Cape Town.061121. A cheese board with butternut and ginger marmalade, from Andiamo and creation of Rimona Taljaard, their consultant chef. Picture:Sophia Stander Reporter:Jeanne Viall

London - Once the turkey, trimmings and mince pies are out of the way it’s time to tuck into the Stilton.

In Britain, Stilton is served as a seasonal treat because it’s made around April and takes eight months to mature, so is ready in time for Christmas.

But it’s not the only cheese that should be eaten after lunch.

In fact, constructing the perfect Christmas cheese board - rather than just buying one of the many over-priced, pre-packaged ones on sale in the supermarkets - is as important as not over-cooking the sprouts.

Rhuaridh Buchanan, manager at Paxton & Whitfield in London, which was named best cheese counter at the 2012 World Cheese Awards, says you need only four cheeses of different textures and flavours to make the perfect cheese board.

He recommends:

* A MILD, soft goat’s cheese: won’t overpower other flavours;

* A HARD cheese such as Cheddar: A failsafe for unadventurous guests;

* A BLUE cheese;

* A SHOWSTOPPER: It’s Christmas, so you’ll want to wow your guests. Buchanan suggests brie stuffed with truffles. -Daily Mail