Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop, true to its name, does indeed sell a range of pungent fromage but also offers a much wider food experience. It is definitely worth scheduling a visit to the Smelly Cheese Shop during a trip to the Hunter Valley Wine Region.
Located literally next to each other on Broke Road, one of the main drags in the Hunter Valley Wine Region, the Smelly Cheese Shop can be found at the Tempus Two winery complex and the Pokolbin Village centre. The outlets are conveniently around the corner from prominent sites including Hunter Valley Gardens and Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley.
The Smelly Cheese Shop at Pokolbin Village was the original location. The shop itself is quite small with limited outdoor seating on the veranda. Due to this the much larger food hall style Smelly Cheese Shop at Tempus Two is the premier location. There are advantages to the Pokolbin Village site however, although a much smaller store it is often (although not always) much less crowded and still has the same great range of cheese, gelato, olives etc. The shop is also situated next to a good variety of speciality stores including the Pokolbin Chocolate and Jam Company and wine tastings are available at the Pokolbin Winemakers Outlet.
The Tempus Two Smelly Cheese shop is recommended due to its superior view overlooking the Roche wine vineyards. Other advantages include more seating (although all outdoor), a wider range of products, close proximity to the Tempus Two cellar door and special cheese and cured meat rooms. The Tempus store is much bigger than the sister site down the road but is packed with high quality local and imported delicatessen products so space is still limited and overcrowding is frequent. There are always complimentary samples of selected cheeses and olives, and on most weekends, oil and vinegar tastings as well.
A big drawcard of the Smelly Cheese shop is their cheese and antipasto platters which are generous servings and can be prepared for either eat-in or takeaway dining. The $35 antipasto platter feeds up to five people and comes with three cheeses, a choice of bread or crackers and a mound of classic antipasto accompaniments including sun-dried tomatoes, roast capsicum, onions, eggplant and more.
Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese shop also serves a mixed range of hot food including gourmet pizza, pies, quiches, chips and burgers. They frequently offer really good value combo deals and daily specials. The reasonable prices make a nice change from the usual overpricing rampant throughout the Hunter Valley Wine Region.
Finally, a visit to the Hunter Valley Cheese Shop is not complete without a taste of its famous gelato. The shop has an extensive range of over 200 flavours with a generous and varied selection on display at any one point. The gelato is extremely high quality, very rich and creamy with authentic ingredients and amazing flavours (there are also sorbet and frozen yoghurt choices). Popular flavours include apple pie, cherry ripe (which taste just like their namesakes), mango, horny caramel, baileys, nuts about chocolate and Tim Tam. Some would consider the prices a bit steep at $6.50 for a double but servings are pretty generous (although it seems to depend on the attendant) and the experience is well worth it.
Gelato is the perfect way to finish off a cheese platter or as a standalone treat. Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop is a must visit when in the Hunter Valley Wine Region.