How to create the Perfect Cheese Board


The first rule of creating the perfect cheese board is that there are no rules!

A single generous dollop of gorgonzola dolce with a baked fig ball and a scattering of hazelnuts is just as impressive as a vast array of cheese.

The classic board consists of three types; A Hard (Cheddar), A Soft (Brie) and a Blue (Stilton)  and this can be a good backbone to your cheese board, but you don’t need to stop there.  Let your creative side blossom…
Add a seasonal cheese such as a Vacherin Mont d’Or
Or a Goats Cheese like the Ragstone Roll or for an unusual shape the Tor Pyramid
Add a local – Swaledale, Wensleydale

If you know a guest is pregnant, vegetarian or lactose intolerant there’s still loads to add to keep them included.  All our main cheeses are written up on the blackboards and are marked if Pasteurised, or Vegetarian, and the type of milk used, Cows, Ewes or Goats etc.  If you don’t want too many cheeses think about swapping one or two.  Perhaps swapping the Stilton (cows) for a Roquefort (ewes) Mrs Bells Blue (local & ewes) or swapping the Cheddar for a Manchego (ewes milk) or Ribblesdale (local & goats milk)

Channel your inner Artistry!
Think about the shape of your cheese board, is it wooden, china or slate?  Long and thin, round or square?  Then think about the way you position the cheeses.  Contrasting shapes, heights and colours all add drama.

Yes chutney is a great condiment to put with a cheese board but what about some Membrillo, a baked fig ball, an almond cake or some truffle honey.  A Farmhouse cheddar and a bowl of piccalilli will soon get demolished on Boxing Day.

Perfect Partners
Whilst Red Wine is the classic partner its not the only good choice.  White wine goes much better with a lemony goats cheese.  A sweet Sauterne goes well with a salty blue. And champagne is fabulous with a creamy cows milk like the Delice de Bourgugone.  Beer is equally as good, try a strong blonde with Parmegiano Reggiano or a cider with an English Farmhouse Cheddar like the Wookey Hole and a shot of Sloe gin will make you think twice about automatically reaching for the Port bottle.

Basic Cheese Care
Love your cheese – don’t suffocate it!  Wrap cling film over the front of the cheese but leave the rind uncovered to breath.  Wax paper is much kinder on soft cheeses like a brie – feel free to ask for a couple of extra sheets we have lots and lots of it!  Foil is the best for Blue cheeses.
Lastly remember that in order to appreciate all the flavours and textures of the cheeses you need to serve them at room temperature.  Take them out of the fridge at least one hour before you want to eat them.  Leave them uncovered somewhere in the cool if possible, if the only space available is a tiny perch in a warm kitchen just pop a damp tea towel over them to stop them drying out.

We’ve lots of Cheeses in the fridge now so please pop in and browse.  If there’s something particular you’d like me to get hold of please let me know.   Usually we can get things within a day or two.

Enjoy!  Soph x

Take Away Menu 1/5 & 2/5

I’m delighted that we have been able to add a Takeaway service to our website with delivery to the local and surrounding areas.  We started this just last weekend and had a great response so this week we are feeling a little bit braver and advertising it!

Please click on the link below to order ….

Cheeky Take Away Anyone?

The Menu is …

A choice of Mains, both mild and fragant.

Chicken in a green masala sauce
Spinach & Mushroom

both served with all of the following ….

Steamed buttery rice with Dill

Aubergine & Cherry Tomato Curry

Onion Bahji

Beetroot & Feta  or Spicy Lamb samosa




Due to the Covid-19 virus we have sadly had to cancel all Supper Clubs until further notice.  However the deli stays open and our shelves are fully stocked.  Plus we now offer a free delivery service ….

HAMPER 1 £20

HAMPER 2 £20

HAMPER 3 £20

From the Deli Counter
Spicy Samosas £2.15
(Lamb, Beetroot & Feta, Vegetable (ve))
Sausage Roll £1.73 OR ANY 3 FOR £5
(Plain, with Black Pudding & Apple, with Pheasant & Fennel, With Venison)
Scotch Eggs £2.50 OR ANY 3 FOR £7
(Plain, with Black Pudding, with Chorizo)
Leek & bacon or Leek & cheddar £2.50
Steak & Ale Pie £3.50
Pork pie £2
Onion Bahji (ve & gf) £1.75
Mushroom Burger (ve) £2.50
Florentine Fish cakes (gf) £2
200g of roast ham sliced £3.50
200g roast beef slice £4
200g coleslaw £2.50
200g potato salad £2.50
200g roasted veg £2.50
200g olives/SunD tomatoes/pesto £4

From the Fridge
Bacon approx £4
Sausages approx £3
Whole chicken from £9
Chicken fillets from £3
Chicken thighs from £2
Individual tubs of soup £2.50 or any 3 for £7
Tins of pop from £1
200g Chicken Liver Pate £3.60
200g Smoked Mackerel Pate £3
200g Hummus £3
Curry Sauces £3
Chorizo sausages £3
Milk £1.20
6 Eggs, large free range £1.50

From the Freezer
Ready Meals
Individual £3 For 2 people £6
For 4 people £10
Beef Lasagne, Fish Pie, Lamb Tagine, Chicken Curry
Veggie Stew & Dumplings, Black Bean Chilli
Puddings £2.50 per portion
Sticky Toffee Pudding, Bread & Butter Pudding, Apple & Blackberry Crumble

From the Shelves
Sourdough loaves – white or wholemeal £2
Sourdough loaves – wholemeal with seeds, olive & oregano £2.75
Multigrain Triangle £2
Farmhouse Granary £1.60
Farmhouse White £1.40
Hot Cross Buns £1 each
Croissant 60p each
500g packs of pasta £1.50
50g dried yeast £1
Cheese biscuits various
Savoury biscuits – various
Olive oil £15
Mayonnaise and Salad Dressing £4.50
Jars of Yorkshire Honey from £6.10
Malton Relish Jars of Jams and Chutneys all £3.75
Packs of ground coffee £4.95
Yorkshire Tea Bags £3

Cakes all £2
Millionaires, chocolate brownie with nuts, cream egg brownie (no nuts),
Rocky road, Viennese Whirls, Flapjack, Frangipani, Curd Tart, Treacle Tart, Peanut butter Brownie (ve), Nutty Flapjack (gf & ve),
Slice of …
Victoria Sponge, Coffee & Date, Lemon & Poppy seed, Carrot Cake
Cream Egg Scotch Egg £3.50



Pheasant Curry


The key to this dish is using freshly ground spices. We use an old coffee grinder that belonged to my mother. They can be picked up in car boot sales for next to nothing these days and are incredibly useful.
• 4 pheasant breasts sliced lengthways
• 1 onion chopped
• 1/2 tin full fat coconut milk
• 1 tbsp tomato paste
• 1 tsp coriander seeds
• 1 tsp cumin seeds
• 1/2 stick cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
• 1/2 tsp dried chilli
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 1 knob fresh ginger
• 4 cloves garlic
• 1 bunch fresh corriander
• Rice to serve
1. First, put all the whole seeds into a dry frying pan and roast over a high heat for a minute until the smell becomes pungent. Do NOT walk away or they will burn and keep tossing them around the pan.
2. Put all the spices into the coffee grinder and grind to a fine powder. Add the tomato paste and a tsp of the cream from the top of the coconut milk and whiz to a paste.
3. Fry the onion with the garlic and grated ginger in a touch of sunflower oil until soft then add the pheasant breasts. Once coloured, stir in the curry paste and cook out for a minute or two, then pour in the rest of the coconut milk. Cook for a few more minutes so that the pheasant is fully cooked, then season and sprinkle liberally with roughly chopped coriander.

How to create the perfect cheese board

Relish Style



As the daylight hours begin to lengthen and my garden begins to show the first few tentative signs of new life, I start to daydream about what I’m going to grow this summer and how I want the garden to look. I should probably point out that my garden is a tiny south-facing courtyard, with the main priority being the BBQ and hammock. But every year I’m up for the challenge of what can I plant that might not die! Being a cook, l like a large variety of herbs and vegetables. Rarely do tomatoes make it as far as the kitchen table as they’re usually munched before I’ve got to the back door. Peas & beans usually get some space because I like them growing up a wigwam. Cherry tomatoes trail from hanging baskets all along the gutters whilst cucumbers creep up the house wall, loving the sunshine and the protection from the wind. An enormous passionflower runs along the length of the garden fence, screening the neighbours and fighting for space and light with honeysuckle, clematis and jasmine. Roses and night scented stock are spread amongst the lavender and an olive tree greets visitors at the garden gate.
Many an evening is spent out in the garden; suppers cooked, wine drunk and cups of tea precariously balanced on the wall beside the hammock. But for now the garden furniture remains securely wrapped up in a rainproof jacket, the containers hold only standing water and the garden fence sways precariously as another storm batters it.
So the garden must wait along with any thoughts of alfresco dining, as I’ve no inclination to spend more than half an hour out there. But the kitchen is the heart of my house and now that the marmalade is made and I’m bored of thinking up new ways to eat pheasant or how to make the most of the slow cooker. It’s fresh clean flavours that come to the forefront of my mind again. I’m the type of person that happily eats salad 12 months of the year and just now chicory, purple sprouting broccoli, pomegranate and rhubarb are my favourites.
I don’t have a sweet tooth, so other than a crumble you’ll usually be offered a cheese board here at number 12. Sometimes it’s to nibble on instead of canapés – after all who can resist a sliver of gorgonzola on a slice of pear – possibly as a starter of baked camembert and a pile of toasted sourdough or instead of pudding a chunk of cheddar or gooey Delice with some fruit and homemade biscuits. Occasionally the cheese board becomes the whole meal as I get totally carried away with a new supplier or simply because an old favourite has come back into season. Barncliffe Brie is back on the shelf today having been missing for several months.
All of which made me think; how do you create the perfect cheese board? And is there really anything that shouldn’t be on it? (*yes! Cheese with bits in it!)
Start with the Cheese:
This might seem a ridiculous thing to point out, but first of all have a think about what you’re serving through the evening and that will help you decide on how many types of cheese you’d like to go with. Old school thinkers will tell you there should be a hard cheese, a blue, a soft and at a push a quirky, seasonal or local variety.
Sometimes I just serve one cheese, something that just looks too perfect to cut down in size. It can be a bit of a gamble, some people just don’t like blue or goats cheese no matter how amazing you tell them it is. And do be careful about unpasteurized cheese if any of your guests are pregnant. But if it’s just personal preferences, more often than not they’ll give it a try and often be pleasantly surprised. On Christmas Eve we ate Stinking Bishop with truffle honey, a pairing I would never have thought of. Honestly I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! It was totally delicious and I’m not much of a fan of stinky cheese.
Once you’ve chosen your cheeses put them on the plate, even still wrapped in paper, I’m not being daft here but it will help you see how much room you have left to fill in with biscuits, fruit etc. And then it’s just down to personal likes. How many types of biscuits or bread you want to serve. Are you going to add fresh fruit or a fruit jelly? Have you got an amazing jar of truffle honey that really needs to play centre stage, or perhaps a bottle of homemade liquor with great legs? The best cheese boards have something for everyone. From different types of cheese to sweet and savoury snacks to crackers and cured meats, the best cheese boards leave no one behind.
Start with the board. Cheese boards are typically assembled on a slate or wooden tray, which may be square, rectangular, or round. But if you don’t already own one, don’t feel like you need to go out and buy one. You can also use a plate, a cutting board, or even a baking sheet. Any flat surface will work.
Select the cheeses. Try to include a variety of flavours and textures by selecting cheeses from different families.
Add some charcuterie…aka cured meats. Prosciutto, salami, chorizo, or mortadella are all good options.
Add some savoury. Think olives, pickles, roasted peppers, artichokes, tapenades, almonds, cashews, or spicy mustards.
Add some sweet. Seasonal and dried fruits, candied nuts, preserves, honey, chutney, or even chocolate.
Offer a variety of breads. Sliced baguette, bread sticks and a variety of crackers in different shapes, sizes, and flavours.
Finish it off with some garnishes. This is a great way to give your cheese board a seasonal touch. Use edible flowers, fresh herbs, or additional fruits to give your board the look and feel.
The Cheeses
Offer a variety of savoury and sweet ingredients. The truth is everyone likes their cheese a little different. Some like it savoury, some like it sweet, and some like a combination of both. The best cheese boards have something for everyone.
Offer a variety of textures. Because eating is such a sensory experience, a variety of textures makes any cheese board more interesting. Consider ingredients with various textures such as creamy, crunchy, crumbly, gooey, and crisp.
Use cheese markers to label cheese so everyone knows what they’re getting.
Bring cheeses to room temperature before serving in order to bring out their true flavour.
Don’t forget the knives, spoons, toothpicks, etc.

And if it all seems just too much … pop in and see us, we’ll happily create it all for you!  Sx

How to beat the February Blues

If you’re suffering from a cold, it can seem that the only thing keeping you going is a bag of lozenges and an ever increasing stack of tissues. But there is actually quite a lot that we can do to help shorten these troublesome times.

Apple Cider Vinegar Tea
2 tablespoons of ACV
1 tablespoon of honey
A little lemon juice for taste
A little hot water to dilute (but the more potent it is the better it works!)
Sip and/or Gargle with the tea 3 or 4 times a day
ACV has been around for many, many years. Traditional uses include cleaning, disinfecting, treating nail fungus, lice, warts and ear infections. It can lower blood sugar levels, fight diabetes lower cholesterol and help improve heart health. Some even say it may have positive effects against cancer. I’m not so sure we can believe everything we read on the internet but it certainly helps cure a cold; even if it is one of the worst things I’ve ever gulped and gargled my way through.

Ginger Tea
2 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger steeped in a mug of hot water.
Ginger is brilliant for clearing an inflammation, clearing congestion and supporting the immune system.

Vitamin C & D
Vitamin C has long been known to support the immune system and help to fight off colds. Fruits and veggies high in vitamin C include oranges, kiwis, bell peppers, strawberries, dark leafy greens, and broccoli and of course those winter favourites – sprouts. Vitamin D will help you not get a cold in the first place – sunlight and fish oils are the best for this.

Eucalyptus Oil
4 or 5 drops of eucalyptus oil in a bowl filled with boiling water and a tea towel draped over the head is one of my reoccurring nightmares of boarding school. But repeated twice a day it definitely helps you breath better.

Honey is most definitely a super-food. Full of antioxidants, honey has antiviral and antibacterial properties. It can boost your immune system, sooth a sore throat and clear a cough. It’s also brilliant for hay fever sufferers, but again it must be local. The theory being that the bees need to have been feeding on the local pollen that is causing your hayfever to help your body build up a resistance to your local pollens.

As cooks we can take this on to another level by the introduction of spices to our cooking.

All spice, clove & nutmeg all contain essential oils that act as a mild antimicrobial agent, good for the good bacteria in the gut. Chillies contain more vitamin C than an orange. Garlic is well known to help maintain a healthy circulation, balance blood sugars and improve resistance to infection. Turmeric is traditionally known for its anti-inflammatory effects, but it also has antibacterial and digestive properties, killing yeast and parasites within the gut.

The list goes on and on, but it’s safe to say that eating a rainbow of colours will most defiantly be beneficial to your health.


Did you know that you can more than double the benefits of a tomato if you choose baby plum over beef and leave them on your counter top rather than in the fridge? It all comes down to the level of phytonutrients which are just under the skin and need sunshine.

Leafy Greens
Kale has 40 times the level of vitamin C and 30 times the level of vitamin K than an iceberg lettuce! Why? Because dark green leafy veg are packed with antioxidant pigments which act as a kind of sunscreen and help protect the plant from harmful free radicals, helping protect the plant cells from damage … however … when we eat these dark green leaves the same antioxidant pigments are transferred to our bodies and continue to do the same job, helping mop up the free radicals and shield our eyes from UV damage.

The cabbage family are nutritional superstars, providing calorie for calorie more vitamin A & C and Folic acid than any other fruit or veg. Brussels sprouts have 5 times the potentially cancer fighting glucosinolates than cauliflowers, and whilst broccoli doesn’t score very well on this type of glucosinolates, it’s one of the best heart-healthy crucifers alongside kale.

When buying spuds from the supermarket they will probably have been stored for many months, sometimes almost a year – but, this isn’t a bad thing – the phytonutrients in a potato actually increase dramatically over time as the spuds start churning out these protective compounds to defend themselves against the chill of a cold store. Add to this that 50% of the polyphenols come from the fibre rich skin then the smaller the potato the more skin they have. So by choosing new potatoes over bakers and then eating the skin, technically an indigestible fibre, the speed at which our bodies can absorb the carbohydrate slows significantly and so lowers the GI of the Potato.

Did you know that mushrooms are biologically more closely related to animals than they are to plants? Fungi have a huge range of nutritional benefits – they are a rare non-animal source of selenium and vitamin D2, whilst also being rich in specific types of fibre, which have a profound effect on our immune system and blood pressure. However doing one simple thing can transform these beauties. Just leave them on a sunny windowsill for an hour or two and the vitamin D level skyrockets by over 800% as they defend themselves from UV. Placing them gill side up (their most sensitive side) will trigger the strongest spike.

I could go on and on with this topic as I find it totally fascinating, but usually by now the deli girls’ eyes are starting to glaze over, or they discreetly check their watches so I’ll stop for now and leave the fruits etc for another day.

March Curry Club

In aid of Macmillan


We are doing something a little bit different for a Supper Club at the end of March. …..

Friday 27th March  7.30pm

The Menu ……
Vegetable Pakoras & Potato Truffles with a Coriander& Mint Chutney and an Apple Chundo
Cinnamon Spring Lamb & Spicy Coconut Chicken
Green beans with Cashew Nuts, Bombay Potatoes, Spinach & Beetroot with Roasted Coriander Seeds
Naan breads, Poppadoms, chutneys and spices
Lime Possets with Mango and Mint Salad
The Event ….
12 amateur jockeys have been chosen to take part in a once in a lifetime charity challenge at York Racecourse. The challenge will see members of the public complete six months of intense jockey training before racing thoroughbred horses on York’s iconic course. All twelve riders have each pledged to raise at least £4,000 and can expect to race in front of more than 25,000 people on the day, Macmillan Charity Race Day, Saturday 13th June 2020.
The Girl …
SJ Barker lives near Malton, I’ve known her for many years with both of us coming from local farming families. As well as running the highly successful Ryedale Mumbler she also runs her families thoroughbred breeding operation. But having ridden all her life she has never ridden a racehorse until a couple of weeks ago! We thought we would help SJ raise as much money as she can for this fantastic cause by hosting a supper club and giving 50% of the ticket price to support her. You can also go online to her just giving fundraising page to add a personal donation as well.

To celebrate the 50 year partnership between York Racecourse and Macmillan all money raised from this year’s race will go directly into supporting people across Yorkshire. The Ernest Cooper Macmillan Ride of their Lives regularly raises more than £100,000 for Macmillan.

Please call the deli on 01653 699389 to book places (£26.50 per person) and let us know of any dietary requirements, Veggie, Vegan Gluten Free etc. And as ever this is a BYO event.

Blood Orange Tart by Simon Rimmer



This is what will be going on in my household this weekend!  Plus the beginnings of a large batch of Rhubarb Vodka

Blood Orange Tart

200g/7oz sugar, plus extra for dusting
3 blood oranges, juice and zest
1 tsp orange blossom water
2 free-range eggs, plus 6 yolks
200g/7oz butter, cubed
25cm/10in sweetened shortcrust pastry tart shell, blind baked (you can use ready-made)
For the topping:
3 blood oranges, peeled, sliced into rounds
1 tbsp demerara sugar

Whisk the sugar, orange juice and zest, orange blossom water, eggs and egg yolks together in a bowl until well combined.
Add the butter and set over a pan over simmering water. (Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water.)
Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly, until the butter has melted and the mixture has thickened.
Pour the mixture into the cooked pastry case, cover with clingfilm (to prevent a skin forming) and set aside to cool.
Arrange the orange slices on the cooled tart and sprinkle over the demerara sugar.
Using a cooks’ blowtorch, heat the sugar until caramelised.

To serve, slice the tart and serve with double cream or custard.