Whitstable Shops: The Cheese Box

The Cheese Box, 60 Harbour Street, Whitstable. Photograph by CJ Stone
The Cheese Box, 60 Harbour Street, Whitstable. Photograph by CJ Stone


I’ve just got back from the Cheese Box in Harbour Street where I bought some creamy Irish blue cheese and some toe-curlingly tasty Kentish farmhouse cheddar.

I have to say, I love this shop. It’s not only that they have such a range of really interesting cheeses in there, each one with it’s own unique and particular flavour, or that they will let you try a sliver or two before you buy, or that they can tell you where they got it from, who made it, and by what process; it’s also that the very nature of the shop itself, selling locally sourced product at a reasonable price, represents the future of retailing in Whitstable.

Buy cheese in the supermarket and what do you get? Some homogenised yellow pap with only a vague resemblance to cheese, produced in some sterile factory from cows that have never seen the sky, entirely without character or flavour or any local connection.

Cheese Box cheese, on the other hand, tastes of the very soil where it was produced. It is regional and specific. It has personality, it has character. It is organic. It is alive. It is everything a proper cheese should be. I have no hesitation in recommending it to you. If you haven’t tried the Cheese Shop yet, then do it now.


There’s a number shops in Whitstable which I would also recommend on the same basis. Proper butchers, proper bakers, proper greengrocers. I won’t list them all now. At some point I will write columns on all of them.

That’s what I love about Whitstable. There are real shops here. It’s not like Canterbury, which has become a theme-park parody of itself, catering almost entirely to tourists. Whitstable is still a functioning town with functioning shops, despite the looming presence of the out-of-town supermarkets with their viciously exploitative cut-price offers.

It’s hard for the local shops to compete.

But here’s the difference. You can walk to the High Street. You don’t have to use a car. So by buying your groceries locally you are not only encouraging small businesses, you are saving the environment at the same time.

The Cheese Box, Whitstable

A marker60 Harbour Street Whitstable Kent UK -
60 Harbour St, Whitstable CT5, UK
[get directions]

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Comments 2 comments

JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Whitstable has long been on my list of must-see places on my next trip to England, but each of your hubs pushes it closer to the #1 spot!

I, too, believe in buying local when possible.  It irritates me no end that tourists expect to find the same mega-stores everywhere they go, and that many mega-stores run local shops out of business to accommodate them. 

Whitstable Views profile image

Whitstable Views 7 years ago from Whitstable, UK Author

Hi JamaGenee, well when you decide to visit Whitstable let me know. We should definitely meet, and I could tell you all the bestplaces. Plus you have to visit Canterbury too (about 6 miles away) and Broadstairs (about 15 miles) while you're in Kent.

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    Whitstable Views84 Followers
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    CJ Stone is an author and columnist. He appears regularly in the British press. Currently he has a column in the Whitstable Gazette.

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