Local News

Cheese Author Returns by Popular Demand

Article and Photographs: Jonathan White

Ned Palmer returned by popular demand with his follow up book, ‘A Cheesemonger’s compendium of British & Irish cheese’, at a sold-out event at Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge on the evening of Friday 19th November 2021. 

Ned Palmer with his new book – A Cheese monger’s compendium of British & Irish cheese (photograph: Jonathan White)

A Cheesemonger’s Compendium introduces 158 of the finest cheeses from across the British Isles. It is a perfect companion for those hooked by Ned Palmer’s acclaimed Cheesemonger’s History.

Each cheese on Ned’s cheeseboard is accompanied by a morsel of history or a dash of folklore, a description of its flavours, and an enticing illustration. Ned peppers his book with stories of eccentric and colourful cheesemakers and celebrates both traditional farmhouse and modern artisanal cheeses – fresh, mould-ripened, washed-rind, blue and hard. He explained how to buy your cheese like a monger, how to cut and store it, and how best to match it with drinks.

Ned first experienced great cheese at Borough Market, helping to sell Trethowan’s Gorwydd Caerphilly (still one of his all-time favourite cheeses). He then learnt his craft at Neal’s Yard Dairy, who dispatched him to farms and dairies across Britain and Ireland. It was during one such visit, to Mary Holbrook’s farm in Somerset, that he came up with the idea for a Cheesemonger’s History, realising that her fresh Sleightlett cheese was just what a Neolithic farmer would make. There followed many more trips – from Hawes Yorkshire Wensleydale to Milleens at the tip of County Cork – as well as long hours in the British Library, immersed in Celtic cheese folklore, monastic account books and unearthing tales of cheese piracy, cheese magic and Queen Victoria’s giant birthday Cheddar. 

Ned lives in London with his wife, the novelist Imogen Robertson, many, many books about cheese, and a piano. He set up the Cheese Tasting Company in 2014, to spread the gospel. 

The ticket price included a copy of ‘A Cheesemonger’s compendium of British & Irish cheese’ and an extensive range of cheeses and snacks.

Ed Wimpenny from The Cheese Shop with a selection of their products (photograph: Jonathan White)

The cheeses for the event were provided by The Cheese Shop on Hospital Street in Nantwich. The Cheese Shop aim to source and offer the very best Artisan Cheeses from the UK and abroad and share their love and knowledge of cheese with food lovers by delivering exemplary customer service in a relaxed and friendly environment. The Cheese Shop recently won ‘Start up Business of the Year’ at the South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.

Ned Palmer said: “Nantwich is a very special place to do an event if you are a cheesemonger. It is a town at the heart of the British cheese history with a warm and welcoming populace and a great bookshop.”

Ned Palmer addresses the audience (photograph: Jonathan White)

Denise Lawson, Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge, said: “It was with great pleasure that we welcomed Ned Palmer back to the Bookshop. Fingers crossed his next book is out soon and he will return to talk about more delicious cheeses. Thank you to The Cheese Shop, Nantwich for collaborating on this event.”

For further information relating to Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge please visit them at 46 High Street in Nantwich, or contact via phone: 01270 611665, email: , website or Facebook

Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge opening times: Monday to Saturday (9am to 4:30pm, last food orders at 4pm), Sunday (10am to 4pm, last food orders 3:30pm).

The Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge’s premises were built soon after the Fire of Nantwich (1583) and are an excellent example of the architecture from this period. Seen from the front there is a distinct ‘sinking’ to the centre of the building. This is also prominent internally on the 2nd floor. The cause is supposedly due to half the building having been constructed (1584) over Castle Street’s cobblestones and the other half over the then filled, dry moat of the castle. (Mini piles and a steel frame have been utilised to stabilise the building).