As predicted, Bowcliffe Drivers’ Club Members’ were out in force for our second cheese themed Members’ Evening held on 8th December. Alongside guests, we welcomed Judy Bell MBE of Shepherds Purse Cheeses and Johnny Pearson from Bowcliffe’s wine merchant, House of Townend to the sumptuous surrounds of the Drivers’ Club for an evening of cheese talk and tasting.
Here’s an overview of what those who attended the exclusive evening enjoyed…
Around 50 members arrived on what was a chilly December evening, welcomed into the cosy Drivers’ Club with glasses of Prosecco and a roaring open fire. Once everybody had been given the chance to network and get comfortable, headline speaker and entrepreneur Judy Bell took centre stage. Judy spoke for around an hour and a half about Shepherds Purse Cheeses – the family business she has built from scratch which is now regarded as one of the UK’s leading independent cheese producers, with no less than seven artisanal cheeses and over 250 awards to the company name.
As Judy took the audience on a journey through Shepherds Purse’s cheese making methods, guests were treated to the main event – platter upon platter of the finest Shepherds Purse cheeses, which were offered alongside a selection of complementary wines.
Judy spoke at length of the traditional, small batch method of cheese production they still employ to this day at Shepherds Purse, as well as giving guests an insight into a new cheese which will be launched by the company in spring. She also noted that they’re working on numerous more experimental cheese flavours at Shepherds Purse, including cheese containing gin – but went on to say that each cheese needs a different environment to be produced in – so choosing wisely is essential.
Once Judy had finished her speech, Johnny Pearson from House of Townend spoke briefly about each of the hand-selected wines, helping guests to identify the flavours within each and noting perfect food and cheese pairings.
John Topham made sure guests weren’t left hungry (no chance after all that cheese!) and served up a delicious Lamb tagine with two dishes using the Shepherds Purse Blue cheese to showcase it; blue cheese & pear salad and figs with blue cheese wrapped in pancetta. Absolutely delectable.
Guests were invited to try more of the House of Townend wines in the briefing room before leaving at around 10pm.
Feedback from the event has been superb, and we would like to thank Judy Bell MBE and Johnny Pearson for making the evening an excellent and unforgettable one.