The festive season is almost upon us and it is time to start thinking about which classic British and European cheeses will make the perfect snack while you spend the cold winter evenings curled up in front of the television.

Last week, Cheeses Of Muswell Hill was voted London’s most loved shop in the Time Out Love London Awards and feature writer Rachel Russell decided to visit the shop, which is in Fortis Green Road, to find out just how good their selection of 220 different cheeses actually tastes.

Colston Bassett Stilton

This blue cheese, which is specially made at the Colston Bassett Dairy, in Nottingham, has an acquired taste and is perhaps suited for those who are feeling particularly adventurous with their palate. I tried it with jelly and the sweetness really brought out the strong tones of the stilton.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Snowdonia Black Bomber

The Snowdonia Black Bomber is the biggest seller in the shop, according to 29-year-old owner Morgan McGlynn, who has lived in Muswell Hill all her life and began running the shop at the age of 21.

This extra mature cheddar had a great depth of flavor, as it was surprisingly rich but also creamy at the same time.

Cornish Gouda

The Cornish Gouda has been crafted in Norway over the last six months and will probably spend some time in the shop’s maturing room, which is located next door, but it will still make the perfect accompaniment on a cheeseboard or in a sandwich, due to its complex flavours.

Delice De Cremiere

This soft cheese was most definitely the most delicious and indulgent, but it is not for the faint-hearted, as it is luxuriously filled with double cream, single cream, mascarpone and in a month’s time, will also come with truffles.

Brie de Meaux

Brie de Meaux is also very popular in the shop and is a lot stronger than the usual brie you may find in supermarkets. The taste is almost as overpowering as the smell, but it went very nicely alongside a garnish of fig relish.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Rosemary Manchego

Rosemary Manchego is a pasteurised sheep’s cheese coated with rosemary and is usually aged for 10 Months, before being soaked in olive oil to really bring out the flavour. It is also unique, as Cheeses Of Muswell Hill is the only shop in London that sells it.

Keens Cheddar

Cheddar is always a safe option for those who do not have a great deal of knowledge about the dairy product and the Keens cheddar did not disappoint. Made in Somerset and delivered direct to the shop, this moist, tangy and powerful cheese is full of flavour.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:


The Wensleydale is specially recommended by Cheeses Of Muswell Hill as a tasty treat to feast upon over Christmas. I found it to be mild and quite subtle, but also quite tangy.

Rachel’s verdict: As someone who is not very adventurous when it comes to pungent cheese, the classic cheddar is my winner, as it is light and will always go well with fruit or crackers.

What is your favourite cheese to eat at Christmas? Get in touch