In April, the 2018 National Farm Shop and Deli Awards saw a host of fabulous Yorkshire finalists from across a whole range of businesses in the county. Fink, in Boroughbridge, won Local Shop of the Year and Farmison in Ripon, Online Retailer for their meat. Rafters in Driffield, again, Greengrocer and The Courtyard Dairy, Austwick, Cheesemonger of the Year. Four out of thirteen awards – go Yorkshire!
For the Courtyard, this is their second national win, and since their last accolade in 2016 they have upped sticks and moved to new premises and taken their lovely cheeses, profound knowledge and passion to a new level. They boast the UK’s best cheese shop, an exciting wine shop and a cheese museum. If you have a passion for cheese and want to learn how to make your own a cheese, there’s a production room. Plus upstairs is also a rather lovely café. Remarkably, on a somewhat, cold and miserable Monday lunchtime, the place is bustling both up and downstairs.
Getting past the cheese counter to go up to the café takes some manoeuvring. If like me any cheese is enticing, here you will be mesmerised both by what is on offer. The hugely passionate cheesemongers will suck you into the stories and descriptions of each cheese. Their detail surprises me I bet they even know the name of the cow, goat or sheep. They represent and maintain all that Andy and Kathy Swinscoe, owners of the Courtyard want which is “to sell only the best cheese available from the British Isles and the Continent of Europe; and champion and support the few remaining independent farmhouse cheese-makers.”
When we do make it up the stairs, the café though small is airy and light with a small bar. There is a long table groaning under the weight of cheeses of the day plus cakes, all but one of them made right here in the kitchen. There’s also a cheese maturing room worth a peep.
The menu is also small and, surprise, surprise, cheese-led but not exclusively so … read the whole review here.
The Courtyard Dairy, Crows Nest Barn, Austwick, Nr. Settle, LA2 8AS Tel: 01729 823 291 Open Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 5.30pm, Sunday, 10.30am to 4.30pm.