Courtyard Dairy

If you haven’t made the trip the Courtyard Dairy in Settle, then you should. Mandy reported on the opening in 2013 and since then Andy and Kathy have gone from strength to strength, picking up a swathe of awards along the way. Simply, it is one of the best cheese counters in Britain.

Swinscoe_Courtyard_Dairy

Andy Swinscoe of the Courtyard Dairy, Settle

In 2017 the Dairy moved a few miles up the road (the former falconary sanctuary) with an expanded shop, a small museum charting the development of farmhouse cheese, a production room where courses are held and upstairs a cheese centred café.

The shop is the hub, packed with 30 farmhouse cheeses, many of them unpasteurised, hand picked, nurtured and matured by Andy. Yes, 30 not 130. Quality before quantity. You need an almighty turnover to keep 130 cheeses in peak condition and Andy nurtures and matures them himself.  The cheeses are all from a diminishing band of  independent cheesemakers in the UK and Europe, some of them quite tiny, like Mario Olianas’s Yorkshire Percorino made in Adel, Leeds.

A self-confessed cheese nerd, Andy or his well-informed staff will lead you through the cheeses, with the stories behind them. Among my favourites are Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire, Michael Thomson’s Young Buck, a gentle blue cheese from Northern Ireland; the buttery Hafod Welsh cheddar; and Dale End and Moorland Tomme made at Botton Village on the North York Moors.

If you can’t get to the shop, then order by post or join the monthly Cheese Club. Cheese nerds like Andy can attend one of his one day cheese-making courses. Raclette, fondue, cheeseboards and toasted sandwiches are on the menu in the cafe.

Open: Mon-Sat 9.30-5.30pm/Sun 10.30-4.30pm

 

Courtyard_cheeseThe Courtyard Dairy
Crows Nest Barn,
(Former Falconry Centre),
Austwick, Nr. Settle, LA2 8AS

Telephone: 01729 823291 Email: andy.s@thecourtyarddairy.co.uk Website: www.thecourtyarddairy.co.uk

 

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.

www.courtyarddairy.co.uk

 

The Big Cheese

AndyKathyWe’ve been big fans of The Courtyard Dairy run by affineur Andy Swinscoe since he opened last December and now he’s been recognised by the prestigious British Cheese Awards. He’s only won the coveted ‘Best New Cheese Retailer’ and not before time, we say.

Andy set up his fabulous shop with his partner Kathy, and the business has gone from strength to strength, supplying direct to the public through the shop and to top-class restaurants throughout the north of England.  Andy visits each cheese-maker regularly. “I need to ensure that I fully understand the nature of each cheese, so that I can use the skills I acquired as a student of Hervé Mons in France to further age and mature the cheese.  That way, every cheese we sell will have a flavour that is delicious, special and unique.”

This year was the 20th anniversary of the first British Cheese Awards, designed to support and promote British cheesemakers. If you haven’t been yet, we urge you to take the trip. Andy’s enthusiasm and knowledge is infectious and the choice of cheese is impressive – we challenge you to come away empty handed!

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