House of Cheese Logo
Award winning cheese from Tetbury Gloucestershire
shopping basket  |  View Basket |  Checkout

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

spacer

FAQs

Can I telephone my order through to you or post you a cheque?

No - sorry. All or mail-order business has to be done online otherwise we simply couldn't cope and written orders may go missing. Our internet software helps us with our stock control and is the most secure way to store payment details. We run a busy internet business, a wholesale business and an often hectic shop. We could invest in more staff but then our prices wouldn't be so competitive.

How much is the postage for my order?

We charge £4.95 per delivery for most mainland UK addresses (even if you order a cheeseboard of £500 we will still only charge the same delivery charge.) We subsidise some of our carriage charges from our internet profits - we certainly do not make money (overall) from our carriage charges.

POSTAL SURCHARGE - SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS, SCOTTISH ISLANDS, NORTHERN IRELAND, & ISLE OF WIGHT, - For orders over 2kg (allow 300g for packaging) there is a surcharge of £12 for deliveries to Scottish Islands, Northern Ireland, Isle of Wight, and the following postcodes: All IV, All PA, Perth PH4-41 & PH49-50 - Wick & Thurso KW1-14, KA27-28, AB31-38, AB40-56. Your order to these postcodes will often take longer instead of next day. We do not deliver to the Channel Islands, Isle of Man or the Isles of Scilly.

Do you have a minimum order value?

Only £20

Do you deliver to other countries?

No, sorry; the cost of express delivery and customs/import regulations prevent us from doing so. You can order from anywhere in the world if you are sending to a UK address, for instance, to friends or family.

What days do you deliver and how is it sent?

We despatch Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (Mondays too just in December) for next day delivery. We pack carefully and insulate cheeses with environmentally-friendly starch-based chips. In warm weather we use disposable ice gel packs to keep our cheeses cool in the box. Different despatch dates apply just before Christmas and over the Christmas holiday period. You can place your order with a despatch date in the future, i.e. you can forward order for special occasions such as birthdays, parties etc. Please note that no delivery company is perfect, although we get over 98% next-day delivered. Therefore, if your order is especially date sensitive, please bear this in mind as we cannot be responsible for late deliveries due to circumstances beyond our control. December deliveries often take longer than one day as all courier companies struggle to cope. We would always advise customers to allow an extra day for delivery if your order is for a special occasion such as a wedding or party.

I want to send a gift - how soon before a birthday or Christmas should I send it?

It really depends what you are sending. Whole cheeses such as a whole Cheddar truckle or baby Stilton usually have a shelf life of three weeks or more. If you are sending a mixed selection, the soft cheeses will only last two weeks at the most. In our experience, usually recipients do not mind using the soft cheeses before the event. We often say that you should treat a cheese gift a bit like fresh flowers. One wouldn't send fresh flowers and hope for them to last for three weeks. We do sell lots of cheese related non-food gift items too.

Is the amount shown on my internet invoice the amount which will be charged to my credit card?

We cannot cut cheese exactly - it is all done by hand. For instance, you may order 500g of Parmesan and our cut may be, for instance, 514g or perhaps 482g. We have an adjustment, therefore, for overcuts/undercuts which will be shown on your final invoice or, in the case of ordering a gift, we will e-mail you the total amount we shall be charging to your credit card. We rarely undercut or overcut extreme amounts!

Where's my invoice?

In 2006 we decided to exclude any printed invoices in parcels. We e-mail every customer with invoice details and feel an enclosed invoice unnecessary and certainly not a good idea in the case of a gift. We can re e-mail an invoice if, for any reason, you didn't receive our original e-mail.

Do I have to pay postage, even if I collect from your shop?

No. Your internet invoice will show a delivery charge but we will deduct that amount before we charge your credit card. So we know, just add a message in the 'other comments' box at our checkout, such as 'to collect from your shop on xxxxx day/date'

I'm having a cheese and wine party. How much cheese should I budget for?

We normally allow 100g per person. Some people are greedy but others eat just a little, so this amount has worked for us over the years. If you are feeding 50 people, therefore, you will need 5 kilos; 75 people will require 7.5 kilos, and 100 people will need 10 kilos. Allow about £2.50 per head. If there is a lot of other food, you could reduce these quantities by about a third. We can put together a selection of what's particularly good at the moment (see the Cheese Selections section of our website) or you can choose each part of your order. Don't have too many small pieces of cheese; a few good hunks is always better. Vary the types (e.g. a soft cheese, a firm cheese, a blue cheese, a goats' milk cheese etc.) and think about colour, strength and texture (often a Double Gloucester, a Leicester or Shropshire Blue add a nice touch of colour). If you personally do not like, say, blue cheese, goat cheese, or any other type of cheese, bear in mind that you are not ordering a selection for yourself, and that other guests may enjoy these types of cheese. You can order in two ways - you can pick your own cheeses so that the total weight tallies with our guidelines above; or you can ask us to put together a selection which amounts to £2.50 x number of guests. If there are particular cheeses you wish or do not wish to include, please enter these in the 'Any Other Comments' box at our checkout.

What do 'Suitable for Vegetarians' and 'Made with Unpasteurised Milk' mean by some cheeses?

'Suitable for Vegetarians' means that this cheese is suitable for vegetarians because the rennet which starts the cheesemaking process uses a plant extract. Vegetarian cheeses do not taste any different to ones using animal rennet. 'Made with Unpasteurised Milk' means that this cheese is made using unpasteurised, sometimes called, raw milk. Usually it gives the cheese a better flavour and some cheeses can only be made using unpasteurised milk.

I'm pregnant, so which cheeses should I avoid?

The Chief Medical Officer suggests you avoid soft and blue cheeses, whether pasteurised or unpasteurised.

I am not sure whether I will be at home when the goods are delivered. Do I have to sign for them?

Yes, someone will have to sign for your delivery if it is sent Special Delivery as the goods are insured. Larger orders which go with couriers (still insured) are allowed to 'be left in shed' or some other instruction. If you know you are going to be out it would be better to have the goods sent either to a place of work or to a friend, relative or neighbour.

Can I send a cheese selection to a friend as a gift?

We have been surprised by how many people have sent cheese selections as gifts, especially if they live outside the UK. It may be worth checking, though, whether the recipients will be there to receive them - we did have one example where the recipient was sent abroad for a fortnight whilst the cheese perished in their local Post Office storeroom! Remember that we can include a personalised card with the message of your choice; enter this in the box marked 'Please enter the greeting you would like included in the order'.

Do you have a returns policy?

Our Terms & Conditions page gives full details of returns.

Do you have a printed catalogue?

No - sorry. Please remember that cheesemakers come and go, some cheeses are seasonal, and therefore it is much easier for us to maintain and update our website.

How do I store my cheese and how long will it keep?

Freshly cut cheese ripened to perfection is a fragile product and once delivery has been made it must be kept cool, especially in very hot weather. Soft cheeses in our shop are, by law, kept refrigerated at temperatures between 5 degrees C and 8 degrees C. You will notice that many manufacturers state on the packaging of individual cheeses that these should be kept below 5 degrees, and we therefore suggest that you follow these guidelines to keep your cheese in the best condition. There are no temperature controls for hard cheeses but, again, these are best kept cool, as excessive warmth can cause mould formation and/or sweating. However, some people do prefer to keep all cheeses in a very cool larder, rather than a refrigerator, and this is up to the individual consumer. Modern kitchens are generally far too warm for the keeping of cheese, but, nevertheless, most cheeses have a better flavour if they are consumed at room temperature. Just as one might bring a red wine from a cool cellar and allow it to spend some time at room temperature, the same can be done with cheese, provided that the cheese is kept covered to prevent it from drying out. Individual cheeses normally have a "Use By" or "Best Before" date. We despatch cut cheeses either vacuum packed or in clingfilm. Vacuum packing suits most firm cheeses very well, and extends their life. Tight vacuum packing is not suitable for some soft cheeses or for blues with a heavy crust, and that is why we generally send these with loose vacuum packing or in clingfilm, and with a shorter shelf life. Very soft blue cheeses tend to leak fluid and therefore these are better vacuum packed. However, once the vacuum packing is opened, then the cheese should be consumed within a few days. To a limited extent, cheese can be frozen. Traditional blue cheeses such as Stilton and Shropshire Blue freeze very well. Firm cheeses - Cheddar types, for example - freeze if grated and then used for cooking. If frozen as a piece, the texture will change and become crumbly. Some of our customers freeze soft cheeses, but this is only successful if the cheeses are fully ripe, as soft cheeses with a chalky texture will never ripen after defrosting. The subject of wrapping cheese when stored is a thorny one, both amongst cheesemongers and their customers. Some people prefer waxed paper as they feel that this lets the cheese "breathe"; others suggest aluminium foil or damp muslin. We find that tightly wrapped clingfilm is perfectly acceptable. Usually, it is a good idea to remember that cheese is made to be EATEN, and that, like a bunch of flowers, it is best enjoyed while fresh and at optimum condition.

What is a cheese wedding cake?

It’s not the well known sweet cheesecake containing crushed sweet biscuits as a base. It consists of several cheeses arranged one above the other in the same way that the tiers of a traditional wedding cake are arranged. To make it look like a traditional cake, round cheeses of varying diameters are used. We have now been supplying these sort of ‘cakes’ since 2003, when we were asked to supply one for the Richard & Judy TV show. We pioneered this concept and now seem to be the leading supplier of this type of cake on the net and by supplying many cakes each week we have built up quite a lot of experience in knowing what works and what doesn't! We are a cheese specialist and have run our business for many years. Beware of other websites less specialised - some of their cakes contain pungent, wet, leaky, really soft cheeses which will not work on the day!

Why cheese?

Some people simply do not like traditional fruit cakes, marzipan, chocolate, icing, or any of the ingredients of a traditional cake. These cakes are suitable for anyone who would prefer a savoury cake or who would like a cheese course at their wedding in addition to the usual type of cake. There is also a current trend for these cakes and they appear to be increasing in popularity, judging by the number of cakes we have supplied and the amount of queries we have received.

Of course, there is the alternative option of having a fruit/chocolate cake and a selection of cheeses displayed as a traditional cheese board.

My wedding food is being provided by a hotel/caterer. Can I still buy a cake from you?

Please check with the venue/caterers that they are happy for us to supply a cheese cake they may want to provide ALL the food! It may also be a good idea to check that a hotel or caterers have large refrigeration facilities so that cheeses are not sitting around in a warm room for a few days before the wedding.

How much cheese do I need?

We normally recommend 100g of cheese per person (3.5oz) which means in theory that if you have 100 guests you will need a 10kg cake and so on! Some guests will not eat any cheese (14% of people do not eat cheese) but other guests will eat much more than 100g so from our experience of providing cheeseboards for large functions please allow 100g per person to be sure you have sufficient quantities. In terms of cost our cakes work out at roughly £2-3 per head; very reasonable when compared to an iced cake or a chocolate cake. Twenty guests is about the minimum sized cake so if you have fewer than that we would suggest a nice selection of cheeses. Some customers have bought cakes twice the size they need so that the cake looks impressive and they have then used the remaining cheese for another cheese meal. Remember that most blue cheeses freeze well and some people freeze soft cheese although this does change the texture a little.

You may need slightly less than 100g per person if you are providing a large buffet to go with the cake; or you are also having a traditional cake.

How do I assemble the cake?

There are two methods.

The first is the easier and most popular way and is known as ‘the American style’. The cheeses are simply stacked on each other although it may be an idea to put a circle of greaseproof or cardboard between each.

The second involves separating the cheeses with stands, boards, pillars, etc. Recently, customers have been asking us where to obtain the wooden rustic bases shown on some photographs in our Customer Gallery. The answer is to find a local sawmill and ask them to cut a slice from a tree; then ask them to sand it with their power sanders. After taking it home, you can either wax the wood or polyurethane it to seal the cut surfaces.

Remember that whether stacked directly or separated, three or more cheeses which are different sizes work much better than several cheeses which have the same diameter a cake which looks like a factory chimney is not very aesthetically pleasing!

You will need at least one, perhaps two, very sharp, strong knives to cut the cake; we sell plenty of knives. Smaller knives are really useful to spread out amongst the cheeseboard and, of course, are useful to keep and use in the future.

Whilst talking of adding other items to your order, many customers have also added some chutneys and pickles to go with their firm cheese(s). Pictures and details of all our goods can be viewed on our internet shop.

What is the best way to decorate the cake?

Find someone artistic to garnish it in an attractive manner! We do not provide fruit or other garnishes as everyone has their own personal ideas. Foliage, cherry tomatoes, green/purple grapes, flowers, and even some figurines all seem to work well. If you are worried about cut flower or leaf stems touching the cheese, wrap the stems in a little clingfilm or foil.

We think that the cakes work best when they have all their wrappings removed before decoration.

Can I buy a cake at any time of year?

Not in January or February. Our shop and internet site are very busy in December and we are overwhelmed with other business so please order your cake early. In January and early February we take our annual break and are unable to supply cakes. Also, suppliers often sell out of certain cheeses at Christmas so we cannot always obtain normal stock in the early part of the year. To avoid any cakes getting lost in the chaos of Christmas our last despatch date is mid-December. The cheeses will need to be kept refrigerated until the Christmas or New Year wedding by, either the venue, or yourselves.

How much notice do I need to give?

Usually a month, but we do prefer as much notice as possible, especially if we need to discuss your requirements at length. To provide quotations, we always require the date of the wedding and the number of guests. We also need a name and address for delivery of the cheeses and your credit card details when you place your order in the wedding section of our internet shop. We do not charge your credit card (except for a £50 deposit) until we have packed the cheeses ready for despatch. For cakes which cost less than £100, we take full payment when you order. We use a courier for a next day service and normally work to the following timescale:

If a wedding is on a Saturday, we will despatch the cheeses on the Wednesday before the wedding so that, ideally, they arrive on the Thursday. This allows for the courier to take two days to deliver the cheese, which has been known to happen occasionally. Similarly, we suggest a Tuesday despatch date if the wedding is on a Friday.

There is a subsidised next day postage charge to most mainland addresses (see our FAQ's page for details of the remote areas for which we have a surcharge). There is, of course, no delivery charge if the cheeses are collected from our shop.

Can I visit the shop?

We are happy to see potential customers in our Tetbury shop and many couples find it very useful to see and taste real cheeses rather than just look at photographs. Some of the cheeses we use in cakes are not sold as cut cheese in our shop, so not every combination of cheeses can be tasted. We now require you to book a consultation online in or wedding cake section of our webshop. Our shop is tiny and often very busy on Saturdays. You may have to wait while we serve some customers whilst also talking cakes! We can't discuss cakes at our shop in December as we are too busy then with our pre-Christmas business - sorry. We do, however, send a lot of cakes out in December which have been organised and ordered well in advance. If visiting Tetbury and you are getting married locally, we have a lovely florist right opposite us called Scentiments (tel: 01666 503195). They can decorate our cakes and provide first class wedding flowers.

We make a charge for a wedding consultations but that is refundable against your cake order.

spacer

Recently Viewed

Right panel

Clicking outside this panel wont close it because clickClose = false