Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
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...

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.

Matt and Cat’s bill
Tartiflette £7.99
Rarebit £6.99
Parma ham extra £1.50
Drinks £3.90

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.

  • patrick says:

    Tempted by the vivid word-pictures of Lincoln on this site, finally got round to visiting. This place is still going strong, and thriving – but unforunately, the opening hours were not ideal for anyone visiting over New Year weekend and Holiday. Maybe another time….!

  • Jamie says:

    Hi Matt & Cat. I’m delighted to find your site! I’m working with the National Trust to update their site links after a domain move. Your link to Lincoln Cottage sadly doesn’t work any more. If you had a moment to update would you mind changing it to or

    Many Thanks


    Matt and Cat respond:
    All done, Jamie! In 2010 we stayed in the fabulous Michaelgate. We’ve also just had a lovely week in the NT cottage Minstergate, York. Both are highly recommended!

  • KA says:

    I too enjoyed eating at the Cheese Society Cafe until they banned children. This is a cafe tacked onto a cheese shop. It’s not a bistro or a restaurant. Anyway, my 8-year old daughter is welcomed in the best bistros and restaurants. I have loved eating out with her since she was born and it gets better all the time. The food at this cafe is ok but the decor and atmosphere do not invite one to linger. I have tried a range of dishes here and they were nice but not outstanding. The ban on children would also leave a bad taste (not that I would ever eat there while the ban is in place). Also I live in London and visit family in Lincoln and we always eat out when we’re there. There are quite a few very good places to eat in Lincoln, cafes, bistros and restaurants, none of which ban children, all of which have a good ambiance and most of which serve a higher standard of food. Discrmination against children and their parents is unacceptable and destructive to society. We need to integrate our children into our world and not exclude them. We are a lesser society for excluding them.

  • Kate O'Meara says:

    Hi Matt & Cat
    Hope you enjoyed the cheese you took home from us and we do hope that you come and visit us again the next time you stay in Lincoln. Very pleased to receive the window sticker, which has gone up with pride – many thanks. Do you mind if I add you to our email list?
    Kind regards

    Matt & Cat respond: we certainly did – the very last bit of Dambuster is probably going to get eaten tonight. If ever we return then of course we shall make a point of exploring your menu further. Feel free to put us on your list, and let us know if ever you need to get rid of a lot of cheese in a hurry!

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