Neal’s Yard Dairy @ Covent Garden

Neal’s Yard(ニールズ・ヤード)は、モンマス・ストリート(Monmouth Street)、ショーツ・ガーデンズ(Shorts Gardens)、ニール・ストリート(Neal’s Street)に囲まれた、コベント・ガーデンの隠れ家的エリア。王立造幣局局長(Master of the Mint)であったThomas Neale(トーマス・ニール)の名を冠した、この「ヤード(囲い地)」で、70年代初期に「alternative London(オルタナティブ・ロンドン)」のリーダーであったNick Saundersがイニシアティブを取り、「コミュニティ」の再生を目指して、政府の補助金を頼りにしないニューエイジ系ビジネスを次々に設立した。今でもそのコンセプトが引き継がれ、日本でも人気のNeal’s Yard Remediesニールズヤード・レメディーズ)、チーズ専門店のNeal’s Yard Dairy、そしてベジタリアン・カフェのWorld Food Cafeなど、自然食品やオーガニックフード、オルタナティブ・メディシン(代替医療)のメッカとして、いつも観光客でにぎわっている。

その一角にあるNeal’s Yard Dairy(ニールズヤード・デイリー)は、1979年にオープンした乳製品専門店で、高品質のイギリス産チーズを取り扱う。元々アイスクリームやギリシャ風ヨーグルトを販売していたが、冬場は閑古鳥が鳴くので、チーズを売り始めたのだそうだ。そして代々チーズを生産し続ける各地の小規模家族経営のチーズ製造業者を訪問するうちに、イギリス製チーズを専門に取り扱う事を決意。今や、ロンドンでチーズと言えばニールズヤード・デイリー、と言われる程の有名店に成長。コヴェントガーデンとバラ・マーケットに自社店舗を所有するほか、大手高級スーパーや高級食料品店でもその製品を取り扱っている。

コヴェント・ガーデン店は、10人も入れば身動きできなくなるほど小さな店だが、イギリス各地から集められたチーズがうずたかく積まれており、前を通りかかると、強烈なチーズの匂いが漂う。試食もでき、いつもチーズ愛好者で賑わっている。今日は通りがかりにその匂いにつられ、試食したコーンウォール産のチーズ、Cornish Yargが美味しかったので購入。防水加工された紙のシンプルな包装、同じくシンプルなロゴ入りのショップのビニール袋もいい。

Neal’s Yard is a queit courtyard in Covent Garden, surrounded by Shorts Gardens, Monmouth Street, and Neil Street. Taking its name from Thomas Neale, Master of the Mint, Neal’s Yard, is a wholefood haven and a center of ‘alternative’ Covent Garden. The idea of Neal’s Yard was conceived in the early ’70s by Nick Saunders, who is known as one of the leaders of ‘alternative London’ movement. Aiming to  revive a sense of village community and he set up a series of businesses without government subsidy, which most of them are still going today. Neal’s Yard contains some well-known shops such as Neal’s Yard Remedies, Neal’s Yard Dairy and vegan restaurant World Food Cafe, as well as other health food shops, cafés and new age retailers, and is a popular destination for tourists as well.

Established in 1979, Neal’s Yard Dairy is the Dairy specialises in providing high quality and unusual British cheeses from small and often family run producers in the British Isles. It sold ice cream and Greek style yoghurt produced in the shop in early days, but in winter trade was poor so the Dairy started selling cheese. On visiting their suppliers, they discovered many producers that had been making cheese for generations, and decided to sell and supply specialty British cheeses. Now the Dairy has grown to be one of the top quality cheese retailers in UK, and has two own shops in Covent Garden and Borough Market, as well as its products are sold at large wholefood supermarkets and quality food shops.

The Neal’s Yard Dairy’s Covent Garden shop is so tiny that probably no more than 10 people can fit inside. There are many kinds of cheese piling up in such small space and you can smell the cheese very strong from outside.  You can sample any of the cheese available in the store, and always the shop is packed with cheese-lovers. We were also lured by the smell and tried some of the cheese. We liked Cornish Yarg from Cornwall, and purchased some. Its simple wrapping with white waterproof paper and transparent plastic bag only with their logo is nice as well.

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2 responses to “Neal’s Yard Dairy @ Covent Garden

  1. Pingback: Wilton Way Café @ Wilton Way, Hackney | everydaylife.style

  2. Pingback: Tim Hunkin NEAL’S YARD WATERCLOCK @ Covent Garden | everydaylife.style

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