Community is at the heart of all Charlie and his team do at Hodson and Co Cheese Room and Delicatessen. Here, he reflects on the year spent since his shop opened in Aylsham and looks ahead to 2022.

We were so delighted recently to be celebrating our first year of being here in the beautiful market town of Aylsham. It was a year like no other as we slowly came to terms with Covid and how our high street is slowly changing. We saw foot fall gently increasing as folk began to meander through this most beautiful and ancient town once more.

But we could never ‘just’ be a cheese shop or delicatessen. I guess for us, it’s not just about keeping up with foodie trends but keeping our shop as part of the heart of the community, something that really is the beating heart of all we do. 

It is amazing to have the cheese room, but we had to be more than that. So, with the addition of our Table for Two on Thursday evenings, we have now added a Table for Four as well. We decided to open on Tuesday evenings, offering a seven-course tasting supper with a wine and spirit flight, all hosted, cooked, and served by myself. With bookings now into May of next year, it really has taken us by storm. We have been supported by TFW Fine Wines, a local and wonderful wine supplier who has perfectly matched beautiful wines to each plate of food. 

With the likes of our great friend Hardeep Singh Kohli coming in December for A Taste of the Punjab supper club, that sold out in 15 minutes, we have added two afternoons of Humour, Cookery and Wine, also now sold out. A new idea was born.

Every month from February next year, we will be hosting a cookery class and supper club one evening a month. These will include local chefs such as Eric Snaith from Titchwell Manor and Scot Dougal from Wells Crab House as well as chefs from further afield including Alan Paton from Stoke by Nayland and the amazing Andrew Clarke, formerly of Fleur De Lys, London. Keep your eyes open on our social media for more information.

But for now, we are truly focused on the festive season with lots of new hampers full of cheese plus a bespoke Master of Cheese Hamper with a beautiful apron, knife set from Salle Forge, and an oak cheese board from Woods Worldwide – all handmade for us at Hodson and Co. But with cheese comes romance, so we added a candle hamper in collaboration with Pitt Farm Interiors and matches that are so long, you’ll never burn your fingers again thanks to Creative Links. We hope to have Christmas covered and this year, we will be sending our cheese nationwide.

From award winning sausage rolls to amazing locally produced cheese, chutneys to die for and lots of new additions to our lovely little shop, we hope we will have something for everyone with lots of stocking fillers too. You’ll find us supporting Hospitality Action as our chosen charity with Chefs at Home cookbooks on sale and all profits going directly back to the charity.

I will end by simply returning to the beginning. It is where it all starts with us. It’s about community, supporting each other, watching as new businesses open within our town and seeing them flourish. Strengthening our collaborative partnerships, at which point I must thank Phil at Avocet Antiques for helping to make our shop windows shine. 

To those of you who support us already, we can’t thank you enough, and for those of you still to cross our threshold, we hope you’ll find a warm welcome. 

But for now, on behalf of all at Hodson and Co we wish you a very special festive time of year and wonderful new year. 

  • Charlie Hodson. Hodson & Co Cheese Rooms. 23 Red Lion Street, Aylsham Norfolk NR11 6ER
  • Email –  charlie@hodsonco.co.uk
  • Mobile – 07464 440748
  • Office – 01263 735980
  • Ambassador Of Hospitality Action – Patron Of TACT  – Chef Patron Of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

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