For some, cheese is a devotion. I’ve heard Will Studd speak about cheese and he puts it up on a pedestal. Others may be less articulate, but they can be even more enthusiastic and energised.
When I was once in Paris I felt an overwhelming desire to grab a baguette and a hunk of cheese and walk down the road eating it. A tourist asked me for directions and I realised that this desire was very likely a huge stereotype, since I’ve never actually seen a Parisian do the same.
It’s not a weekly, or even monthly occurrence. But every now and then I have the same need to get to Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder for a cheese platter. There is nowhere with the history and feeling that RHCL gives to me.
Magic Melbourne days spent on Bridge Road outside at RHCL are some of my most memorable as a tourist, and now as a local. You can buy an incredible selection of cheese in the larder; you can while away the day eating breakfast, drinking coffee, or maybe enjoy a Bloody Mary. But the A-game is a cheese platter and a glass of wine.
Today we choose to have a cheese platter and select the Pont L’eveque, Pyengana cheddar, and Bleu de Basque to combine with the fig and quince preserve, quince paste, white and fruit bread, apple and pear. The Pont L’eveque is soft but still close to firm, with a pungent aroma from the washed rind. Its taste is divine for a true cheese lover; powerful, clingy and salty. The cheddar by Tasmanian producer Pyengana is cloth-bound and strong without being crumbly. It is rich, melting in the mouth, and lingers beautifully. The Bleu de Basque is an accomplished cheese, but is entry level when it comes to the spectrum of blue strength in bacteria riddled cheeses. I would have preferred stronger (if available on the selection) but it is still a charming cheese albeit a little shy of flavour.
Unlike other places, I never really notice the service one way or another. On reflection it is often of a high standard, and part of the quality is allowing customers to enjoy lengthy spells at the tables without too much fuss. You look around here and it is a revered venue by customers and staff alike. And a heavy personal favourite of mine.