After the longest January in human history we have finally made it to February, hurrah! February is a nice, short but pretty uneventful month, so I'm pretty sure that's why Valentine's day is slapped in the middle of it to break up the month... fact.
Now I don't usually go out on Valentine's Day but there are some cool events which happen on the day so do shop around. I tend to stay at home and use it as an excuse to share a romantic dinner with Sam and overindulge. Because we need an excuse for that.
Have a look below to see some of my recommendations for edible, educational and physical gift ideas.
For every occasion, I say it with cheese. Now. The heart thing isn't for everyone but it is for MANY and they are gosh darn cute.
These gorgeous cheeses are called Coeur de St Felix from the Midi-Pyrenees which are matured by specialists Mons Fromager Affineur in France. They are then brought over by Mons Cheesemongers in Bermondsey, UK.
These are teeny, heart shaped goats cheeses available to customers within the UK who have pre-ordered through Mons Wholesale. You can find these in store from next week at George Mewes Cheese , Jones of Brockley , Millars General Store and select branches of Whole Foods Market UK . Through parts of the Goats cheese season (which is starting slowly from now), Mons own retail sites will be stocking Coeur du Berger from Provence. They are definitely one to try, made using Rove Goats milk.
Coeur de Neufchatel from Mons Cheesemongers is a bloomy rind cheese from Normandy. This cheese is year round production and you will be able to find these in Selfridges and several other cheese shops in London. There are several producers of this cheese so you will be able to find it throughout the UK and overseas.
Here we have the iconic Godminster Cheddar Hearts in their Burgundy wax coating. They also last FOREVER. Like love should. Lol. These are available through www.godminster.com and at stockists round the country including Waitrose and Whole Foods Market.
The folks over at Fen Farm, who make Baron Bigod British Brie style cheese have again made this Heart shaped, dainty number called 'Baron Bigod I love you.' These can be found direct through www.fenfarmdairy.co.uk and many cheese shops around London including La Fromagerie AND I have just read on the old Instagram that they will be selling them directly from the farm in their vending machine.
The insanely decadent Truffled Baron Bigod says I love you in huge capital letters. I mean, look at it.
Just thought I'd put this here. Look how beautiful the just ladled Baron Bigod I love you hearts look in their moulds! I also couldn't mention Fen Farm without mentioning their butter. Now I am the kind of person who would gratefully receive Butter as a Valentine's gift but make sure you know your Valentine well... perhaps the winning combo of the raw butter AND hearty Baron is the way to go. Throw in a hunk of Truffle Baron for good measure as well and you've nailed it.
I tend to go for the old melty thing for Valentine's Day. How romantic is sharing a Mont D'Or or eating a fondue? Two clauses here: make sure your Valentine likes sharing - or opt for the larger sizes of Mont D'Or. I am an only child and have only recently learnt the sharing thing. Second clause - make sure your Valentine likes the smell of cheese.
If you don't fancy doing it yourself, The Cheese Bar in Camden are doing a set Valentine's menu which is booking up QUICKLY (booking essential) however if you cannot get tickets for this, then they also have their Fondue Thursdays the day before so you can go along to that and eat all the melting cheesy goodness you like!
Perfect for Camembert style and sized cheeses, or even a mini mac n cheese/ baked cheesy anything - these bakers from Lakeland are super stylish.
Oliver Bonas and Vintage Garden Art have some lovely sets of knives and cheesemarkers.
From left to right:
- The Kinship Marble Cheese Knife set from Oliver Bonas https://www.oliverbonas.com/homeware/cheese-knives-kinship-marble-s
- Cheese markers from @vintagegardenart available through Etsy
- Laser engraved cheese board and clear acrylic cheese markers from @vintagegardenart available through Etsy
I love many things from Boska but this Partyclette is the cutest. Perfect for a mini Raclette session.
For something unique, I absolutely ADORE these boards from @vayreniburns . They are made by sending 15,000 volts of electricity through wood, creating Lichtenburg fractal burns - natures art. You can grab these through Etsy . and head to the Instagram page above to see a range of designs which are all completely unique.
A very new addition to the world of cheeseboards is this beauty from @columbuscurdnerd . Informative cheese content also on Instagram - make sure you follow!
To the right, a classic heart shaped slate from Just Slate. They have a huge range of cheeseboards, coasters et al for you to look through on their site.
I love learning with Sam. There's something about learning together and sharing said knowledge that we really enjoy. There are lots of places where you can learn about cheese - Tenaya Darlington aka @mmefromage (pictured above) runs classes at @triaphilly over the pond in Philadelphia which look ace (the next one is Cheese 101 at Wash West on 29th Feb) and there is the Academy of Cheese in the UK if you want to do a full blown cheese course.
Check out Cheesemongers like Neals Yard Dairy and Mons Cheesemongers who hold regular tastings for the public which are always great fun and super informative. I have also just seen a posting from Meadows in Cambridge UK about an awesome looking Women in Cheese talk coming up on 8th March - get tickets here .
...last but not least head to the shop on my site to grab one of these Mont D'Or necklaces! This is an exact replica of a Mons Mont D'Or made by @badgersbakery who is collaborating with me to make a full Cheese jewellery range.
Get in touch with any of your favourite Valentine's Gift ideas, I'd love to hear about them!
Photo credits: @thecheeseexplorer, Mons Cheesemongers, Dulcie Crickmore of Fen Farm Dairy, the team at Godminster, The Cheesebar Camden, Lakeland LTD, Oliver Bonas, Tenaya Darlington @mmefromage, @vintagegardenart @vayreniburns, Just Slate, Boska