary crackers and full tasting notes. Membership of our Cheese Club makes the perfect gift for tricky-to-buy for food lovers. Alternatively, join to ensure a perfectly curated selection of cheese in great condition arrives at your own door each month for you to enjoy old favourites and discover new artisan cheeses. Membership starts at £75 for three boxes which can be delivered monthly or bi-monthly for three or six months.”
Aldeburgh and Southwold are both beautiful places to visit and give you a great excuse to pop into a Slate shop. If you’re not heading that way soon but fancy some delicious cheese, the subscription option is a lovely treat whether you dabble occasionally or are the Grande Camembert of cheese eatery!
For more information visit www.slatecheese.co.uk or email saycheese