Christmas 2014: 11 best cheeseboards

Whether it's enjoyed post-dinner or snuggled round the fire for a lazy Boxing Day lunch, we've always got room for cheese. These are our favourites

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The Independent Online

Christmas is a time for snuggling down with the best of everything – and that includes cheese. Whether it’s an award-winning Devon Blue, a ripe Camembert or a creamy Lancashire we have the best cheese selections for you to sample, including ones that come with chutney, oatcakes and even a wooden cheeseboard. So go ahead and a enjoy a nibble.

{1} Baby It’s Cold Outside Fireside Picnic: from £32, finecheese.co.uk

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The Fine Cheese Company offers a warming yuletide selection that includes Beauvale and the mouth-watering Vacherin Mont D’Or which, once you’ve stuck it in the oven for 15 minutes or so, becomes a ready-made fondue.

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{2} Wallace & Gromit  gift pack: £7.95, wensleydale.co.uk

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Like Wallace, just crackers about cheese? Then this gift set is just the job, Gromit: Wensleydale, “Middle Age Spread” chutney and oatcakes, all at a very reasonable price.

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 {3} The Cheese Shed Christmas Five: £39.99, thecheeseshed.com

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This company chooses the finest artisan cheese centred around three key types - hard, blue and brie - along with an added flavour cheese and a contrasting soft one. Includes the award-winning Devon Blue and Bath soft cheese.

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{4} Lancashire Bombs: From £6.95 each, britishfinefoods.com

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Creamy Lancashire cheese is encased in black wax to give it that “anarchist’s best friend” look. Smooth, spoonable and happy to stay in its case until the Christmas after next. Try the seasonal spiced apple and port flavour, too.

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{5} Duchy from Waitrose Cheese and Biscuits: £12.99, ocado.com

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If you want a ready-made cheese board, this  is a good buy. You get three British organic creations, including the creamy, pungent Cropwell British Blue Stilton and the delicately sweet red Leicester.

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{6} Tesco Festive Cheese Selection: £5, tesco.com

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Four 100g selections of Applewood smoke-flavoured Cheddar, Wensleydale with cranberries, Wensleydale with apricots and Double Gloucester with onion and chives. Keeps until well after Christmas, too.

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{7} The Courtyard Dairy Christmas Cheeseboard: £22.95, thecourtyarddairy.co.uk

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This is an enterprising showcase for some of England’s finest, including Richard III Wensleydale, an intense Tunworth Camembert,  the tangy Dale End Cheddar and the Stilton-style Young Buck. It comes with a welcome slab of quince paste, too. Totals 515g.

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{8} Waitrose Continental Selection with Board: £22, waitrose.com

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Take a culinary trip to Europe from the comfort of your fireside - Brie de Meaux, Comté, Taleggio and Gorgonzola Piccante make up this varied set which comes with a lovely rubberwood cheeseboard.

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{9} The Pong Christmas Explorer Box: £29.95, pongcheese.co.uk

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For the more adventurous, here’s a well-named selection that includes the unpasterised Lincolnshire Poacher, the bizarre-looking Langres and St Maure de Touraine, a masterful goat’s cheese. Approximate weight 1180g. Order by 20 December for Christmas delivery.

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{10} Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Selection: £8, sainsburys.co.uk

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Good value selection including Barber’s West Country Cheddar, a scrumptious mature Stilton, Brie, Shropshire Red and a mild and creamy goat’s cheese.

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{11} M&S Cheese, Chutney & Oatcakes Selection: £25, christmasfood.marksandspencer.com

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A whole baby Brie, farmhouse Cheddar, creamy Lancashire and soft goat’s cheese plus red onion marmalade and oatcakes are included in this 1.35kg selection which is enough to serve 15-20 people. Order by 20th December for New Year festivities.

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Verdict:
The Baby It’s Cold Fireside picnic offers a bake-in-the-oven Vacherin Mont D’Or along with other fine cheese while the Waitrose Continental selection comes with a splendid rubberwood cheeseboard. But for a good value seasonal selection go for the Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference selection with five varied cheeses for only £8.

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