Thousands flock to Melton for fifth annual Artisan Cheese Fair

Gabrielle Davoine with a round of Stichelton Blue Cheese. 'PHOTO: Supplied

Gabrielle Davoine with a round of Stichelton Blue Cheese. 'PHOTO: Supplied

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Around 8,000 people packed into Melton Cattle Market over the Bank Holiday weekend for the fifth annual Artisan Cheese Fair.

Over fifty cheesemakers from all over the UK, from as far afield as Scotland, Cornwall, Wales and Ireland, brought more than 250 speciality cheeses for visitors to try and buy.

Willow Johnson (9) trys samples. PHOTO: Supplied

Willow Johnson (9) trys samples. PHOTO: Supplied

Crowds were also able to enjoy local produce such as ales, wines, chutneys and Melton’s famous Pork Pie.

The event, organised by the Melton Mowbray Food Partnership on Saturday and Sunday, followed on a few days after the highly-successful British Pie Awards in the town to cement Melton’s reputation as a centre for excellence for food and drink.

Food partnership chairman Matthew O’Callaghan said: “The fair, our fifth, went exceptionally well this year. Despite periods of bad weather the public still turned up and bought large amounts of cheese and other goods. Several of the cheesemakers had brought more cheese than last year and yet still sold out all of their stock on Saturday.

“The event is now the UK’s largest cheese fair and confirms Melton’s reputation as the UK Capital of Rural Food.”

Gwyn Williams and Ally Souster of Loosehanger Cheeses with samples. 'PHOTO: Supplied

Gwyn Williams and Ally Souster of Loosehanger Cheeses with samples. 'PHOTO: Supplied

The 2016 Artisan Cheese Fair will take place on April 30 and May 1.

For more details visit www.artisancheesefair.co.uk

Long Clawson Dairy's Master Cheese Maker, Richard Mayfield, celebrates winning The People's Choice for the second year running with their Thomas Hoe Creamy Smooth Blue. Richard is pictured with the trophy and a sample of the winning cheese. PHOTO: Supplied

Long Clawson Dairy's Master Cheese Maker, Richard Mayfield, celebrates winning The People's Choice for the second year running with their Thomas Hoe Creamy Smooth Blue. Richard is pictured with the trophy and a sample of the winning cheese. PHOTO: Supplied

Crowds pack around the stalls to try and buy. PHOTO: Supplied

Crowds pack around the stalls to try and buy. PHOTO: Supplied

Cheese fair visitor Valarie Gardiner of East Goscote enters into the spirit of the event. 'PHOTO: Supplied

Cheese fair visitor Valarie Gardiner of East Goscote enters into the spirit of the event. 'PHOTO: Supplied