Florence Highs: -- Staying at JK Place, Florence's ultimate boutique…
Forget coffee*, we BlogSmiths have a new obsession: cheese. As Lucy – who’s currently sunning herself in the South of France in a rather special Smith hotel – mentioned last week during our wedding/honeymoon bonanza, I’m currently in the process of coordinating my own forthcoming nuptials (which, for those of you who haven’t yet had the pleasure, is approximately as straightforward and intellectually undemanding as trying to do a cryptic crossword underwater while strapped to an angry sea lion). Two of the hardest, most teeth-grindingly annoying things about organising a wedding are:
a) Managing to be sufficiently ‘different’ to ensure the celebration is personal to both of you, without further convincing your relatives that you’re a pair of oddball kooks intent on bringing dishonour to the family name through your insistence on writing your vows as limericks and having a monkey ring-bearer.
b) Finding a supplier who doesn’t whiffle obsequiously about making your ‘special day as romantic as possible’ through the medium of iced fruitcake, then charge you an extra £100 just for the privilege of buying from their spuriously titled ‘Wedding Selection’.
This weekend, I was lucky enough to sidestep both issues (soon-to-be Mrs Smith won’t budge on the monkey thing, however). We found a company prepared to deal with our relatively specialist requirements – and in a fair, friendly, non-effusive, non-satanically priced way to boot.
We’ve been trying to find an alternative to the usual wedding cake, because neither of us fancied paying through the nose, ears, and throat in order to express our love through the art of patisserie. And neither of us likes cake that much either (unlike the bling-addled lunatics folk who made this). A friend of mine opted for a profiterole wedding cake a few years ago, and news hits me that pork pie wedding cakes are very much on the rise, but we hit upon the idea of cheesecake. Not cheesecake-cheesecake, but a cake-of-cheese-cheesecake. A few tiered truckles of cheddar, Stilton, Camembert and the ilk, perhaps insouciantly draped with grapes. It turns out that this is far from an original idea, but we don’t mind. We love cheese.
Thus, a fair slice (boom boom) of Saturday afternoon was spent at The Teddington Cheese in southwest London, chomping our way through mouthfuls of the stuff, guided by a fanatically knowledgeable cheesemonger named Tony, in order to select each layer. The shop itself is an Aladdin’s cave of dairy joy, and there’s a branch in Richmond too, (Smith’s own Lucy was spotted lurking there a couple of weeks back, looking lustfully at a Caerphilly). By the time we left, we had the cake problem sorted for less than half the cost of a normal wedding iced affair (there’s no extra ‘wedding’ charge, you just pay for the cheese), we knew a lot more about cheese-making than ever before, and we were pretty darned full.
All of which is an extremely long-winded way of saying that for a stress-free, economically sensible and unusual wedding cake, cheese may be the way to go.
*Not really, we could never forget coffee.