ParkLives Manchester – Stay and Play at the park

Last week we visited our local park – Fletcher Moss in Didsbury and took part in one of the ParkLives Manchester activities “Roaming Rangers“. We’d had a lot of fun and as soon as we got home we booked ourselves in for another activity, this time “Park Fun Stay & Play”.

We arrived in good time and we met the Stay and Play leaders down at the Bug Hotel. There is a little area which has been set aside to encourage wildlife and birds. There was a craft gazebo and some games and other activities to do, so we explored our options.

Parklives Manchester

First to fascinate the small boy and I was the giant jenga which we quickly managed to knock down, but not before the boy had shown off his excellent jenga-ing skills. After a little gentle persuasion I managed to get him to tackle the hurdles, something which he loved and wanted to do over and over and got me to do it too.  

Once we’d spent some time hurdling we were given a Nature Scavenger Hunt to do, this was lots of fun, especially in the nature reserve bit of the park. We quickly managed to find a clover, a stick, some flowers and some birds. After some hunting I found some paw prints in the mud and he found a couple of feathers. It was lots of fun wandering around, trying to find the things on the list and talking about nature.

Parklives Manchester

There was den building and lots of crafts going on, but the boy (who had hurt his leg and been to A&E that morning) was tired and not really in the mood for doing too much, so we watched the den building and decided to take inspiration from the nature crafts and maybe do some of our own at home later. 

ParkLives Manchester offers free and fun activity sessions across the city and is now in its second year in Manchester. There are a huge range of activities available, from multi-activity fun camps for families, walk to run sessions, buggy fit and more.

There are hundreds of activities listed on the ParkLives Manchester website and you can quickly and easily book yourself in for an activity session in advance. I wonder what session I’ll book us onto next week?

For more information on ParkLives Manchester, or to book and activity visit the website.

Recipe: Super Speedy Cheese and Onion Pinwheels

Back in July I spent a day judging at the International Cheese Awards. During the day I sampled hundreds of cheeses, learned a fair amount about cheese making and met celebrity chef  Joe Hurd for a chat about Parmesan. As you do.

I love the International Cheese Awards, it’s a great opportunity to try lots of new cheeses and to see what I like and what I probably wouldn’t try again. I spent quite a lot of time visiting the trade stands. I made a bee-line for the Lactalis stand which featured familiar household names such as Galbani, President and Seriously Strong Cheddar. 

Joe Hurd was on hand to give cooking demonstrations throughout the day and to talk about his love of Anglo-Italian cookery. We chatted about Galbani Parmesan which is an iconic brand in Italy. It’s matured for 9 months and is sweet and dense and used predominantly as a seasoning in Italy. 

I asked Joe how he likes to serve Parmesan and his answer quite surprised me. Joe said that Parmesan barbecues really well with garlic and Italian sausage. Apparently it grills really well and doesn’t melt like a cheddar style cheese might. Sounds delicious! In Cyprus I’ve had Parmesan with honey as a dessert, so it really is a surprisingly versatile cheese. 

Cheese & Onion Pinwheels

I came home from the International Cheese Awards with bags bursting with cheese from all over the world, but my goodies from Lactalis were especially lovely. After my chat with Joe I was keen to see what I could make with them.

Being a simple soul, and it being summer and the season of picnics I decided to make some Cheese and Onion Pinwheels. I’ve never made pinwheels before, but they seemed the sort of easy thing a busy person could throw together in very little time and have something impressively homemade for a picnic in the park with friends.

Cheese & Onion Pinwheels

As it happened, they were delicious. They required very few ingredients and took no time at all to knock together.

Cheese & Onion Pinwheels
Yields 15
Super simple and really speedy cheesy snacks for picnics and parties.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
11 calories
2 g
1 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
18 g
17 g
1 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
18g
Yields
15
Amount Per Serving
Calories 11
Calories from Fat 3
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
1%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 1mg
0%
Sodium 17mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 2g
1%
Dietary Fiber 0g
1%
Sugars 1g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
1%
Iron
0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 large onion, finely chopped
  2. 1 teaspoon of butter
  3. A pinch of salt, pepper and sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
  5. 1 pack of ready made puff pastry
  6. 1 tub of Seriously Strong spreadable - Caramelised Onion flavour
  7. 1 tablespoon of Galbani Parmesan, finely grated
Instructions
  1. In a frying pan melt the butter and gently fry the onion until soft but not brown. Add the salt, pepper, sugar and balsamic vinegar and stir. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. On a large board unroll the sheet of puff pastry, leave it on the paper it comes wrapped in. Spread the Seriously Strong Caramelised onion cheese all over the pastry, be fairly generous but spread it evenly if you can. Cover with the cooled fried onion.
  3. Roll the pastry up along its long side, wrap in the paper and put in the fridge for 10 minutes or so.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.
  5. Remove the pastry from the fridge and carefully cut into rounds approximately 1.5cm thick. You should get around 15 pinwheels from this.
  6. Place each round on a greased baking tray and top with a little of the finely grated Galbani Parmesan. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a rack for 15 minutes or so.
  8. Serve on their own or with your favourite chutney.
beta
calories
11
fat
0g
protein
0g
carbs
2g
more
HodgePodgeDays http://hodgepodgedays.co.uk/
It really is a very simple process, my cheese and onion pinwheels hardly took any time at all and now I know what I’m doing I can go wild with the fillings and flavours if I want to.

Cheese & Onion Pinwheels

You can easily put these together in no time at all and once they’re cooked they look like you’ve spent hours slaving away in the kitchen. They’re so easy you could even get the kids involved.

Cheese & Onion Pinwheels

The Seriously Strong spreadable cheese is ideal for these cheese and onion pinwheels. It cooks really well and with it being a caramelised onion flavour it packs a lovely punch which works beautifully.

Cheese & Onion Pinwheels

What flavour combinations would you try in your pinwheels?

Win a Fantastic Pipity Activity Case & Bundle

With a few weeks left of the school holidays to enjoy and many parents already planning a getaway in the October half term, this seems like the perfect time to get a Pipity Activity Case to take away with you.

When we went on holiday to Devon a couple of weeks ago one of the first things we packed was our Pipity. Pipity is a very portable, A5 size activity case filled with everything a child would need to colour in or create things. It includes a pencil, colouring pencils, a ruler, scissors (not sharp), glue, a pencil sharpener and a little pouch to keep your activity book in. 

Pipity Activity Case

Pipity is a triumph of design and the perfect package to take away for crafty kids. The Pipity Activity Case recently won Right Start Best Toy Award 2016 and it’s been incredibly well thought out. 

Read our full review here – The Pipity Activity Case

It’s the perfect activity set to take on holiday, on days out, or just to your local cafe while you’re having lunch. It is suitable for children aged 6+ and there are a number of different activity books to choose from and enjoy. 

My small boy LOVED his Pipity Activity Case and showed it off to anyone who would listen. We are delighted with it and we think it is an essential and very neat bit of kit for your creative mini travellers.

To view the full range of Pipity activity products or to order for yourself, visit the Pipity website.

Pipity Activity Case

Win a Fantastic Pipity Activity Bundle

To be in with a chance to win a Pipity Activity Case (RRP £24.99), a Pipity Portfolio (RRP £7.50) and a Pipity Activity Book, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5.The winner will receive a Pipity Activity Bundle.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 13th September 2016.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details will be passed onto an agency to post the prize out to the winner, and is therefore beyond my control. I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post although I will endeavour to liaise with the agency.
11. Your email address may be passed on to to the promoter for marketing purposes, you may unsubscribe at any time.
12. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
13. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Review: Travel in Style with a kids Pipity Activity Case

Whenever we go out anywhere, even if it’s just to a local cafe I always shove an activity book and some pens in my bag to keep the boy entertained. He likes to draw and colour in. It is something he can do by himself or something we can do together. We were sent an award winning Pipity Activity Case, Pipity Portfolio and some Pipity Activity Books to try out on our holiday. But what did the boy think?

Pipity Activity Case

There are three different colours to choose from, red, pink and blue, all have a lovely star pattern. We chose the blue stars because blue is his favourite colour. The Pipity Activity Case is a fold out case full of all the stationery a child would need to colour in or create things. It includes a pencil, colouring pencils, a ruler, scissors (not sharp), glue, a pencil sharpener and a little pouch to keep your activity book in. 

The Pipity Activity Case folds out and has an easel/board you can lean on to use if you’re not sat at a table. This is a great idea, especially if you need to keep them entertained somewhere like the airport where they are likely to be sat on the floor.

Pipity Activity Case

The Pipity Activity Case has a carry handle and a strap you can sling over your shoulder and carry it with. And this is what the boy did as soon as he clapped eyes on it. Wherever we went, Pipity had to come too, and the best thing was he was carrying it for once. He was so proud and excited to have his own swanky activity case, he showed it off to anyone who would listen.

We were sent three different activity books to try, so we eased ourselves in gently and just chose the book which had blank pages to write and draw on. These are just the right size to slip inside the activity case. The pages are perforated too – a nice touch, so when you’ve finished your masterpiece you can tear it out and stick it on the fridge.

Pipity Activity Case

Pipity is very portable. It’s light, is around A5 size and is in a waterproof oilcloth case. It’s well made, stylish (I would love a similar one for adult crafting things) and it is suitable for children aged 6+ (though it’s safe for ages 3+). The activity case costs £24.99 and is currently available online via the Pipity website.

Pipity Activity Case

We were also sent the Pipity Portfolio, a handy case with expandable compartments to store your masterpieces once you’ve completed them. It’s the ideal companion to the activity case and costs just £7.50. I really liked this, the boy has a habit of gifting me his drawings and I never have anywhere to store them, so I liked that we could keep them safe in the portfolio. 

Pipity Activity Case

The Pipity Portfolio has its own handle so you can carry it. It’s made from lined board and is around A5 size. The portfolio has an elastic fastener to keep your treasures safe and sound. I think this is a lovely idea and a great price. I’d like to see it also available in a larger A4 size for bigger pieces of artwork.

Pipity was designed by Kate, a Mum of 3 from Devon.  The range has been designed at her kitchen table and was launched in May 2015.  The Pipity Activity Case recently won Right Start Best Toy Award 2016, which is very exciting. The Pipity range is all available on the Pipity website.

The Pipity Activity Case is absolutely perfect for taking on holiday, on days out, or just to the local cafe. It has been very widely admired by everyone who has seen it (or been shown it by the boy) and I can see this becoming a real essential for us whenever we leave the house. 

We were sent these lovely Pipity products for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Fishy Fact Finding at SEA LIFE Manchester

Recently one thousand families were put to the test at SEA LIFE Manchester to see how many of 10 fishy facts they were given during their visit they could remember.

Apparently the average score was only 5 correct questions out of 10,  with mums and dads out-performing their children by a narrow margin of just 2%.

During the summer school holidays, SEA LIFE are hosting Finding Dory trails and events at all their UK SEA LIFE centres. They thought it would be interesting to see how their visitors compare to Dory when it comes to remembering things.

Apparently the results were quite surprising, and seem to suggest that we can all can be a little forgetful from time to time.

Some of the simple facts and statistics that SEA LIFE Manchester visitors struggled to remember were:

  • There are seven species of sea turtle in the world’s oceans                        
  • The Emperor Penguin is the largest penguin
  • The most common octopus in UK waters is the Lesser Octopus

sea life

What is interesting about the survey is that the facts people remembered best were the ones about the harm humans are doing to our oceans and their inhabitants. Most could remember that an estimated 70 million sharks are being killed every year for their fins, or as bycatch for example.

It is encouraging that important conservation messages like this are filtering through and helping to raise awareness and support for marine conservation, something that popular films like Finding Dory will also help to do.

SEA LIFE’s themed event is running at the 12 UK centres until September 11th, and includes a trail inspired by Hank the cantankerous octopus – one of Finding Dory’s central characters.

For further information or to pre-book tickets online before your visit please go to www.visitsealife.com/manchester. Reduced prices are available for tickets booked in advance.

For regular news, updates and competitions, SEA LIFE Manchester is also on Facebook www.facebook.com/SEALIFEManchester and Twitter www.twitter.com/sealifemanc.

ParkLives Manchester – Free Activities for Kids

Whilst I was searching online for things to do with my five year old over the summer (preferably free things to do), I happened upon the ParkLives website which is a partnership between Coca-Cola Great Britain and Manchester City Council.

ParkLives offers free and fun activity sessions across the city and it is now in its second year in Manchester. There are a huge range of activities available, from multi-activity fun camps for families, walk to run sessions, buggy fit and more.

I had a look at what was on in my local park, Fletcher Moss in Didsbury and found there were a few weekly activities to keep us entertained over the school holidays. Plus when the boy goes back to school I can take part in some of their free exercise classes – perfect!

ParkLives

There are hundreds of activities listed on the ParkLives website and you can quickly and easily book yourself in for an activity session in advance. I booked us in for a “Roaming Rangers” session on what was a very lovely sunny day to spend wandering around the park.

On arrival two lovely ladies gave us a map, a checklist and some basic instructions for an afternoon or orienteering. There were 14 checkpoints around the park and we had to find them all and wrote down what we found at each one. Some were easier to spot than others and I wasn’t sure if he would be able to hold his concentration long enough to find them all, but I was wrong.

ParkLives

He was in charge of map reading, which in practice meant he held onto the map and would point at the next number we needed, whilst I read the map and pointed us in the right direction. The trail was quite long, I was wearing a Fitbit and I think we covered around 3k which is quite far if you have little legs.

There were lots of families out enjoying the sunshine and following the trail, plus there were a couple of other fitness groups on walks and doing other exercises around the park, it was lovely to see and everyone was friendly and looked like they were enjoying themselves.

ParkLives

All of the activities are designed to get people moving and our “Roaming Rangers” session certainly did that. Although it was a pretty long walk (especially if you factor in the walk to and from the park) the small boy loved it all. He couldn’t wait to find the next checkpoint and to tick it off the list, in fact he was quite disappointed that we finished it and he wanted to do it again. 

If you’re looking from some free family fun over the school holidays (and beyond) then it’s well worth checking out the ParkLives website to see what’s available in your area. I’ve made a promise to myself to do something active with me and the boy for the next four weeks, so keep an eye out to see what we get up to next week!

For more information on ParkLives, or to book and activity visit the website.

Holiday Snaps – from Devon 2016

I’ve got this fancy newish camera which I’ve been trying to use and get used to. I had planned on taking it on holiday to Devon for a week to try and spend some time getting to know it a bit better, but I ended up with a fairly epic chest infection a couple of days before we went and I wasn’t really in the mood.

I decided instead to take my “old” camera, a Nikon Coolpix L820. It’s a bridge camera and whilst it really struggles indoors, outdoors it comes into its own.

Before we headed down the M6 towards the South West one of my friends challenged me to take 5 decent photos of Devon. I don’t think I’ve managed that, but I have chosen some pictures which will make me smile.

It wasn’t a particularly great holiday, we’d booked an especially skanky cottage and ended up having to leave after three days and go and stay elsewhere. It was a shame, after everything we’ve been through these past few months I just really needed a rest, a break from the norm and some time to reflect and recover. But maybe that’s something for another blog post. Back to the photos….

Day one of our holiday we got in the car and went for a drive to get our bearings. I’ve no idea where this place is, it’s somewhere in Exmoor, somewhere where we stopped for some air. There was purple heather everywhere, gorse in flower and the air was as clear as a bell. I love the colour and texture in this picture.

Devon

The first cottage we stayed in didn’t have much to recommend it, but it did have a huge buddleia outside the front door. It was teeming with butterflies and bees, so I snapped this little fella. Isn’t he lovely?

Devon

Day two, in an attempt to cheer ourselves up we headed to the familiar territory of Westward Ho! It was worth the drive of nearly an hour for the fresh air and the lift in our spirits. 

Devon

Although he will kill me for sharing this, I adore this photo of my boy running towards his Dad who had just been for a swim in the sea. Again this is Westward Ho!

Devon

It’s not an especially lovely photo, but this is the view from the cottage we stay at in Welcombe in North Devon. Waking up to see the church, the sky and a tiny handkerchief of the sea always makes me happy, rain or shine.

Devon

On our last night we drove to Bude and had dinner at Life’s a Beach, which by day is a beach cafe and by night a popular bistro. We had a delicious meal and then walked some of it off on the beach afterwards. Here’s the small boy at his cheeky best.

Devon

The last night again, this time the beach at Bude, a harbour of sorts. It’s not a great photo, but it is a photo of one of my happy places.

Devon

And lastly, on our way home we stopped at Westward Ho! (are you sensing a theme here?) and had fish and chips on the beach for tea. Whilst we waited for dad to come back I took this panorama and the boy played with his new sword and shield. The result is this rather moody shot of a knight which will probably always make me smile. 

Devon

A mixed holiday for us, some lovely moments, some disappointment, but lots of lovely cuddles with the boys. Looking back I didn’t take any or many decent photos, it’s probably reflective of our mood at the time. We did have fun, we did stick brave smiley faces on for the boy and we did our best to make the best of our holiday. I think he had a good time and that’s all that matters right now.

Review: Nanogen Hair Care Products for Fine Hair

As a child I had glorious thick, long, beautiful glossy hair. It was my crowning glory, but as a teen I cut it all off and through puberty, medication and illness it’s gradually become finer, something a lot of women struggle with.

Various hairdressers have suggested solutions, most of them expensive, but as with most things I just make the best of it. In this case by rocking my now signature pixie cut and using a range of products, shampoos and styling products designed to boost the volume of my hair. 

A couple of months ago I was sent some products from Nanogen to try out. I was sent the thickening treatment shampoo, thickening treatment conditioner, hair growth treatment serum and the root boost thickening spray.

Nanogen have created a range of products for men and for women to boost the look of your hair and to encourage the growth of new hair. Their products are available online and through a range of retailers including Boots.

Nanogen

I’ve been using the products for around two months now, how have I got on with them? The shampoo is a lovely light shampoo which I have used every day. It leaves my hair clean, appearing thicker and healthier. The effect was an almost instant volume boost. Over time and use I have found myself happier with the general appearance of my hair.

I have used the conditioner less often. My hair type tends towards greasy so I only condition a couple of times a week. If you have longer hair which is dry or out of condition then this would be a really useful addition to your hair care routine. 

The growth treatment serum is an oil which your drip onto your scalp and rub in. Because it is an oil I tended to use it before bed and leave it overnight to work its magic before I washed my hair in the morning. It’s very simple to use, the trick is to remember to actually use it. 

I am terrible at having a bedtime routine, so I only managed to use this product two or three times a week. I didn’t notice a significant difference but after washing the next morning my hair always seemed to look in better condition than otherwise. I need to pull my finger out and use this product every night if I’m to have any hope of it making a difference.

The real star product as far as I was concerned was the root boost thickening spray. I sprayed three or four pumps onto my damp hair, worked the product through and blow dried my hair. It gave really great volume, it wasn’t thick or sticky and my hair always looked good when I’d used it. I loved this product.

I have been much happier in general with my hair since I’ve been using the Nanogen products. They are not ruinously expensive, the shampoo is £7.95 for a 240ml bottle and it will last me ages, I only need a dab each time on my short hair.

Nanogen

I’ve used a number of these kind of products and I found these to be really gentle on my scalp, easy to use and I’ve discovered some products (the shampoo and the root boost spray) which I really rate and will absolutely buy again. 

It’s not a snake oil cure, it’s unlikely to work miracles, but it has made a difference to the look and condition of my hair. It’s given me a helping hand towards being happier with my hair and for me that’s a pretty big deal. 

Find out more about Nanogen on their website. Nanogen products are also available online and in Boots stores nationwide.

Note: I was sent these products for review purposes, all images an opinions are my own.

Visit Stockport Foodie Friday #PowerOfFood

Living in South Manchester, my local food festival is the increasingly popular Stockport Foodie Friday. This is a fantastic festival located in and around Stockport Market, and it takes place on the last Friday of each month.

I’ve been going with friends for the last few months and I’ve loved the child friendly, relaxed atmosphere. The range of interesting street foods, not to mention the market stall offering prosecco by the glass (a bargain £3 if memory serves).

The area outside the market hall is fringed with street food vendors, each with a small queue of hungry festival goers. Local bands entertain the crowds with live music which drowns out the gentle hum of the diesel generators which make it all possible. The pubs are filled with thirsty visitors and when the sun shines, the area is filled with relaxed and happy people, all contentedly munching away, bumping into people they know and happily soaking up the atmosphere. 

I’ve been to loads of food festivals and apart from the range and quality of the food, one of the things I enjoy most about Stockport Foodie Friday is the convivial atmosphere. It’s like a relaxed village fete with something for everyone. 

Stockport Foodie Friday

Tapas Y a la Carta at Stockport Foodie Friday. Photo: Esther Morrison

The last time I went I had an amazing veggie burrito from The Wrapscallion, the time before a Pad Thai from Somtam Street, and I can never resist a portion of hot churros with chocolate sauce. Both times I’ve been keen to try out the veggie dishes from Nasi Lemak Street Food, but both times they’ve sold out before I got there.

Each month there are old favourites as well as newer street food traders, indoors (where there is more seating) there are a few market stalls open as well as a bar or two. It’s a lovely evening out with friends and family. It’s great for kids and equally good with foodie loving friends who might enjoy a prosecco or a craft ale alongside their al fresco meal.

On the last Friday of each month you can usually find me chatting with old friends, making new ones, gobbling down some street food and quaffing prosecco by the glass at Stockport Foodie Friday. There’s plenty of parking and public transport nearby, the atmosphere is fantastic and the variety and quality of the food available is excellent. Stockport Foodie Friday is well worth a visit. 

To find out more about Stockport Foodie Friday visit their website.

Stockport Foodie Friday

I was asked to write about my favourite food festival and I have been compensated for my time.

Parma Violet Cheese – love it or hate it?

Last month I went to the International Cheese Awards and joined the ranks of over 200 cheese judges to find the best cheese in the world. It was my second year of judging and I can tell you, I’ve tried plenty of weird and wacky cheeses in pursuit of cheese perfection. Firmly in the wacky category is this Parma Violet Cheese which is the result of a collaboration between The Cheshire Cheese Company and Swizzels Matlow.

Parma Violet Cheese

The Parma Violet Cheese itself is a waxed cheese, branded in the familiar Parma Violet colours and logo you’ll remember from your childhood favourites. I love Parma Violets, they are by far my favourite sweet so I was weirdly excited to try this new cheese. 

The creamy Cheshire cheese has crushed Parma Violets blended through it and it certainly makes for a unique cheese. 

Most people will be familiar with cheese with fruit flavours, I’m thinking of cheeses like Wensleydale and Cranberry, White Stilton and Apricots. Cheese with more floral flavours is starting to find its way onto our cheeseboards. During the judging I tried cheese with lavender in it for example. I don’t think floral cheese necessarily has mass appeal, but it is a novelty and an after dinner talking point.

I visited the Cheshire Cheese Company stand at the International Cheese Awards with my friend and foodie Claire from Good Egg Foodie. We were both equally keen and nervous to try it. 

The cheese itself is nicely creamy and a good base for taking on added flavours. It is a slightly grey, very pale Parma Violet colour and it has a smooth creamy texture.

Parma Violet Cheese

At the International Cheese Awards I tried the Parma Violet cheese at room temperature and even I felt a bit challenged by it (and I’d tried lots of very unusual cheeses that day). Claire was not a fan at all, I think it might be the marmite of the cheese world, some like it, some really don’t.

I was given a 200g wax truckle to try at home and I admit it sat in my fridge for a week before I got the nerve up to try it again. I tried mine still cold from the fridge and I think that made a difference, it slightly muted the floral flavours and the texture was firmer and I ended up gobbling down a quarter of the truckle by myself.

It is a bit wacky, but if you like Parma Violets it could be just the novelty talking point your cheeseboard needs this year!

Parma Violet Cheese is available from a range of retailers priced around £6.99 for a 200g wax truckle.

Note: I was given this cheese to try by Swizzels Matlow, all images and options are my own.