Sunday, 30 September 2007

Give cheese a chance

Yesterday, we went off to the Great British Cheese Festival which was serendipitously being held at Millets Farm, a mere 2 villages away from Abingdon. 2 years ago we went when it was held at Blenheim Palace and though the day was cool and drizzly (conditions luckily not repeated yesterday, we even had a few glorious sunny spells) the almost overwhelming varieties of cheese, free water biscuits, real ale tent and general overconsumption meant for a cracking day all round.

This time there were slightly fewer of us going (we missed you Susan...) and the cheese sweats and cheddary limbs were conspicuous by their absence today. Learning from last time we didn't round the day off with the Dil Raj's finest curries, as this was the tipping point from which certain of our group did not fully recover for weeks, possibly even months. Instead we ambled along to Abingdon's finest - or indeed only - Lebanese restaurant for some cleansing salads and falafel, along with the finest of Lebanese red wine (actually quite nice).

At the cheese festival this year current Observer darling Alex James was there, presumably preening about his new found bucolic idyll and launching his Little Wallop cheese via a video podcast. We didn't see this, thank goodness, though Ali did pap him using his unfeasibly large lens. I'll post a photo up soon so you can see his drippy hairstyle and 'farmer's' tweeds in all their glory. We did try the Little Wallop - it was OK - but tellingly the guy that gave us a taste said he had only ever met Alex twice, and didn't even know if he had a dairy herd on his farm... There were so many other, better cheeses than this as well: Lincolnshire Poacher (vintage and non-vintage); endless varieties of soft and hard goats cheese; plus gourmet breads from de Gustibus were consumed with gusto, and the wide variety of real ciders and perries was smashing - amazingly far greater than the single real ale on offer. Ha! In fact the only real disappointment was the lack of free water biscuits, Carr's were obviously cutting back this year.

Bring on the brie!

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