If you want to spend your student loan on the right kind of cheese, The Cheese Hamlet is the place to go.
Located on Wilmslow Road past Withington and towards East Didsbury, it sports a white and dark colour palette and the compact shop can be easy to miss.
However, its distinctive interior is hard to forget and at times hard to take in. The Cheese Hamlet utilises all possible space which can often make it feel jam packed with customers. However, with a shop as eclectic as this, the more stock the better.
Its selection of artisanal cheese is geographically varied consisting of British, French, and others from mainland Europe. They, of course, have the staples you would expect such as an array of Stiltons, Cheddars, and Manchegos. But they also sell many other less well known, yet just as delicious Picos, Perl Las, and Perl Wen to name a few. Their assortment weighs heavier on the blue and hard cheeses. There are also a huge variety of soft and semi soft cheeses, with the shop containing a huge stock of Stinking Bishops, Bries, Camemberts to name a few.
For my personal taste I find that the goat cheeses lack variety and also lack strength in terms of taste.
Those who visit cheese-mongers regularly may find that their stock isn’t quite as niche as some others. However, this doesn’t detract from the overall quality of their cheeses.
Despite the quality, the stock can be hard to distinguish because the cheeses are placed on shelves behind the counter which can be hard to read. There have also been some instances where I haven’t been offered a taste of the cheese before purchasing and have had to ask — always taste if you’re unsure. Despite this, the staff are still friendly and knowledgeable about their stock. Additionally, the shop also sells a variety of unique meats, condiments, wine, and crackers, all perfect for pairing.
Every cheese has its own definable, idiosyncratic characteristics gifted to it through its creation and maturation. So if you’re fed up with Sainsbury’s basics or you just want to feel a little sophisticated in the last term of university, make the trip. You won’t be disappointed.