The Etivaz is in

We love Andy Swinscoe’s little cheese shop, the Courtyard Dairy in Settle. And, oh boy … what he doesn’t know about cheese isn’t worth knowing, so when he tells you that the Etivaz is in, it’s time to listen.

Swinscoe_Courtyard_DairyIt might sound like an anagram, but actually Etivaz is an Alpine cheese made on small farms during the summer months between May and October. I bought some last Christmas and can confirm it is superb with a wonderful flavour that suggests something deep and ancient. Andy describes it as a cross between aged Gruyère and Comté, but ‘with an extra depth of flavour from being made over an open fire’.  Watch his film of the Swiss couple making their Etivaz in a chalet up a mountain, right out of a scene from Heidi. And when you’ve seen it, go order your cheese!





Top Christmas Cheeses

Courtyard DairyWe raved about Andy and Kathy Swinscoe’s fabulous shop, the Courtyard Dairy in Settle last Christmas and make no apology for doing so again this year. It’s where we buy our Christmas cheeses and you should too.

Take a look at his awards: Cheesemonger of the Year, (World Cheese Awards 2013); Top 20 Cheese Shops in the World (Daily Telegraph 2015); Runner Up – Best Independent Retailer (Observer Food Monthly 2015).

Andy’s a lovely chap, too. Last year Squidbeak spent an entertaining evening with him at Outside the Box in Ilkley where we ran a Christmas Quiz and Andy gave a cheese tasting. He’s a great speaker and a cheese expert like no other. As an affineur he knows how to look after his cheeses, bring them on and sell them in perfect condition.

If you can’t get to Settle, you can still buy your cheese online and if you order before 30 November and mention Squidbeak, you will receive a special £5 voucher to spend in the new year.

So with this in mind, we asked Andy to put together three Christmas cheeseboards. This is what he came up with.


The Courtyard 014Christmas with a Twist:

A mix of farm-made and award winning cheeses.  A buttery tangy 12-month Cheddar; a creamy rich Lancashire; a powerful British Camembert and a fresh light-goats milk.  All topped off with Stichelton – a rich toasty unpasteurised blue that gives the best Stilton’s a run for their money.


New Cheeses on the Block: 

Britain’s artisan cheese scene is blooming. Champion the best of British cheeses by serving four of the newest creations: a fresh, creamy goats’ milk; a nutty, butterscotch-hard, Alpine-style; the running and ripe Rollright and a brilliant smooth blue with an amazing depth of flavour.


World Cheese Award Winners: 

Every year the World Cheese Awards gingerly gives out ‘Super Golds’ to the best 50 cheeses in the world.  This box includes four of these amazing and sought-after ‘Super Golds’: the fruity aromatic Capra Nouveau; a fresh, lactic Caerphilly; tangy and powerful vintage Old Winchester and the smooth and creamy Cote Hill Blue.


Order before 30th November and get a £5 voucher for 2016

(* £5 voucher redeemable in Jan – March 2016; please mention on the checkout that you heard about the Courtyard Dairy through Squidbeak to get your voucher)


The Ultimate Christmas Cheeseboard

Squidbeak have long flown the flag for the wonderful Courtyard Dairy in Settle. Andy and Kathy Swinscoe opened their specialist cheese shop in 2012 and have since picked up every cheese award going: Best Cheese Retailer at the 2013 British Cheese Awards; Cheesemonger of the Year at the World Cheese Awards 2013 oh and more.

Now they are stocking up on their Christmas cheeses. Have a browse of their website where Andy explains how to put together a memorable Christmas cheeseboard.

StOswald lgeYou could take his suggestions for a British and Irish cheeseboard with Old Winchester: a Cheddar/Gouda cross made in the New Forest; Killeen, a goats’ milk cheese from Ireland and the soft, Brie-like St Oswald from the Cotswolds, For blue, Andy suggests Cote Hill  Blue from Lincolnshire and Anster from Anstruther in Fife, to go with the Christmas cake.

My choice would be a beautiful Vacherin Mont D’Or, the fabulous, runny cheese that comes in a spruce bark box and is only available in winter; Richard III Wensleydale  or a buttery Lancashire like Mrs Kirkham’s. For blue, I’ll be going for the nutty, unpasteurised Stichelton.

The Courtyard Dairy are offering  Squidbeak readers free chutney and crackers when they spend more than £25 on orders placed before 8th December.

When ordering, write on the Special Instructions: SQUIDBEAK SUBSCRIBER.


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