ENGLAND 9 DAY CHEDDAR ODYSSEY
ENGLAND 9 DAY CHEDDAR ODYSSEY
October 10-18, 2019
Double occupancy: $3,000 per person
Single occupancy: $5,450 per person
Our Cheddar Odyssey begins in London at renowned Neal's Yard Dairy’s retail location for an overview and history of the British cheese world. From there, we’ll head to Devon, the “bread-basket” of England, which will include a visit with cheesemaker Mary Quicke at her 500-year old family farm, a walk through the vineyards of Sharpham Estate and more, all while staying on England’s “Riviera.”
Heading north to Somerset, the ancestral home of Cheddar, King Arthur and Camelot, we’ll experience four “Downton Abbey-style” days & nights in a beautifully restored English manor, North Cadbury Court. In addition to Cheddar making, cooking demonstrations, cheese classes and farm visits, an evening gala of cheese & wine pairings with Britain’s top cheesemakers will be a highlight.
TOUR PRICE INCLUDES
Lodging for eight nights, breakfast provided eight mornings, nine noon and seven evening meals (alcoholic beverages served with meals). All transportation during the tour, all classes and/or day tours provided by local hosts, cheese educators and chefs.
TOUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
Round trip transportation to and from London, hotel accommodations before or after the tour, and any personal shopping and extra food and beverages at the walking tour of Borough Market. During our stays at North Cadbury Court and Wolborough House, specific alcoholic beverages, other than those served at meals and tasting events, may be purchased separately from the host or at locations throughout the tour.
To the best of our ability, this tour itinerary is final. However, if, due to unexpected extreme changes in weather, or an emergency situation with our host, etc., Cheese Journeys reserves the right to substitute an event if needed. During the tour, you have the option of declining a particular excursion or tour but, we are unable to make refunds for any missed meals, classes or events. Please see Terms and Conditions posted at www.cheesejourneys.com for additional details.
Day 1 - Thursday October 10
London’s Borough Market, Neal’s Yard Dairy, British Cheese Class
We begin our Cheddar Odyssey at the London Bridge Hotel, 8-18 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9SG, UK at 9:00am. We have a short walk to the Neal’s Yard Dairy shop in the Borough Market. It’s here we meet up with our Neal's Yard Dairy tour guide and cheese expert for a fascinating look at the British farmhouse cheese renaissance, and enjoy an informal tasting tour of British cheeses. We'll then take a walking tour through the world-famous Borough Market – a wonderful piece of central London’s gastronomic scene near the London Bridge. Explore the historic nooks and passageways of this thriving trading space to find a colorful and eclectic blend of foodstuffs from all over the world. Not only is Borough Market a great place for cheese lovers and gift shopping, it offers a range of delicious snacks, from British delicacies such as freshly shucked Colchester oysters or Melton Mowbray pork pies to cosmopolitan treats such as freshly grilled chorizo sandwiches or falafels.
After a grazing lunch at the market, guests have free time to check into the hotel and grab dinner on their own in a local restaurant, before meeting the group back at Borough Market for a special "History of British Cheese" tasting class at Neal's Yard Dairy.
Day 2 - Friday October 11
Travel to Devon, Quickes’ Cheddar, Brixham and the English Riviera
We depart from our London hotel and travel south west to Devon, England’s “bread-basket”. Deep in the countryside of Devon, we meet up with the energetic Mary Quicke and her team at Quicke's Traditional, to experience cheesemaking activities at her dairy facilities and 450 year-old family farm. Overlooking the lush green pastures, you’ll learn why Mary’s cheddars are unique, share in her passion, and see her personal commitment to soil management and sustainable farming techniques. Refreshed after a light lunch and local brews at an excellent nearby pub, we drive to the historic seaside town of Brixham. Settle in, enjoy a dinner prepared by Chef Sylvain, a late night swim or a walk on the beach at the luxurious Wolborough House - our seaside home for the next three nights.
Day 3 - Saturday, October 12
Devon - Sharpham Winery and Creamery, Scones and Devon Cream, Local Seafood Dinner with the Sharmans at Wolborough House
After breakfast, we'll grab our cameras and head out into the picturesque countryside of Devon, dirving along narrow roads often lined with eight hundred-year-old hedgerows. Sharpham Wine and Cheese, located on thousand year-old farmland, is one of the best winemakers in England. Now a creamery as well as a vineyard and restaurant, the estate is also home to the award winning Ticklemore cheese. We’ll meet up with Anna’s friend, owner Mark Sharman, for lunch in their outdoor café, a cheese tour, and a vineyard walk overlooking the beautiful River Dart. Afterwards, we’ll return to our house by the sea for a relaxing late afternoon tea, a walk on the beach or sightseeing in the fishing village of Brixham. Leave some time to freshen up before we reconvene to welcome dinner guests Mark Sharman and his wife Debbie - starting with sunset cocktails and canapes on the terrace. For dinner, Chef Sylvain will lay out an impressive evening spread featuring fresh seafood and local specialties, which we'll enjoy in the house's dining room overlooking the sea.
Day 4 - Sunday, October 13
English Breakfast, A Day in Brixham, Dinner at Wolborough with the Quickes
After a traditional English cooked breakfast, we'll spend a day exploring the history and culture of Brixham. A picturesque seaside fishing village for many generations, Brixham is now a popular resort area for the Brits - but in World War II it was an important strategic location for the Allied forces. Learn about the secret missions that took place in and around Brixham, and the special connection between the village (and Wolborough House) and the USA.
That evening, we'll be joined by Mary Quicke and her family at Wolborough House for cocktails, a chef-prepared dinner, and a final evening in Devon.
Day 5 - Monday, October 14
Brixham Fish Market, North Cadbury Court, Jane Austen and Indian Cuisine
The day starts early with a guided visit to Brixham Fish Market - one of the UK (and Europe's) major wholesale fish auctions. See the morning's auction in action, and rub elbows with buyers and fisherman as huge sea bass, stacks of scallops and trays of plaice go under the hammer - and are then rushed to the UK and Europe’s best restaurants! You’ll enjoy breakfast at the Fishermen’s Mission as the sun rises over the harbor - all worth dragging yourself out of bed for.
After breakfast, our group departs Brixham, travelling northeast to Somerset, stopping for a classic pub lunch at the Camelot Pub in the village of North Cadbury. Then we make the short drive to North Cadbury Court, where we'll meet up with additional Cheese Journeys guests joining us for the remaining 5 days of the tour.
An exquisite 21-bedroom English manor, North Cadbury Court will be our home for the next 4 nights. It has great history - linked to Jane Austen, Camelot, and King Arthur - and the family home of world-renowned cheddar maker Jamie Montgomery. We'll arrive in time to settle in, unpack, and freshen up for tea.
After tea, we'll tour this historic property with owner Archie Montgomery, who, with his wife, Janet, are responsible for its recent lovely restoration. This family home has been host to many historic events and the set location for the 2007 Jane Austen film, “Persuasion”. Archie and Janet will be our dinner guests for a classic meal of British Indian cuisine prepared by Chef Sylvain. Finish the evening with a moonlit walk, a relaxing swim, or a nightcap and a game of snooker.
Day 6 - Tuesday, October 15
Montgomery’s Cheddar, Cheese Painting, Dinner with Cheesemakers
Group #1 - After an early breakfast, half the group will immerse themselves in the world of British clothbound cheddar by spending a dream morning with Jamie Montgomery. Walk down the road to the Montgomery farm and creamery to see first- hand the making of Montgomery Cheddar or Ogleshield. Return to the house for a chef prepared plowman’s lunch and local brews.
Group #2 - The other half of the group will spend the morning with our chef. With access to a commercial kitchen such as the one at North Cadbury Court, Chef Sylvain Jamois will give a hands-on cooking demonstration of regional cuisine featuring local ingredients, and share a few of his favorite recipes. Spending time with Sylvain is always a favorite with our guests. A charming French native trained in London, Sylvain is a master of French, Italian and English cuisine, a lover of artisan cheese, and an adept teacher.
Both groups will rejoin for a chef-prepared ploughman’s lunch, including tastes from the cooking class paired with local brews.
Guests will spend the afternoon in a cheese painting class with cheese/food artist Mike Geno. Mike will be sharing his passion for both art and cheese as he has painted (and then eaten) over 300 artisan cheeses! Learn the tricks of the trade and go home with your own cheese painting! Our cheese art, along with some of Mike’s work, will make up a mini-exhibition that evening, when many of Britain’s finest cheesemakers arrive at NCC for “A Celebration of Cheese: An Evening with British Cheesemakers”. Enjoy a dinner by our chefs, education from our cheesemakers, a British winemaker, and a renowned local cider producer. A beautiful opportunity to dine and learn from Britain’s best!
Day 7 - Wednesday, October 16
A Trip to Wells, Westcombe Cheddar, Wild Beer Company, Cooking with Chef and Ogleshield Dinner
The group has two options for the morning:
Option #1 - Enjoy a short road trip to the historic town of Wells. Your day begins with local food shopping with Chef Sylvain, lunch, and an optional visit to the historic cathedral. On our way back to NCC, we’ll stop in to meet up with Tom Calver, the young and dynamic cheesemaker of Westcombe Cheddar and a close friend of chef Jamie Oliver. Westcombe Cheddar is one of the newest of the three traditional cheddars awarded an International Presidia by the Slow Food movement. You’ll peek at the creamery and spend time inside the newly-built cheese aging caves to see classic farmhouse Cheddar, Duckett’s Caerphilly, Westcombe Red, and meet “Tina the Turner”: the rockstar robot who spends her days turning cheese! We’ll enjoy a rustic lunch and a cheese sampling paired with select brews from the Wild Beer Co. - a special opportunity to hang with Tom and the beer guys.
Option #2 - Take a break from cheese and enjoy a relaxing day of tennis, swimming, paddle boating on our private lake, biking, or hiking – all the many activities offered at North Cadbury Court. Guests can spend time in the kitchen, helping Chef Sylvain prepare food for that evening’s dinner. You’ll be invited to a refreshing lunch and conversation with Chef - rolled up sleeves and aprons required!
We finish the day with a game of golf off the roof and a crowd-pleasing raclette-style dinner featuring Ogleshield.
Day 8 - Thursday, October 17
Cooking Demonstrations, Clay Shooting, and Dance
Group #1 - After an early breakfast, half the group will immerse themselves in the world of British clothbound cheddar - spending a dream morning with Jamie Montgomery. Walk down the road to the Montgomery's Manor Farm, and into the creamery to see the making of Montgomery Cheddar or Ogleshield. Return to the house for a chef-prepared ploughman’s lunch and local brews.
Group #2 - The other half of the group will spend the morning with our chef. In the large and well-equipped commercial kitchen at North Cadbury Court, Chef Sylvain Jamois will give a hands-on cooking demonstration of regional cuisine featuring local ingredients, and share a few of his favorite recipes. Spending time with Sylvain is always a favorite with our guests. A charming French native trained in London, Sylvain is a master of French, Italian and English cuisine, a lover of artisan cheese, and an adept teacher.
The afternoon is filled with recreation and fun in mind. Enjoy a clay shooting competition, lawn events, water volleyball, paddle-boat racing or golf off the roof. An evening farewell meal and dance will cap off the evening.
Day 9 - Friday, October 18
Depart NCC, Camelot & Dairy Walk and Camelot Pub, Return to Heathrow
After an early breakfast, we begin to bid farewell to North Cadbury Court: but first we meet up with Jamie for a walking tour of the extended area of the Montgomery estate, including the dairy, pastures of Jersey cows, and the legendary castle and fortress ruins of Camelot - believed to be the home of King Arthur. We’ll enjoy a farewell lunch at the Camelot Pub, and a stop at Stonehenge - all as we make our way to London’s Heathrow airport to end our tour.