10 best cheese subscription boxes
Do you feel the need, the need for cheese? Get your cheddars, manchegos and more delivered to your door
Cheese lovers, rejoice! It’s no longer necessary to hunt out independent cheesemongers to get your dairy fix, as nowadays high quality cheese can come to you. With the cost of cheese set to soar, this could be a good time to commit to a regular delivery and support smaller producers in the meantime.
Our round-up of the best cheese subscription boxes caters for the busy foodie, whether they regularly host dinner parties, love to experiment or just want to ensure there’s always a tasty chunk of cheese in the fridge for post-dinner snack attacks. You’ll get to try obscure cheeses from around the globe – perfectly aged and delivered to you at their peak, while being guided by tasting notes. We loved learning about the storage, wine pairings and provenance of our cheese.
Most boxes contain a good variety of hard and soft cheeses, creating a well-balanced cheese board, just waiting to be served. If you or the recipient has specific preferences, some boxes can be customised and most offer a variety of delivery options. Should you find yourself with too much cheese (never!) then harder varieties such as parmesan and comté keep well in the freezer. Take note, though: although all the cheeses are shipped in various cooling contraptions, you’ll still want to refrigerate quickly – so perhaps it’s not one you want delivered to the office.
1. Paxton & Whitfield Monthly Cheese Society: from £35 per month, Paxton & Whitfield
This 200-year old cheesemonger holds two Royal Warrants and specialises in seasonal artisan cheese. We received a British brie, a floral French goat’s cheese decorated with real rose petals, a buttery, hard single Gloucester and a sweet and nutty Mayfield from East Sussex (similar to an emmental). Fact sheets are included that feature information on flavour notes, drinks suggestions and an introduction to the cheese makers. Each cheese is wrapped in the classic Paxton & Whitfield-branded paper before being shipped out on the second Wednesday of each month. Choose the number of months you’d like to subscribe for (a minimum of three is recommended) and how often you’d like a delivery (monthly, alternate months or quarterly).
2. The Cheese Society Monthly Cheese Club: from £35 per month, The Cheese Society
With this one, every month you’ll receive a selection of five cheeses at a hefty weight between 900g-1kg. The selection changes each month but will always contain in-depth tasting notes to talk you through your pack, as well as a helpful guide to looking after your cheese. We received an interesting selection of hard and soft cheeses from both the UK and Europe. It made for a very well-rounded cheese board that we were keen to share with guests. To give you an idea of what to expect, we received a firm Berkswell (West Midlands), a mild Bra Tenero Perla (Italy), a medium blue Grand Noir (Germany), an interesting Goat Gouda with Fenugreek (Holland) and a soft and bloomy Stannage Millstone (Derbyshire). Choose from either a one-off pack, or subscribe for three months, quarterly, bi-monthly or annually.
3. Table @ Vallebona Monthly Cheese Subscription Box: from £50 per month, Table @ Vallebona
An Italian deli, with a shop in Wimbledon, Vallebona supplies its artisanal Italian produce to many high-end restaurants across London. If we were giving out awards for best presentation, Vallebona would be at the top of the table. We received a beautiful box containing three Italian cheeses – Caprino Netro (a young goat’s cheese wrapped in mixed herbs), Pecorino in Vinaccia, aged in Sangiovese grapes, and a show-stopping Pecorino with Truffle. What we really loved about this box, though, were the accompaniments: long, elegant Ligurian flat bread crackers made with rosemary and olive oil, a bag of dried fruit and nuts designed to complement cheese, and a little pot of truffle honey, which all went down a treat and gave us ready-made cheese board. What’s more, everything can be bought individually from the online shop, which is handy, as we’re already out of the truffle honey. Sign up for a one-off delivery, or choose from monthly, every three, six or 12 month plans.
4. Pong The Cheese Club: £22 per month, Pong
Pong has recently revamped its subscription service to offer more choice and flexibility. You can sign up for however long you’d like, with payments taken monthly. There’s the option to pay a little extra (£7) for a more premium cheese and you can make your box veggie, or exclude all goat’s cheese or blue cheese if they aren’t to your liking, for example. The price is the same regardless of whether you choose monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly deliveries. Don’t expect fancy packaging, but the cheeses inside make up for that. We received a Little Milk Co Organic Cheddar, a deliciously melty Perail Papillon, a mild Yorkshire Blue, and a wheel of Godminster Brie with Black Pepper, which we baked before serving. While there were no tasting notes, Pong does provide a fact sheet explaining the best way to care, serve and eat your cheese.
5. Cows & Co Artisan Cheese Lovers Club: from £75 for three months, Not On The High Street
Expect an all British selection of cheese from Cows & Co, produced using milk from its Ayrshire cows. We received a vintage cheddar, the new “Nanny McBrie” goat’s milk brie and a smoked brie, too. Products are rotated so you should get to try something new from the range each month. All boxes are suitable for vegetarians as Cows & Co insists on only using vegetarian rennet in production. Subscriptions are available for either three, six, nine or 12 months.
6. Neal’s Yard Dairy Cheese of the Month Subscription: from £149 for three months, Neal’s Yard Dairy
You can rely on famous cheesemonger Neal’s Yard Dairy to provide a well-balanced selection of British farmhouse cheese for you each month. Containing 1.2kg of cheese, Neal’s Yard waits until the last moment before putting together the selection to ensure you’re tasting the best-in-season every time. The cheese is given time to mature and will arrive in its optimum condition, wrapped in simple but beautiful white packaging. You’ll receive a brief note explaining why your cheese was chosen and what makes it so special. Perfect for those that like trying something new, we received a Red Leicester, a raw goat’s milk and a Wensleydale, among others. You can sign up to one delivery a month for either three, six or 12 months, every other month for 12 months, or quarterly for 12 months.
7. The Cheese Shed Culture: from £17.99 per month, The Cheese Shed
The Cheese Shed’s “Culture” box is customisable, allowing you to choose the frequency of deliveries (weekly, fortnightly, or monthly) and the quantity of cheese you desire in each box. You can also choose to exclude goat’s or blue cheese, or make them all vegetarian should you wish. With over 120 artisan cheeses from the West Country, each box will be different to the last. It’s pay-as-you-go so there’s no large upfront payment and you’ll receive an information booklet on your selection. Prices start at £17.99 for a box containing two cheeses, increasing incrementally up to six per box.
8. Craved London Monthly Cheese & Charcuterie Club: £40 per month, Craved London
London-based Craved specialises in bringing together the best of British food and drink, from chocolate to booze, but this subscription box focuses on two kindred foodie spirits: cheese and charcuterie. Each month, inside your delivered wooden crate you’ll find two cheeses (the blue in ours was a pungent marvel), alongside two cold meats, crackers and chutney – everything you need for the well-rounded cheese board. The monthly subscription is rolling, with delivery happening around the 15th of each month, and you can cancel at any time. Craved has a range of subscription boxes: one for beer and jerky, one for gin, and another bringing together its latest and greatest releases.
9. The Courtyard Dairy Cheese Club: From £28 a month, The Courtyard Dairy
This Lancaster-based cheese shop is a champion of traditional farmhouse cheeses, and the small-scale producers who supply them – and its cheese club is a great showcase for those values. The selection is chosen considering the season, ripeness of the cheese, and which varieties taste particularly great at that time. From the hand-written labels on each cheese to the detailed tasting notes, we could tell that a lot of thought goes into each selection. Our box contained unusual varieties like Botton Creamery’s pungent, soft-textured Moorland Monster, with its distinctive dark orange hue. There was also a Irish-made goat’s milk gouda and the distinctive (unpasteurised) Lanark Blue by Scottish cheese pioneers Errington. These offerings are not run-of-the-mill, so there will be the occasional divisive variety – the Moorland Monster split our tasters – but this is a great option for anyone passionate about discovering artisan makers and flavours you won’t find in your average deli. Opt for a three- or five-cheese box and choose your delivery frequency. Delivery usually occurs on the first Wednesday of every month, although you can change this if it doesn’t suit, and you can also ask for certain cheeses to be excluded.
10. Partisan Cheese Club: from £23.99 per month, Partisan Cheesemonger & Deli
Based in Guildford, the Partisan team believe in sourcing products as locally as they can, working closely with small artisanal producers. The result is a beautiful collection of fine cheeses from across the UK and Europe. Aside from receiving an interesting and delicious box of cheese each month, as a cheese club member you’ll also be invited to tastings and in-store events. Your personal preferences will be saved so if you don’t or won’t eat goats cheese, or pungent blues, your box will be tailored to you. Our box contained a strong Old Winchester from the New Forest, similar to a gouda or a parmesan, a vodka washed variety from Surrey and a really exciting Winslade – a cross between our favourite Vacherin Mont D’Or and Camembert. With comprehensive tasting notes, complete with drinks pairing suggestions this is a superb all-rounder.
The Verdict: Cheese subscription boxes
While not cheap, the packaging and cheese board accompaniments in the Italian Vallebona box were a real treat. However, if you’re looking for a more wide ranging selection of cheeses, both The Cheese Society and Paxton & Whitfield provide interesting, quality cheeses from around the world. Finally, if you’re not fussed about presentation, you can’t go wrong with Pong’s good value subscription service.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.
Black Friday 2019 is nearly here. Read our guide on how to get the best Black Friday deals