If there?s one thing that Matt likes more than Cat, it?s cheese. He loves the stuff; always has and always will until it inevitably kills him ? but what a way to go!
And as if Lincoln?s fusty old bookshops weren?t enough to make the chap drool then a place called the Cheese Society would surely put him danger of drowning in his own saliva.
Strolling out of their picturesque holiday cottage one morning, Matt and Cat made their way down the famous Michaelgate to the Cheese Society. This café-cum-delicatessen was situated on a sunny corner and the faint aroma of cheese wafted alluringly at passers-by…
Matt and Cat?s arrival at the eatery coincided with a delivery of cheese. Small crates of the precious stuff from far-flung parts of the world ? well, at least France – were carried in and placed reverentially by the well-stocked deli counter. Acres of cheese winked temptingly at Matthew as he made his way to the café at the rear of the shop.
As anticipated, the menu at the Cheese Society was chock full of cheesy delights such as fondue, croque monsieur, soufflé and ploughman?s lunch. Almost all the dishes were vegetarian, except for a hearty steak and beefburger option, which appeared almost anomalous on the cheese-dominated menu. Cat plumped for rarebit deluxe with grilled Parma ham and Matt chose tartiflette, a French mountain dish of potato, onion and sun-dried tomatoes topped with Reblochon cheese and baked with double cream. Both dishes were served with a small salad.
The Cheese Society could have been decorated in the Spyglass style with antiquarian dairy-related bric-a-brac on every available surface. But it wasn?t. The proprietors had worked with the modern airy building and its laminate flooring, café-style seating and stylish wooden blinds added a calming air to the place. It was clean and tidy and the staff were very friendly and welcoming to both their overseas visitors and regular customers alike. One chap, who had decided to wear an audacious pink candy-striped shirt that day, was ribbed for his choice of garment not once, but twice by the familiar staff. Executed with a soft Lincolnshire accent it seemed extremely benign mickey-taking.
Parma ham extra £1.50
Having finished their complimentary bread, M and C turned their attention to their main courses. Cat?s rarebit looked great. A pair of bready triangles lay on the plate swaddled in their cheesy paste. The tang of Worcester sauce was prominent but not overpowering; the rarebit was chewy without being rubbery. The wafer-thin ham was slightly crispy, like the finest bacon, and gave a salty edge to the meal. The dressed salad was an excellent mix of leaves and included some tiny watercress flowers which added a peppery note.
Matt?s tartiflette, although nowhere near the size of the one he had at Ventnor’s Ocean Blue Quay, was really cheesy; a rich-tasting creamy delight. He couldn?t fault it. Once more he was happy to put some money in the pockets of the Reblochon marketing association who allegedly invented the dish with the sole purpose of selling cheese.
Once their meals were eaten, Matt and Cat went to the cheese counter. At the Old Bakery the previous night they had had a selection of local cheeses so they decided to buy the same three; Poachers, Lincoln Blue and Dambuster. As they discussed the merits of the wonderful Isle of Wight Blue – and she promised to look out for some – the lady at the counter cottoned on that her customers weren?t locals. She was keen to assure them that the cheese would be good until September. Like it?s going to be around that long! Matt felt like he?d died and gone to Lincoln.