I HAD cause to make a cheese and pineapple hedgehog recently.

That’s not a sentence I say every day or even every week or indeed, probably since, well, not sure, but a long old while ago to be sure.

But chopping my chunks of cheese and spearing them upon sticks, fingers drenched in pineapple juice, canned, not fresh, I had cause to smile and happily tell my children about parties in the mid-eighties and how no self-respecting birthday tea table was set unless there was a cheese and pineapple hedgehog.

The reason for said edible spiky mammal was a ‘football/ kitsch’ party thrown recently. There were large paper pineapples dotted about the place for no other reason than why not, table cloths like football pitches, brightly coloured cocktail umbrellas and the loudest napkins known to humankind, plus cocktail sausages, of course.

But, as much as I do adore a bit of a throwback, a trip down memory lane, a jaunt to the jolly recess of foodie yesteryear and I would defend a crispy pancake, jaw-gnashingly sweet slice of shop-bought Battenberg, prawn cocktail or rock solid ice magic any and every day, I do also like a spot of what in some corners would be considered, rather less plastic and more artisan edible goodies.

To that end, pre-party, I rocked up at ‘Fauvette’ on Penarth’s Glebe Street to stock up my cheese board. I bought the most delicious chunk of 18 month old Comte. It didn’t knock you out and herald its’ arrival on your taste buds with bells and whistles. It was no Roquefort or Stilton that lands in your mouth like the star of the show with a spotlight and trumpets. No this Comte was like a supremely confident character actor playing a cameo that bags an Oscar nomination for a ten minute turn. It was nutty cheese Nirvana.

I also bought a piece of Per Las. I often go for a creamy Castello Blue, but Perl Las, a blue cheese from Wales manages to be smooth and punchy and salty, but never showy.

The cheese theme continued when I involved the children in squidging slices of mozzarella up against sweet figs and wrapping them in slithers of Parma ham. It’s a classic and easy to see why, soft, salty, chewy, sweet, you bite in and your mouth is on holiday to the land of taste; on an all inclusive to lovely-grub land; taking a fly drive across a vast expanse of gastronomic glee.

What to wash it all down with? Well, there were bubbles, Prosecco has become ubiquitous and sales seem to be rising but also Redsmith Gin. I declare an interest as it is made by a member of my family. But nepotism aside, it is quite delicious and featured in British Vogue last year and I trust them to know both their gillets and their gin.

It all adds up to an appreciation of food and drink in all its’ tasty, artisan, lovingly-produced, glorious, delicious fun.