A quick trip to the New Forest.

Winchester Cheese and it’s elder brother Old Winchester have been on our radar for some time. It was a treat to catch up with Mike Smales and team to select our latest batch.

Lyburn Farm is a great example of an enterprising family farm, not only are they producing their wonderful cheeses but also amongst other things, vast amounts of pumpkins!

Visit their web site for the full story. www.lyburnfarm.co.uk

Hunting for a Blue Slipper.

After a wonderful, record breaking Christmas trade we took off for a few days to the Isle of White to recover. Our mission was to track down a highly recommend cheese maker and to visit Queen Victoria’s holiday home Osborne House. 

Armed with OS map, two dogs and Gerty our much loved camper van we crossed the Solent exhausted but excited. 

At Queen Bower Dairy, inland from Sandown with a small herd of various cows we found our man, Richard Hodgson. His cheese is outstanding, Gallybagger Mature an unpasteurised cheddar type and a soft blue, named after the famous island clay, Blue Slipper have particularly stolen our hearts. Supply is very limited and rarely leaves the island, if we can find a way to stock it we will.

A recent trip to North Yorkshire to catch up with one of our FOOD HERO’S proved worthwhile. Andy Swinscoe at The Courtyard Dairy near Settle .

It was created with the ethos to sell only the best cheese available from the British Isles and the Continent of Europe; and by doing so, to champion and support the few remaining independent farmhouse cheese-makers.

His knowledge is second to none, we were treated to some unique new cheeses and were thrilled to see we already stock a good number of his favourites. If you’re ever in that part of the world do visit,  it’s no surprise he won ‘Cheesemonger of The Year 2018’.

By contrast after a brief visit to the Hawes Livestock Market to see a few sheep sold we nipped round the corner into the Wensleydale Creamery, we found it extremely commercial, not a place for artisan cheese lovers like us, but there is no doubt it’s a popular tourist attraction. We took to the hills with the dogs to recover!! 

We couldn’t resist visiting Chatsworth on our way home, a very special place….. great farm shop too ...(tho a poor cheese selection we thought!!)

A SHORT TRIP NORTH

A busman’s holiday to Lancashire has revealed some interesting produce. Jo and I visited dairy’s and cheese suppliers across the county and now feel we understand the Lancashire Cheese world a little better. We have decided to stock Inglewhite Tasty, Creamy and Crumbly, all have very different characters so we hope to have one to suit most of our customers. 

We also found a very fat, happy herd of Water Buffalo, their milk is being used to produce a really tasty, rich, cheddar style cheese, this is now in stock, supply is limited so hurry!

We found the hill and moorland walking breathtaking, in both ways. The wildlife was abundant with Curlews, Pewits, Oyster Catchers (we didn’t expect to see them inland), Red Deer, Hares, Leaping Salmon… or was it a Trout?… and a wonderful show of Grouse.



ANOTHER GREAT CHEESE FROM CORNWALL

We are thrilled to be able to bring you a selection of quality British made Gouda. The Cornish Gouda Company produces beautifully hand crafted artisan cheeses on a small family dairy farm in Cornwall. The Dutch family moved from the Netherlands in 1998 to start dairy farming, but due to years of poor milk prices the family could no longer afford to continue running the business. When youngest son, Giel, came home from college to a ‘For Sale’ sign on the farm gate in 2012, he decided he would make the business viable by diversifying the farm through the production of Cornish Gouda Cheese. It is going very well for them, winning many accolades along the way. 

Cornish Gouda is produced by solely using milk from the family’s pedigree herd. All cows are born and reared on the farm, and fed by crops grown on its land. Every stage of cheese production is powered by a biomass boiler fuelled by sustainable forestry where on completion each cheese is matured in an eco-friendly storage facility.

London Calling

Our quest to find the perfect Comte Cheese took us to London. We came back with the perfect Vintage Gouda instead…. 

We meet up with our great friend from Warwick… do you recognise him? After a quick visit to the Sky Garden, above Peters office in the City, we indulged ourselves in Borough Market. A wonderful, must visit market for anybody who appreciates fine produce.

Toma delle valli di Lanzo

We're back from a fun cheese buying mission north of Turin. Toma delle valli di Lanzo will be on our market stall this week. Please do come and try it.... be quick, we don't expect it to last long. 

It was a very hectic week, we flew to Turin for a 3 day break. Staying with friends, we did some fabulous walking in the mountains. Stunning mountainous country, the weather was perfect.

We went to see two cheese makers with a ministry vet who is often employed to help the farmers with claims against things like wolf damage, which is on the increase. He quite obviously is a real friend of the farmers as they were so pleased to see him, which made it all the more fun for us as they opened up so much more, and we were able to see them make the cheese and enjoy some kitchen table banter.

The second farm was as the vet put it " a museum". An oldish woman living on a small holding with 2 Romanian lads 5000ft up in the mountains, no electricity, and no road to get to them, milking 100 cows twice a day by hand, at the start of the season in May they make 12x 6 kg wheels a day, now at the end season it's 4 to 5 wheels. I had to buy some and smuggle it home as it is such a fabulous story and delicious cheese too.

https://www.slowfood.org.uk/projects/campaigns/slow-cheese-raw-milk/

ROLLRIGHT...STONES CHEESE &COWS.....

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of a very exciting new cheese 'Rollright". For the full story check out http://news.comesto.co.uk/2017/07/04/my-goal-is-si...

CHEESE

Our cheese range continues to evolve at quite a pace. Jo and I have great fun seeking out new and worthy cheese and local cheese makers to keep you all interested… the biggest problem is deciding what to drop when a new cheese comes along… the table is just not big enough. I could write reams of tasting notes for you but for now just come and see us on the markets, we will talk you through it.