The results are in from our Great Christmas Cheese Poll!

When it comes to serving the festive cheeseboard on Christmas Day the question of ‘When do we have the cheese course?

It is often a hot topic in British households. So, to find out when the UK planned to enjoy its festive cheese, we decided to carry out the Paxton & Whitfield Great Christmas Cheese Poll.  

The poll, carried out in our four UK shops and via our popular Twitter and Facebook channels, found that 64% of the total respondents will enjoy their festive cheeseboard after their Christmas pudding on Sunday 25th December.

That means that over 26 million UK adults* could be tucking into selections of Christmas cheese post-pudding on the big day, with 16 million tucking into their cheese before their pudding.

In total, 64% of the total respondents said that they would be having their festive cheese course after the Christmas pudding on Sunday 25th December.

Regionally, the results were as follows: 

  • BATH – residents of Bath proved a change to the overall results in that 52% of respondents said that they’d have their Christmas cheeseboard before their Christmas pudding.

  • LONDON – the split was 34% for before the Christmas pudding and 66% for after.

  • STRATFORD-UPON-AVON – the split was 28% for before the Christmas pudding and 72% for after.

It was great fun to carry out this poll and the teams in the shops had some really engaging conversations with customers about it. The overall all result wasn’t a huge surprise to us but the regional variations were. It looks like residents in and around Bath are more like our Continental neighbours in how they enjoy their cheese. In France, the cheese course is always served before the dessert.


Our cheese experts normally suggest that for a festive cheeseboard you allow 100 – 125g of cheese per person. So, taking into consideration that 26 million – that means about 2.6 million kgs of cheese. That’s 1,130,435 of Paxton’s Baby Stiltons, which at 40cms high equates to 45,217kms – which is enough Stilton when put together to go around the equator 1.12 times!

Emma Marsden, food writer and researcher, was involved in the Paxton & Whitfield Great Christmas Cheese Poll.  She said:

“The Christmas lunch is a feast like no other... often starting early with a Buck's Fizz and finishing with a rifle through the chocolate box while enjoying one of the festive films. So, it can be a challenge to fit in every part of it and in the 'right order'. I'd hazard a guess that the reason the cheese board comes after pudding for most people is the natural pause required between each course to digest the wonderful offerings of the day. This particular savoury platter is essential to the proceedings of course. It will in fact round off the day well, when everyone is just starting to feel that little bit peckish again when the remains of the big bird have been cleared away.”


The poll was run over a three-week period in November 2016 and in total had just under 500 responses.

The question asked was:

When during Christmas Day lunch/dinner do you enjoy your cheese?

A: Before your Christmas Pud.

B: After your Christmas Pud.

* The Office of National Statistics at 2014 puts the population of the UK at about 64 million. Of that figure the adult population aged between 16 to 64 is 63.5% - so 40.6 million UK residents.