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Lucky old Aylsham! Charlie Hodson, well known Norfolk chef and local produce supporter, is opening his first Cheese Room with Deli on Wednesday.
Situated on Red Lion Street, it’s a really attractive shop, all rustic meets contemporary, with plenty of exposed red brickwork, stripped oak flooring and trendy bronze light fittings. A huge blackboard lists all the cheeses available while a large clock graces another wall.
The first thing that greets you – apart from Charlie’s smile – is a large display counter where you’ll find around 40 different cheeses from all over the world, all supplied by Norfolk cheesemonger, The Cheese Truckle, plus several Norfolk-based artisan producers such as Marsh Pig Charcuterie, Bray’s Cottage pork pies, pies from Walsingham Farms Shop, and smoked salmon from Staithe Smokehouse.
And, as Charlie says: ‘I’ll be making my own sausage rolls – we have seven to choose from and there should be two or three on offer each week – always The Humble One, my classic pork one with meat from Tim Allen’s pigs at South Creake.’
Other Norfolk food and drink goodies lining the shelves include cookies from the Norfolk Cookie Company, jams from the Tea Lady, chutneys from Candi’s Chutneys, Rocket Ship sauces, Nelson and Norfolk Tea, Hill Farm oils, granola from Crush Foods, Give It Some Beans coffee and more.
An alcohol licence should be granted next month, which will lead to spirits from Norfolk-based Wild Knight Distillery including vodka and gin, plus wines from Norfolk vineyards like Chet Valley, Winbirri and Burn Valley being on sale. ‘And we will have craft beers from Norfolk microbreweries such as Norfolk Brewhouse and Duration,’ says Charlie.
Charlie is also selling a selection of culinary goodies, including Chef’s Whites, aprons and some lovely olive wood boards and platters – plus a range of stylish Italian ceramics, Virginia Casa from Tuscany, he is an authorised dealer for IO Shen knives, and sells quirky greeting cards from Norfolk designer, IzziRainey. ‘I’ve selected everything,’ says Charlie. ‘Pieces and brands that I know and love.’
He also plans to operate a monthly Table for Two, where he will offer an intimate ‘dinner a deux’ experience, with five courses, plus a five step wine flight, for a couple one Wednesday evening a month, from 7-10pm. ‘They will just have me all to themselves all evening,’ he laughs. ‘But the idea is to promote produce we sell in the shop – and we can design a menu around what customers like.’
Plenty more is planned, including Christmas hampers, and there are even hopes for more shops.
- The shop opens Tuesday to Saturday.
- Watch this space for an exciting competition, run in conjunction with us here at Feast, to win a Table For Two experience for one lucky Feast reader.