Best Part: The Cheese!
The Fleetville Larder is in a slightly awkward location, a bit out of town along the Hatfield Road, but not quite as far as Morrisons, opposite the graveyard. You know, just past the Tesco Metro but before Papa John’s. Got it? Good!
Anyway, you should totally go there, even if it is a bit out of the way, because the Fleetville Larder is one of the greatest larders I have had the pleasure of visiting. They are effectively a classy deli that you can dine-in in. It reminded me a bit of Replete Café and Store in Taupo, New Zealand, if you’ve been there.
Fleetville Larder’s special move is its cheese. It has a superb selection, which you can sample through their cheese boards, or even a cheese and meat board, our chosen option. For the large sharing platter we got 3 different cheeses, two different salamis, two types of cracker, two different types of chutney and a basket of nice fresh bread. Because we are important reviewing types, or more likely because the lady serving us was very nice, she gave us an extra bonus cheese, a creamy affair with a central vein of charcoal where the two halves of the cheese had been squashed together. It was exceptionally pleasant but it speaks to the high quality of cheesy offerings that this was probably my least favourite of the selection.
The aforementioned very nice cheese lady took the time to talk to us and discover our cheesy preferences. We ended up with one of the best Stiltons I’ve ever had, a very mature and very powerful cheddar and our favourite, a super creamy sheep’s (or possibly goat’s) cheese with an orange rind that tasted like Zeus’s own Primula. In fact this cheese was so good that we had to buy some to take home. In fact, it’s so good that I need to go and eat some right now.
Update, my wife has obviously been feeling the same as the cheese levels have gone down considerably since I last checked.
The chutneys were of a high quality two, a figgy concoction reminiscent of Turkey and a sticky caramelised Brandy affair. I don’t really dig chutney with my cheeses, feeling it detracts rather than compliments the main event, but they made a jolly little pudding once I was done. The salamis were equally excellent and went very well with the cheese, the salty fat of the meat offsetting well the salty fat of the cheese.
The larder itself has a pleasing vibe, wood and condiments filling any space not taken up by cheese, and you might need to make friends with people on one of the long(ish) middle tables, but we were there early and got a window seat so luckily did not have to talk to strangers. There was also a good selection of boozy and sensible drinks, I had an artisanal cream soda that was enough to make me put aside my long held animosity to this most ice creamy of drinks.
We are now pledged whole-heartedly to the defence and promotion of the Fleetville Larder. It is just our kind of place. There was clearly love for the whole endeavour from our cheesy lady, and this shines through at every level. We unfortunately had to miss their recent cheese and craft beer night but if they ever repeat it we will be first in the queue for tickets. And some more of that orange sheep’s cheese whilst we’re there.