The UK now produces close to 1,000 different varieties of cheese, with new ones hitting shop shelves every month. But without the incredible cheesemongers and cheese shops that sell them, there would be no way to buy them. That’s why, together with our friends at Great British Chefs, we’ve put together this guide to some of the best cheesemongers in the UK. Next time you’re after a few wedges, truckles or wheels of incredible British artisan cheese, be sure to visit one of these independent businesses.
SOUTH WEST & WALES
Country Cheeses has two other shops in Devon (Totnes and Topsham), but the Tavistock branch is the original. Starting out as a market stall, owners Elise and Gary Jungheim eventually decided to set up a permanent shop to celebrate the incredible cheeses of the South West. They took home the title of Britain’s Best Cheese Retailer at the Great British Cheese Awards 2016.
Market Road, Tavistock, Devon, PL19 0BW.
Winning Best Cheese Retailer at the Great British Cheese Awards in 2017, The Bristol Cheesemonger is owned by Rosie Morgan. Housed inside a shipping container at Bristol’s trendy Wapping Wharf development, it’s home to a perfectly curated selection of the South West’s best cheeses.
Unit 8, Museum Street, Bristol, BS1 6ZA.
A beautiful little shop in Bath, The Fine Cheese Co. curates its selection of cheeses carefully to ensure only the best varieties are on offer. It also sells all the various crackers, chutneys, boards and knives you could ever need.
29–31 Walcot Street, Bath, BA1 5BN.
A fantastic little cheese shop in Cardiff, Madame Fromage is home to over 150 different types of cheese at any one time. The original site proved so popular that a second one opened round the corner with restaurants serving simple but delicious menus throughout the day.
21 Castle Arcade, Cardiff, CF10 1BW.
LONDON & THE SOUTH EAST
The flagship store is on Jermyn Street, London, but there are other branches in Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath and the Cotswolds. This is one of the oldest cheesemongers in the UK, and has a fantastic array of cheese from both the UK and beyond.
93 Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6JE.
Probably the most respected cheese shop in Britain, Neal’s Yard is responsible for spearheading the nation’s artisan cheese movement and only stocks and sells cheeses it ages itself to ensure the very best quality. There’s another shop at Borough Market, too.
17 Shorts Gardens, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9AT.
With several shops across London, this highly respected cheesemonger not only sells the world’s best cheeses – it serves lots of cheese-filled dishes too. There are always plenty of happy staff to help you choose the right varieties to boot.
2–6 Moxon Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 4EW.
The people of Battersea have been getting their cheese fix from Hamish Johnston since 1994, and since then it has evolved into one of the top cheese shops in London. They put an emphasis on how important it is to taste what you’re buying, so expect plenty of free tasters to help you find the cheese that’s right for you.
48 Northcote Road, London, SW11 1PA.
A traditional deli in the centre of Birmingham with an incredible cheese counter, Anderson & Hill has been supplying the city with great cheese since 2010. There’s a huge selection to choose from and the team are more than happy to help you find the cheese best suited to your needs.
7 Colmore Row, Great Western Arcade, Birmingham, B2 5HU.
Selling cheese since 1990 means the team at The Mousetrap Cheese Shop have decades of experience and knowledge to share. Every week they single out a particularly good cheese (with plenty of free samples), but the shop’s full range is one of the most comprehensive in the UK. There are also branches in Ludlow and Leominster.
30 Church Street, Hereford, HR1 2LR.
Combining an incredible cheese shop with a museum, café and cheese production room, The Courtyard Dairy has become a must-visit destination for any fromageophile. Owners Andy and Kathy Swinscoe have an unsurpassed knowledge of artisan cheese, and stock the best varieties from across the UK.
Crows Nest Barn, Austwick, Lancaster, LA2 8AS.
In the same tiny village as Simon Rogan’s incredible L’Enclume restaurant, Cartmel Cheeses adds another gastronomic string to the area’s culinary bow. There are some fantastic British cheeses on offer, but the local varieties made in tiny batches are a particularly strong reason to visit.
23 Ford Road, Cartmel, Grange-over-Sands, LA11 6QD.
Leeds’ only cheesemonger is also one of the best in England, specialising in the incredible cheeses of Yorkshire (although they do stock some from further afield, too). Taste your way through a few varieties to see which you like, then pair them with a bottle of wine or a local ale for the full cheeseboard experience.
140 Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, LS7 4NZ.
The Cheese Hamlet was established way back in 1960 and has won over forty awards in its time, making it the best place to find good cheese in Manchester. Stocking cheese from all over the world, it’s where you’ll find particularly good examples of Swiss cheeses – after all, they were awarded the Gold Medal of Honour from the Swiss Cheese Union.
706 Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2DW.
One of Scotland’s finest cheesemongers, George Mewes specialises in the types of cheese you’ll never see in the supermarkets. With another shop in Edinburgh, both sites ensure the cheese is kept in the best conditions for maximum flavour.
106 Byres Road, Glasgow, G12 8TB.
With three shops in Edinburgh, one in Glasgow and another in St Andrews, I.J Mellis is a textbook example of how we’ve grown to love artisan cheese in the UK. Specialising in farmhouse cheeses – many of which are matured in cellars in-house – there are plenty of complex flavours and lesser-known varieties to choose from.
30 Victoria Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2JW.
While it isn’t a dedicated cheesemongers, the cheese counter at Arcadia is one of Northern Ireland’s finest, with an incredible array of the country’s artisan cheeses on offer. There are some great varieties from the Republic of Ireland, too, and plenty of crackers and chutneys to go along with them.
378 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 6JL.
Guide and imagery courtesy of Great British Chefs