Did Mr. Thornton eat Richard Armitage’s favorite cheese?

I’ve wondered for a while exactly which cheese it was on the table at the “masters’ dinner” in episode 1 of North & South. See here:


and here:


In light of Mr. Armitage’s revelation today that he hankers after a pork pie and a slice of Stilton, in search of pork pie I read this article on a foodie tour of Leicestershire, which included this picture of a whole round of Stilton:


Those who’ve eaten Stilton before know that the inside looks like this, which is also consistent:

indexbut the few times I’d purchased it myself it always came in the wedge, like above, and not in the round. I’d never seen the whole cheese from the outside before. Looks like that could be the Thorntons’ dessert cheese of choice.

Does someone have more accurate information? Whaddaya think?

ETA: see confirmation in the comments, and here’s an image of a Stilton spoon:


~ by Servetus on April 2, 2014.

27 Responses to “Did Mr. Thornton eat Richard Armitage’s favorite cheese?”

  1. In the commentary on N&S, someone did say that he’d gotten bored in the dinner scene and was making faces out of Stilton. Love the image 😀


    • hmm, I’ll have to go back to verify when I get a chance. I remember the making faces of cheese part, but not them saying it was Stilton specifically.


  2. Yes, that’s a whole Stilton on the table. Traditionally it is served not in wedges but using a special Stilton spoon. This is more rectangular than a standard spoon, with a straight leading edge. Hence the Stilton on the table hasn’t had wedges cut, the inside has been scooped out instead.



      This was something I’d wondered b/c it’s clearly a spoon on the table, which I’d expect for a runny cheese. Did not know about the Stilton spoon.

      YAY! Thank you!


      • Glad I could help. Re your post on the study guide below – owning a Stilton spoon must be aspirational. It’s said the Queen doesn’t own fish knives because they are too nouveau, but I bet she has lots of Stilton spoons! And imagine the waste from eating a cheese like that…


  3. I found the bit about the Stilton Cheese “faces” here. http://richardarmitagedrinksthings.tumblr.com/post/13201557527/from-the-dvd-commentary-north-south-director


  4. I think there is something about cheese melting or going bad when he shot the Priancing Pony scenes with Sir Ian in one of the behind the scenes blogs…no idea where to look for it though


  5. This is a perfect example of why fast forwarding through scenes not featuring RA’s beautiful visage is harmful to detailed observations of everything else. I never even noticed there was cheese on that Victorian table. I watched N and S completely only once, then focused on the “good parts”. Perhaps PJ was making a joke about Stilton cheese by having Dwalin and Balin toss some out of Bilbo’s pantry for being moldy. It looks a lot like the cheese wedge in the photo above. Maybe someone could ask him if he was making a cheesy comment about Stilton. The only reason I noticed that wedge was from multiple theater viewings where I could not edit out non RA scenes. I am shallow, I admit it.


    • I noticed it b/c I wrote a study guide for my students, and there are a lot of class indicators in this scene to suggest that the men are social climbers / nouveaux riches. But i loved that scene in AUJ. “It’s riddle with mold!”


      • It would be great if you would write a post re your study guide. I would love to learn more about the historical aspects of the film and I am sure I am not the only one. I am over-educated (if that is possible) on all aspects of Thornton’s romantic hunkyness, but I am seriously lacking any knowledge about the academic side of the story. Is the word “stilted” derived from Stilton cheese? Loved the cheese tossing scene in AUJ too.


        • @KathyJones Regarding the masculine virtues of Mr. Thornton, I can guarantee you that it is impossible to be “over-educated” on such matters. I can study that strapping yet elegant carriage, the aquiline nose, the severe yet wanting mouth, the smoldering gaze, and that voice for hours and hours.


          • You are right, of course. I think I will go for my doctorate on the “severe, yet wanting mouth”. The mind boggles with possibilities for other areas of scholarly Thornton research.


        • maybe I will. I think now that I’m not going to publish / sell it, so maybe I will post pieces of it.


  6. Yummmm, cheeeese……


  7. Stilton was always traditionally served with a glass of Port in the UK, but these days Port is regarded as a little ‘heavy’ and so the cheese is quite often accompanied by a lighter dessert wine, or just another glass of whatever your favourite wine is, instead! At Christmas it’s still common to see ‘gift sets’ of Port and Stilton for sale, in supermarkets.

    The best pork pies are Melton Mowbray pork pies, which means they can only be made in Melton Mowbray, which is in Leicestershire and Stilton must be made in one of the three counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire. So, RA is obviously appreciative of the Leicestershire pork pies and the Stilton!

    Much more info on Stilton here –


    A Fortnum and Mason gift pack of Stilton and Port is £50 –



  8. Is there anywhere in the United States where someone could buy any Stilton cheese?


    • Thanks for the comment and welcome. It is imported and you can buy it from some national retailers (e.g., Williams – Sonoma).


    • We can find it easily in Canada so I’m sure there are good cheese shops which stock it in the US. Personally I love it but I also buy Red Leicester cheese. In fact there is a lovely piece in my fridge right now waiting to be enjoyed! 🙂


  9. […] Visit mum on his free day and have some Stilton and a Melton Mowbray pork pie. Because, wow, anyone this thin deserves a little […]


  10. […] remember when Armitage ate that during an interview with Coke and espresso?), a wedge of Stilton (also Armitage-relevant), a jar of olives, a tray of slightly gooey brownies, and some Chicken in a Biskit crackers (I […]


  11. […] I guess if Richard Armitage spent the holidays in Park City he wasn’t eating this hometown treat. […]


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