Neal’s Yard Dairy, London

I have found cheese nirvana and it can be found at Borough Market.

More on Bourough Market and their cheese stalls later. For now, I want to tell you about Neal’s Yard Dairy. I stumbled upon this place the first time I was in London and have dreamt of it since.

Specializing in farm cheeses from the British Isles, they have two locations in London – Covent Garden and Borough Market. The one that I like to visit is their Borough Market store as it’s so close to so many more food vendors. Just look at all the cheese in the window and at the entrance!

Neal's Yard Dairy

Neal's Yard Dairy

On a giant table by the door they feature a specific cheese and happily hand out samples. That day they were promoting Coolea cheese, a handmade Irish farmhouse cheese made from pasteurized cows’ milk.

Coolea cheese

Coolea cheese

And on the other side of the doorway was a giant display of my favourite cheese from Neal’s Yard Dairy – Montgomery’s cheddar. A farmhouse cheddar made from unpasteurized cows’ milk, this cheese is a bit dry, crumbly, nutty, a tiny bit sharp, and oh so delicious.

Montgomery's cheddar

Montgomery's cheddar

When you walk inside you are greeted by a vision of wall-to-wall cheese. Notice how everything is on counters and shelving, not hidden behind a refrigerated counter.

Neal's Yard Dairy - interior

Neal's Yard Dairy - interior

And yes, they’re happy to give you samples inside here too. I knew exactly what I wanted to buy, and they still insisted on giving me a taste of it before cutting my order.

cheese display

cheese display

At one end of the counter they had a rain barrel – the moisture was supposed to be for the maintenance of the cheese.

rain barrel

rain barrel

If I had been staying here longer I would have bought more, but as I was only in London for a few days I only bought enough for a snack or light meal. A nice chunk of Montgomery’s cheddar and a quarter loaf of Poilâne, a dense and light brown sourdough bread from France. Not cheap, but when you can’t really buy stuff like this at home it’s more than worth it. I had more bread than cheese, so I later found out that the leftover bread was also delicious when toasted.

snacks

snacks

Neal’s Yard Dairy – Borough Market
6 Park Street, London
www.nealsyarddairy.co.uk

P. S. You can actually get Montgomery’s cheddar in Edmonton over at Paddy’s International Cheese Market. I am not 100% positive that this is the same cheese but it tastes similar enough and has a similar texture so I assume it is the same one. It’s usually labelled as Neal’s Yard Lancashire cheese, costs an arm and a leg, and the outside mold usually has made it’s way further into the cheese than you’d like. But if you’re desperate for a taste (as I often am), it will work in a pinch.

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10 thoughts on “Neal’s Yard Dairy, London

  1. Yeah! I loved this place.
    I am posting this, too – when I get the time. Thanks to your referral, and Cooksister also referred me to Neal’s. We actually found the Neal Yard – on Neal Street – completely by accident, the night before we were planning on heading to Borough Market… and it was really fun to discover it. It was in the Covent Garden or Soho area. It is much smaller – you will see it in my post. Thank you for this referral. It was a highlight of the trip. Similar to Cowgirl Cheese Shop at The ferry Building in San Fran, but with a more traditional appearance and approach…Seeing cheese from all over Britain was mind blowing for me. They are gorgeous… and their names are lovely. The tastes were not given as freely as in San Fran, or as in Janice Beaton’s original location in Calgary… but, they were happy to offer a taste of anything, should you be a serious buyer. I bought a truckload to bring home for mom’s 80th tomorrow. Well… a good variety, and am so excited to dig into them. I bought a slab of quince from Neal’s and some of the Sicilian honeys from a table in the outdoor market to go with them….and a Calabrian sausage pate I found at the far end of the Borough Market, too – that was deadly delish… and the mushroom pate (did you try it?), and the oakwood smoked cherry tomatoes.
    Oh…. oh… Neal’s Yard Dairy was a deadly pleasure for me. There was a blue cheese – I will name it, that knocked my socks off… and a couple of others, too. I had a great guide at the store. Did not even SEE the bread. 🙂
    Great trip back.
    Thanks for this…. YUMMMMMM.
    Valerie

    • Ok how on Earth did you manage to sneak back dairy and meat through customs?!? And no, I never saw the mushroom pate – do you remember which stall that was from?

  2. I oone brought a whole wheel of young Pecorino from Siena – carted the 50 pound thing all over the town and all over Italy before I got home with it… and declared it at customs!
    🙂
    Valerie

    • You must have really good luck with customs then ’cause I know someone who tried to bring some vacuum-packed gouda home from Holland and it got confiscated before he could blink.

  3. I was surprised, too – the first time… but, did check with customs and because it was in a complete round – and wrapped to mail, and vacuum packed – the person that saw me had no problem with it… well, asked questions. This last time, it was all vacuum packed and wrapped for shipping again, and we were asked, quite severely, as always – about meat and cheese. I said that I had a mail posted package wrapped and vacuum packed to oversees postage specifications… and there was not even a blink.
    I wanted that first round SOOOO much, that if they were going to take it, it was ready to post from the airport… (overseas), but when I checked there, though not customs, I was assured it would be OK. I have never had cheese like that from a little meat and cheese shop in Sienna.
    Was that confiscation recent? Because cheese comes here all of the time through shipping… both times I trusted the seller for the international wrapping expectations. Neal’s didn’t have a vacuum packed machine, but we found one.
    I think I will research this more… before next time. And, mail it from there, if I was just “lucky”?
    Anyway, I am digging in to them today! YUM!

  4. Thanks for sharing your trip to London. I was at the smaller Neil’s yard Dairy in Covent Garden, but next time I’ll go to the mother ship! There’s a cute story about smuggling food (including cheese) in this month’s Saveur magazine.

  5. I am so happy that Valerie had recommended you stop by my blog. This cheese shop is unbelievable! I have never been to one like it…..not too much stuff like this in the OC. Would love to take a trip to the UK for some samples and goodies. Great post!

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