Nothing beats a relaxing day on the beach followed by a tranquil evening watching the sunset. Except maybe doing it with a glass of wine and delicious cheeseboard by your side.
Luckily, with Providore on Hastings mere steps away from your room, you have an incredible selection of local favs to pick ‘n mix to create your own afternoon delight.
Here are our tips for shopping their shelves for a no-stress wine-down cheeseboard. Hint: if you’re really pressed for time, skip to Step 7!
Step 1: The Cheeses
When it comes to cheese, think like a bride: something old, something new, something borrowed and something bleu.
Something old: An aged cheese offers the classic sharpness and flavour that you count on from a cheeseboard. And nobody knows aged better than Kenilworth Dairies. Their mature cheddars are just waiting for their moment to shine on your board.
Something new: A fresh, soft cheese brings a refreshing creaminess to the palate. Try a local triple cream brie from Woombye Cheese.
Something borrowed: Add some unexpected interest to your board by trying a cheese you don’t normally go for. “Borrow” a recco from the Providore team—just tell them a little about your tastes and they’ll steer you to the right wedge or wheel.
Something bleu: Bleu cheese isn’t to everyone’s taste, but we find it helps make a board that really breaks that mould. Plus, it’s the perfect pairing to so many accompaniments. We say give it a go.
Step 2: The Carbs
Our take on this is firm: a cheeseboard needs crackers and bread. It’s not an ‘either or’ situation. Snag a sourdough from Artisan Breads for an airy partner for your soft cheese. Then shop Providore’s local selection of crackers to add that crispy crunch to your board.
Step 3: The Rest
Cheese and crackers are just fine for a light snack. But to make a proper platter, you need those extra flavours and garnishes. Meat is a must, as are olives for popping in between sips and nibbles. We recommend fresh ones from Fat Hen Farms.
But let’s not assume this is a strictly savoury affair. Especially if you’re making a meal out of your board, you’ll want some sweetness to offset the salt. A gorgeous jelly from the local Ugly Duck Preserves will have you flying high on flavours (we’re just salivating thinking about it spread over sourdough with a little brie!) You can even bring dessert to dinner, with Nutworks chocolate-dipped macadamia nuts.
Step 4: The Wine
We could write a whole other article about finding the right wine, but thankfully we don’t have to: the team at Providore are total pros on pairing, with a fully stocked cellar of board-worthy bottles. If you’re looking for something traditional, ask about their selection of Cab Sauvs and Pinot Noirs. But no one said cheese only plays nice with reds. A nice bubbly champagne or rose can add an unexpected twist to the table.
Step 5: Arrange
The great bit about a cheeseboard is that it doesn’t have to look neat—it just has to look full. Err on the small side for your board, and let your ingredients get cosy. You can always replenish!
Spread your cheese out across the board for balance, and fill in the gaps starting with your savouries (meat, olives) and ending with sweets (jellies, chocolates). If you’re in full platter planner mode, make sure to top it off with a cute accent. We love a sprig of rosemary, just for looks.
Step 6: Photograph
How many times have you taken the first bite with the regret that you haven’t snapped a pic of your glorious work? Snap first, snack second. We’ve had enough Providore cheeseboards to know you’ll want something to remember it by.
Step 7: Take a Shortcut!
Trying to get something together in time for sunset? Providore has a pre-packed Antipasto Hamper that has the essentials. Order it up to your room with a bottle of wine, and you’ll have your evening sorted in no time.
Providore on Hastings is open 6:30am to 9pm daily.