Andy Swinscoe at the Courtyard Dairy near Settle is one of the world's leading experts on cheeses. He even won Cheesemonger of the Year at the World Cheese Awards. He created the tiny Courtyard Dairy a few years ago and since then, he's had a huge impact on cheese-lovers. You may well have seen him at food festivals around the Dales, or perhaps gone to their shop, where the focus is firmly placed on quality farmhouse cheeses. Don't go expecting to always find your favourite - if it's not in season or a batch wasn't up to Andy's exacting standards, he won't have it in the shop. But he will generously offer you delightful slivers of other options so you'll quickly discover a new favourite. And another. And another.
Cheese fans are now in for an even bigger treat. Andy and Kathy have bought the former Yorkshire Dales Falconry Centre so they'll have more space for storing and maturing cheese to make it truly special, a small information area showcasing information about cheese-making and its history in the Dales, and be able to open a cheese-themed café, and a cheese-making room.
That's not all. Where-ever you are, you can enjoy the delights of the Courtyard Dairy thanks to their mail-order service. I'm in a particularly good mood today as my monthly delivery just arrived! I'm feeling quite virtuous too as I've promised myself I can't test any of it until I've written this... You can order one-off deliveries or if you're as wise as I am, you'll subscribe to their regular delivery service. Once a month I open the door to a delivery of three fantastic cheeses. I don't know which ones they'll be - Andy chooses the best available at that time. They arrive perfectly packaged, and complete with full details of how each one is made, and some information about each cheese-maker and their animals.
The monthly subscription or special deliveries made a great gift. And if you're getting married, you might want one of their special cheese cakes for your guests to enjoy as well. Find out more here