5 romantic places for cheese lovers

5 romantic places for cheese lovers

Like your romance cheesy? No, not tacky, we’re talking cheese-inspired destinations of course! Here are five Brie-lliant spots: from Cheddar to Camembert

Creamy, aged, blue and artisan… For cheese-o-philes everywhere, here's our pick of the best destinations to indulge your passion for fromage

Cheddar, England

There aren't many places where you can stroll into an intricate cave network and spy huge wheels of cheese fermenting in front of your eyes. Likewise, there aren't many places where you can see three counties from one watchtower. Cheddar Gorge, the birthplace of cheddar, is unique in that respect. The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company is the only place left in the country that creates real 'cave-matured' cheddar, oft infused with garlic, smoked bacon, and other pack-a-punch flavours amid the stalactites and stalagmites of Gough's Cave. Its factory shop is a must-visit if you want to grab a block or two before you depart.

Still hungry? There are some great pasties and ice creams on offer in the shops and cafés around the gorge - great for sharing!

Gruyères, Switzerland

Gruyères has given its name to one of the tastiest cheeses - but there's more to this medieval time-warp town than its dairy offering. While chowing down on a slice with your belle or beau, you'll quickly find yourself bewitched by this charming location, at the foot of the Pre-Alps. Visit Gruyères Castle for eight centuries of history and culture, hidden amid the pointed turrets, or try Le Calvaire for arts and crafts made by the locals.

If you want to take your cheese fanaticism beyond simply eating it, head for La Maison du Gruyère, at the foot of the castle. Here you can discover Le Gruyère AOP and the secrets of their cheese-making.

Camembert, France

Quiet dales, verdant pastures and fairytale buildings just begging to be photographed. And then there's the cheese of course. This quaint Normandy town is a tiny corner of peaceful French paradise, nestled between the Pays d'Auge and the Pays d'Ouche. Don't miss the 19th-century Président Farm, where you'll learn about the production of Camembert - for what the town is most famous - as well as Le manoir de Beaumoncel, the home of Marie Harel who produced the first wheel of Camembert.

Brie, France

There's nothing more romantic than breakfast in bed on your honeymoon: how about a Brie and bacon baguette? And where better to experience this tasty treat than in the very birthplace of the cheese? Brie is a historic region to the north east of France. Its eastern side, formerly known as Brie Champenoise, even crosses over with the Champagne-Ardenne region: French cheese + a glass of bubbles = honeymoon success.

Head for the main town, Brie-Comte-Robert, for the best of the sights, from the 13th-century gothic church of Église Saint-Étienne, to the Château de Brie-Comte-Robert, a medieval fortress.

Emilia Romagna, Italy

Okay, so it doesn't have a cheese named after it, but Emilia Romagna is the hometown of Parmigiano Reggiano - an impressive claim to fame. It is also the land of Giuseppe Verdi's novels, Giovanni Pascoli's poetry, and Federico Fellini's cinema. The region has much to offer for the romantic, starting with the Basilica di San Petronioin Bologna, a half-marble masterpiece and one of the most beautiful churches in Italy.

If you're into UNESCO-listed sites, try Ferrara, a perfectly-preserved piece of Renaissance grandeur, while history buffs should head for Faenza: a city adorned with monuments that are rich in historical and cultural heritage.

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Image courtesy of Dreamstime.

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