Drunk on cheese
Speaks to the founders of The Drunken Mouse, a new local business that is running cheese and wine pairing events across Surrey
Cheese and wine is a classic combination and in Surrey we are spoiled for choice with an overflowing local larder of both. With this in mind, Surreybased street food company The Drunken Mouse has just launched a new pop-up cheese and wine pairing event.
The Drunken Mouse was set up by husband and wife team Sam and Kathryn – two frustrated foodies with a passion for pairing food and drink. Sam has a family background in cider making, while Kathryn is food blogger with a long time love of cheese.
“I’ve always been a bit obsessed with cheese, to the point that when I was at university I had a cheese toaster on my wall,” she explains. “Over the years I’ve gotten more into wine and everyone loves cheese and wine as a pairing, so we thought it would be a good idea to create a business around that.”
The couple staged their first event in 2017 at Fund Fayre in Guildford with a gazebo and trestle tables. They have since refurbished an old horse box, dubbed Methuselah, which they use to serve up cheese platters and hot dishes with a cheese twist at fayres and food festivals throughout Surrey and the south east.
“Since July we’ve been doing lots of events from small fayres to big food festivals. At the festivals we run a bar and serve cheese boards with homemade crackers and marinades or we’ll do cheese toasties – which are pretty epic,” Sam says.
The pair also runs bespoke events and recently created a menu for Gospel Green Cyder, which is based just across the border in Hampshire. As Sam explains: “They wanted food paired with their ciders, so with one of their cider and Champagne cocktails, Kathryn created a spiced meringue, with caramelised apple, mascarpone and a yoghurt whip. Everything we do either has a cheesy or boozy twist to it.”
Kathryn, who runs the blog Homemade with Mess, has been a self-confessed cheese addict since working on a farm shop deli in her teens and has a real passion for local cheeses. Sam, meanwhile, has developed an interest in local wine, gin and cider and now the two have developed a supper club event at Antony Payne Antiques, in Reigate, to bring together their two passions and educate people about food pairing.
“All the suppliers we have are in the south east, so we use Norbury Blue from Surrey but also cheeses from High Weald Dairy, in West Sussex, and Lyburn Farm, in Hampshire, as well as a village-made cheese in Berkshire,” Kathryn explains. “We make a point of sourcing as much food and drink as possible from Surrey and the wider south east. So, we do use a lot of amazing wines from Europe but we like to use sparkling wines from Surrey and we use Distillers of Surrey for our gin and Silly Moo Cider in West Sussex,” she adds.
The couple say that they are aiming to work with other local food business, like The Salt Box and Free Range Cooks, to put on more events across Surrey in the future as well as work with corporate clients and the more “civilised” stag and hen dos.