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England doesn’t end in London, it starts there!
In October I made several gastro trips to the real England, to the county of Gloucestershire, the city of Dymock, where since 1972 the British cheese maker Charles Martell, a personal friend of Prince Charles and his supplier, has been making his cheeses. One of them – Stinking Bishop – is recognized as a national gastronomic heritage of the country and the most fragrant English cheese.
My guests met up with Charles and his family at the Green Man. It is there for many years they have been preparing dishes using Charles Martell & Son Ltd. We were invited to dine with Charles and his wife. Then we went to the house of the Martell family, where we had a tasting of cheeses and drinks in a cozy living room. Charles talked a lot about the history of his family, his aristocratic childhood, botanical books written by him, how he restored forgotten recipes of local cheeses and preserved an endangered breed of cows. How he restored the distillery and began to produce brandy from ancient varieties of pears and apples growing in his orchards. The famous ancestor of Charles, was the representative of the royal power in the county (sheriff) of Gloucestershire and in 2018 Charles was awarded this great honor. His dream came true.
During my visit to Charles Martell & Son Ltd cheese makers my heart was won by Charles’s fanatical love for his home county and his business, world famous cheeses, dedication to saving the disappearing breed of Old Gloucestershire cows, restored the oldest distillery in England in the 17th century, an amazing collection of carriages, and the most interesting stories of his family’s history! We saw the real England, hidden from the eyes of an ordinary tourist. I promised my guests to continue to open for them “Closed doors” to Britain’s gastronomic treasures. We will travel again!