I.J. Mellis is an artisan cheese shop on Victoria Street in Edinburgh’s Old Town.
The small shop with the exposed stone walls, reminding of a cave, has been in its location since 1993. It stocks Scottish as well as continental pasteurised and raw milk artisan and farmhouse cheeses, ranging from blue, or hard, to soft cheeses, like fresh ricotta. Whichever taste the cheese lover desires, Mellis probably stock something that hits the spot. Accompanying products like chutneys, quince, wine, oatcakes, even dried sausages and tea, and some fresh bread are also available.
When passing the shop with its open doors, connaisseurs and hobbyist cheese eaters are lured in by the strong smell of the many dairy masterpieces on display. Needless to say, those who dislike it, pass by quite quickly. In any case, one can hardly walk down the right hand side of Victoria Street without noticing the narrow shop. The display is simply beautiful. Big wheels of cheese are stacked up on top of each other on a marble top, usually with some wheels cut in half to allow the visitor a look inside.
It can be hard to decide between the various cheeses, but the friendly staff are readily available to expertly advise and even let visitors taste before they buy, which is an amazing service. The Comté, Prima Donna and Landana 500 Days (our Top Tip for £2.49/100g) are absolute favourites for cheese boards.
If anything else is needed to accompany the cheeses of choice, there are shelves with jars of chutney, honey, jam, mustard, Cornish rillette, mushroom pâté, and a decent selection of wines to pair them with. Surprisingly, even dried sausages are on display. A choice butter and quince can be found in the cooling section.
This is rounded off with oatcakes and savoury biscuits, but the fresh and crusty baguettes and sourdough loaves supplied by local artisan baker Twelve Triangles are the icing on the cheese cake.
The cheese shop on Victoria Street is open from 9:30am - 7pm, and 11am - 6pm on Sundays. It has a longstanding reputation with locals, but is equally enjoyed by curious tourists. I.J. Mellis is not cheap, but a unique experience with expert advice available, and offering cheeses that are not readily found elsewhere. A visit to the shop should be on every cheese lover’s list.
30A Victoria Street
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