The Nantwich Show: International Cheese Awards 2018

On Wednesday 25th July, Shaun and I made the 198 mile trek to Nantwich from Southampton to have a fun-filled cheesy day out. I was invited to the event to provide some blogging coverage of the day and despite the distance, I thought it would be too good an opportunity to turn down. Plus, I really wanted to say ‘my first blogging event was really cheesy’. Luckily for me, my dad occasionally travels to Lichfield for work, so we managed to blag ourselves a lift the majority of the way (thanks dad!) then caught the train up to Nantwich for some cheese related antics.

The Nantwich Show in Cheshire is the UK’s largest one day show with over 450 trade stands, attractions and of course tons and tons of free award winning cheese to sample. The day before The Nantwich Show is the International Cheese Awards. This is where over 5,000 cheeses from all over the world are sampled by 250 judges and a huge selection of awards are presented in various different categories.  So this event is therefore a must for any cheese lover.

7:00 in the morning, looking forward to the day ahead (pre-cheese photograph).

The day before the event, I was sent a press pass, which made me feel very important ha ha.  These were pretty cool and the main perk was being able to walk straight into the show without having to queue.

We were in the showground for about 5 minutes, before Aima Tech Electric Bikes asked to take our photograph next to one of their bikes. They encouraged me to have a go on it, but I decided against the idea due to the length of my dress (ha ha). The cheese awards is no place for knicker flashing.

Instead, here I am posing with one of their flashy bikes. I am sure they are pretty good so long as you are wearing the appropriate clothing.

Shaun wasted no time in finding his dream tractor and insisting I take a photo. (Not really, it was more like go on Shaun, do it for the blog!)

I can never resist taking a colourful flowers-in-window-box photo.

It wasn’t long before we were drawn towards the foodie stalls and in keeping with the cheese theme, we ordered ourselves a pizza. This is from Bare Bones Pizza, a modern van which is now converted into a kitchen that produces Neapolitan style wood fired pizzas. I ordered the Vegetarian (Boneless) with red onion, peppers, sliced tomato and cheese and it was ready in just under 5 minutes and tasted delicious.

After our tasty lunch, we felt re-energized and went for a walk around the showground. There was so much to see and do: there were stalls selling everything such as flowers, sweets, clothing, artwork, crafts, electric bikes, tractors and plenty of opportunities to chat to various charities, radio stations and watch interactive demos like cow milking. 

This is not a real cow although it did fool us when we first spotted it.

This is an actual cow who very kindly posed for his photograph.

It was amazing to be able to get up close to these huge cows. They were having so much attention but seemed pretty chill about the whole thing.

Funny orange sheep which looked like chicken drum sticks.

A few sheep experimenting with blue hair dye. 

The main attraction was the enormous cheese marquee which was home to an abundance of cheeses. We armed ourselves with these little cocktail sticks and set about having the best time sampling ALL THE CHEESE which came our way.

One of my favourites was the Applewood cheese, I dunno if that was because it was one of the first I sampled but it did taste lovely and I did go back for seconds.

A fantastic cheese cake (or cheesecake) by Godfrey C Williams & Sons Ltd who won gold award for this impressive creation.

A tasty looking cheeseboard from Norseland Limited

How much cheese can you fit into one cheese tent?

Each trader was very welcoming and all happy to chat about their cheeses.

I think we must have eaten about 2 blocks of cheese between us by the end. I had never eaten so much cheese in my entire life!

One of the coolest things about the day was discovering that Martin Platt from Corrie (also known as Sean Wilson) is a cheesemaker! I was so starstuck when I saw him, I blurted out (quite loudly) wow, it’s Martin Platt from Coronation Street! to which he smiled politely and said hello.

After Sean left the street he decided to fulfil his lifelong passion of cooking and went on to spend a year training as a chef, working at a number of Michelin starred restaurants. In 2009 Sean started a new venture, “The Saddleworth Cheese Company” with best friend of 30 years Mark Revell. You can read more about Sean’s award winning cheese company here.

The day was certainly full of celebrity and in the afternoon we watched James Martins live cooking demonstration where he cooked a three course meal. I told Shaun to take notes so I’m hoping for something tasty soon…

We finished the day with an ice cream before making our way back to Nantwich train station. Despite a small mishap of getting on the wrong train and nearly ending up in Manchester, we arrived back in Lichfield where my dad was kindly waiting for us to make the long journey home. Overall, it was a fabulous day in the Cheshire sunshine, eating our body weight in various delicious cheeses, celebrity spotting and learning a thing or two on the way.

Have you been to The Nantwich Show? I encourage you to make a date in your diary for the 2019 Nantwich Show and International Cheese Awards and hopefully we will return next year (so long as my dad is working up North again).

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