Every year, in the days leading up to Christmas, people begin to gather outside 93 Jermyn Street from early in the morning. Though bleary-eyed and feeling the winter chill, an air of anticipation is amongst them, for there is one thing on their minds - cheese. They have joined the infamous Paxton and Whitfield Christmas queue.
The queuers engage each other in excited conversation, discussing which cheeses they will select this year - will they stick with the classics, or will they be adventurous and try something new? Some swap stories of past generations, of how their grandparents would come to buy their Christmas cheese from this very shop, and how they are now carrying on that tradition.
As they enter the shop, the queue snakes past the makeshift barrier of ceramic Stilton jars, and loops around the accessories room, before finally arriving at the cheese counter. For those customers with the foresight to grab a wicker basket on the way in, the detour allows opportunity to stock up on chutneys, crackers and a multitude of cheese accessories along the way, providing not only the perfect accompaniments to their cheese, but also beautiful Christmas gifts for friends and family.
For cheese-lovers who simply do not have time for the queue, or only require a modest amount of cheese, a temporary express till is put into operation, supplying a limited selection of pre-cut pieces. Or they can even visit our second London store in Chelsea Green, which is perfect for those living in West London. There is also the option to place an advanced order, either in-store or on our website, to collect at the shop on the required date. These customers can bypass the queue completely, only having to give their name to the staff to instantly receive their pre-prepared order. However they may miss the opportunity to enjoy the free port samples that are handed out as a little winter warmer for those queuers who are bearing the cold of the shop, making the wait only more worth it.
Though the queue may be long, the festive goodwill and shared love of cheese is enough to keep the queuers in high spirits. When they finally reach the cheese counter, they are greeted warmly by a cheesemonger, who guide them through the carefully selected Christmas range, and help them create the perfect Christmas cheese board for them and their family.