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In culinary circles it’s a hot debate that has divided opinion. Mary Berry is a cheese-first kinda girl, while Michael Roux Jr is a fan of finishing with the cheese. A remarkable dichotomy given their respective nationalities.


The French have traditionally served cheese before dessert – this way all the savoury dishes are kept together rather than switching the pallet from savoury to sweet and then back to savoury. Le fromage is taken extremely seriously in France from the order of service to the way it is sliced.

In modern times, Britain now unbrielievably produces almost twice as many cheese varieties as our French neighbours. France has around 400 compared with our 750. Indeed the International Cheese Awards are held in Nantwich, the home of our Travel Centre. An 80,000 square foot marquee is erected each year to house the 5,000 entrants from around the world.

So while the above provides a gouda explanation it still doesn’t answer the grate question – why do we do it the French way?

In part it is to do with the history of our train. Originally we were part of the Orient-Express group taking people from the North to Folkstone to connect with the legendary Venice-Simplon- Orient-Express – the continental way for a continental journey.

Today we stick to this tradition for one very simple reason – we like to end on a sweet note.