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Saturday, 9 May 2009

Smashin' bit of Blue Stilton

Sometimes it is nice to discover new places in your neighbourhood and slightly beyond and last Thursday was one of those days. My neighbour Jo and I went out to an area of countryside that borders Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. I don’t drive so she kindly drove us around and originally the couple of hours trip was just going to be to the Tall Trees plant nursery and tea rooms. You know how I love a cup of tea.

The Tall Trees tea room was ok but nothing to get overly excited about, except if you are a buyer of fresh English and exotic tea leaves and coffee beans from around the world. They have a very good selection all housed in large jars. We had some Assam tea and a bit of cake for me and Jo purchased some coffee beans. A pretty peacock squawked a lot and I took a photo. The plant nursery looked a bit run down and there were masses of weeds under the display trays. I all looked a bit uncared for to be honest. The tea was nice and the coffee cake had a good coffee bean crunch to it. The machinery below is a coffee roasting machine.

Moving on we travelled a few miles up the road to the village of Lowdham and mulled around the tiny bookshop and got offered a free coffee as part of their service which we declined. It is a sweet little bookshop and even runs writing and reading festivals throughout the year and has attracted major authors in the past.

There were young children coming out of school as we left the bookshop and drove off to a pub in Colston Bassett. It is a very pleasant drive through the English Wolds of south Nottinghamshire but sadly the pub was closed when we got there. Shame because I was gasping for a lovely pint of Abbott’s Ale. Undaunted, we crossed the road, past the old Colston Bassett Market Cross (a National Trust property) and on to the old Post Office that is now a deli, gift shop and tea shop. The renovation of the old dilapidated Post Office was beautiful and a treat for the eyes and stomach. They sell a variety of cheeses and cooked and cured meats and one of the cheeses is the famous Colston Bassett creamy Blue Stilton cheese. Have a look at their beautiful website for a much more in depth virtual taste of this scrummy cheese.

Cheese, I should never have mentioned cheese, now I can’t get the actor Peter Sallis’s voice out of my head. “More cheese, Gromitt? Smashin’ bit of cheese.” Although I think Wallace’s favourite is Wensleydale if I’m not mistaken.


Anonymous said...

Of all the delicious cheeses I've eaten, I've never had the opportunity to taste Stilton. That hunk looks so good.

Emily said...

What an inspirational place! Looks like it has a wealth of great produce, not just the stilton!

janilizi said...

Hi I really enjoy reading your blog, as an east midlander who lives not too far away in the west mids which oh so different but ok. I have to say that Cropwell Bishop Stilton is much nicer in my opinion!

Gail's Man said...

Hi Phil, I'm not a cheese fan, except for Philadelphia, so I can't really share your enthusiasm for the smelly stuff. Never been to Lowdham, looks a good photographic village. Did you take many photos while you were there for showing on Flickr?

G said...

"Cracking cheese lad". Hehe.

I love Stilton. It is the king of cheeses and even surpasses the finest of French Brie's or Camemberts.
When I am in Minnesota I visit 'The Cheese Factory' just over the Mississippi into Wisconsin. They make something near to a cheddar, the best cheese you will ever get in the whole of the USA. As well as cheese making they also sell foods and wines from around the world. Guess which wonderful smelly blue you can get there? Yep. Colston Basset Stilton. Always tempted to buy it if I ever get the urge but the $7 (£5) a wedge price tends to make it less appetising. Still, at least I know it is there for emergencies. You cannot put a price on a dang good cheese and some good red wine.

Looks like you had a lovely day with a lovely lady.

hectoria said...

Thanks to Waitrose & Sainsburys I can get Cropwell Bishop stilton in Newcastle.As I come from Cropwell I have to like it but have to confess that it took me about 30 years to get over the smell of blue stilton. White stilton, when fresh, is also good.

French Fancy said...

Is that Jo that makes the jam? Pretty as well as skilled with preservatives.

I love stilton

feasting-on-pixels (terrie) said...

Lovely cheese too bad I can no longer eat this as it was started with a bread mold.

Looks as though you had a lovely date with a beautiful woman...well done you.

Anonymous said...

It must have been a really delightful day. I'm seriously jealous!


Phil Lowe said...

I'm amazed at all the places that you guys have said that Stilton turns up - even as far as some remote spots in the USA!

It was a very nice trip out with my friend and neighbour, Jo.