For more than 160 years Paxton & Whitfield has supplied the monarchs of Great Britain with the finest artisan cheese and food products, including the most popular of all — Stilton.

It was Queen Victoria who granted the firm its first Royal Warrant in 1850. The company has continued a Royal Cheesemonger during succeeding reigns.

Their Stilton jar, with its bold gold lettering and Royal Warrants, will add distinction to your Jubilee buffet table and allow you to follow a 19th- century saying which suggests that if you drink a pot of ale and eat a scoop of Stilton every day you will make ‘old bones’ — which sounds rather a good idea.

CHEESE FACTS There are now six dairies licensed to make Blue Stilton cheese.

More than one million Stilton cheeses are made each year.

Stilton is a protected name cheese and by law can only be made in the three counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.

It takes 136 pints of milk to make one 17lb (8kg) Stilton Cheese.

Always keep your Stilton well wrapped in the refrigeratior and preferably in an airtight container. This prevents the cheese from tainting other foods and stops the cheese being tainted by them.

Stilton cheese freezes beautifully for up to three months if it is cut into easy-to-handle portions and wrapped in cling film or foil. De-frost slowly — preferably in the fridge overnight. Allow to reach room temperature before serving.

Do not refreeze after defrosting and only keep for a couple of weeks once it has thawed.

Although Stilton goes well with a glass of robust red wine or port, it is also excellent with a glass of real ale.