Snowdrop, Poacher and a Robot

A recent trip North to the Linconshire Wolds for a family party created a golden opportunity to visit two very special cheese makers on their farms.

We found contented grazing cows, producing quality milk and real cheese makers passionate about their produce. Always a joy to see.

The two farms were very different in size, one common thread was NOT pasteurising the milk, using it warm directly from the parlour. The full complex flavours of the milk are taken into the finished cheeses with zero tanker miles.

Michael & Mary Davenport and their son Joe hand make the cheese at Cote Hill Farm, Osgodby, with milk from their 80 pedigree, predominantly Friesian, cows. Cote Hill Blue,Yellow Belly, Red, Lindum and curd cheese Cote Hill White or Snowdrop will be featuring in our counter on a regular basis.

Snowdrop is a mould-ripened fresh cheese. It’s soft, smooth, velvety and rich with a savoury nose. The cheese will vary from season to season depending on the delicious raw milk the cows produce.This cheese has been named in honour of Cynthia, the Davenport matriarch who started the dairy at Cote hill Farm in the 50s. Snowdrop was her favourite flower, growing across the farm, thriving in the hedgerows and verges. This delicious soft bloomy cheese, I’m told, is similar to a French St Felicien…special.

After a few happy hours chatting to Mary we headed East to see Tim Jones at Ulceby Grange, a wonderful fourth generation family farm with their creamery in beautifully restored farm buildings. We found robot Florence….de Machine (a close relative of Tina Turner who we met in Somerset a while ago at Westcombe cheese,) working away and a team who quite rightly take great care and pride in their produce. There can’t be many better cheeses in the world… (according to Mrs Salmon!)  It's a fascinating process that so many of us take for granted. Rather than write about it here I recommend you visit their website. 

Whilst in the area we also called in on Pocklingtons Bakery who have supplied us with plumb bread for many years…. Im really not sure how it happened but Leon managed to persuade us to take home a box full of ‘the very finest’ Christmas Puddings….lets hope they sell..!!

Our busman holiday for 2021, with Covid in mind was to Somerset. We wanted to avoid unnecessary contact with others so took off with our much loved dogs, totally self contained in Gerty our camper for a few days of walking and exploring.

Inevitably we had to call in on the family run Westcombe dairy, where a wonderful unpasteurised Cheddar is made using milk from their farm. Its always good to catch up with our producers… Tom Calver gave us a tour, the manmade cheese cave is a sight to behold.The cows were thriving on traditional grazing pastures full of herbs and flora. We now stock SAUCISSON made on the farm using traditional methods, they are proving very popular on the "Deli Van". The brewery at the back of the dairy reviled some extraordinary beer, Salted Caramel proving to be a winner in our household . We were sad to see the old phone box used for smoking cheese had been replaced by something more sophisticated !! Take a look at this short film by Julius Fiedler CRAFT the art of making cheddar   It’s not just about the cheese maker, it’s the land, cows, feed, weather and a passion for fine produce. It was a joy to visit and makes us very happy to be associated with them.

A Rare Day Off...

Lockdown proved to be an incredibly busy time for us, receiving and making deliveries, Merry Mouse Deli Van visits around the locality, ordering and conditioning cheese along with the ghastly office work that inevitably has to be done. We needed a change of scene and took off to see Julianna Sedli and her husband who make  ‘small batch Artisan Cheeses’ near Corsham in Wiltshire.  

The Jersey Cows looked terrific, a real credit to the Neston Park Farm and their organic farming methods.

Julianna has been making some special cheese, in addition she producing flavoured curds, or cream cheese in layman’s terms and something we have been looking to source for sometime, a ‘live’ organic yoghurt. We tasted & talked about these, using the valuable feedback from our trusted customers who at the end of the day we need to please. One week on from our tasting and the yoghurt we hoped could be a little thicker is… the joy of having produce made to order. Time will tell, if it's going to be a viable product to stock each week we need quite a few customers to want it and for the yoghurt to be consistent in texture and flavour.

Corsham is an interesting town, it’s easy to see why the BBC like to use it as a film location for various period dramas. The big house has a wonderful art gallery and the town bookshop is inspiring. Our cheese sourcing trips around the country always bring amazing sights and sounds today was no exception, including a jumbo jet parking lot (at Kemble), a genuine horse skeleton (in the Paul Martin antique shop) and two old chairs used to plant flowers!!!

We will be returning when time is on our side to investigate the area more. 

You might like to try creating:

Steak or a quality Burger with a spoonful of Organic Curd , Wasabi, Truffle or Chive.

Tartiflette made with Baronet cheese.

Medleys, a smoked mini Baronet with a Whisky on the Rocks.

A week away in Northumberland has put a spring in our steps. It really is a wonderful county for those who love the great outdoors, the hill walking and beaches are breathtaking. 

Whilst up there we took the opportunity to visit one of our favourite cheese makers. Doddington Dairy nr Wooler. Margaret Maxwell and her young apprentice Joe performed a rare kind of alchemy turning a vat of milk into cheese, it really was a hypnotic process. A tour of the various ‘caves’ and the famous ice-cream barn left us in no doubt as to why they are such legends. The Maxwell family are a busy lot, not only farming, milking, cheese making etc in a major way but also running The Milk Bar by the bridge in Wooler.  It’s a great cafe where all their produce can be found…. including the most amazing salted caramel ice-cream!!!

We also went to see The Northumberland Cheese Co, Reiver is a cheese of theirs we have loved for some time, it was great to try some of their other produce, including a very nice sheep milk cheese, if we can find room on the MM van we will bring some to you soon.

Three other trip highlights were Barter Books in Alnwick, NT Cragside & en-route home The Lord Crewe Arms hotel in Blanchland made it very hard to return home!!

A trip via Petworth and the South Downs in West Sussex, was to see  Alsop and Walker, artisan cheese makers in East Sussex.

They are quite rightly proud of their range of unusual and innovative cheeses. The Mayfield is unique, with natural eyes in it similar to Swiss cheese, with a soft and fruity flavour. Their Sussex Crumble, now known as Idle Hour with its textured natural rind and soft, smooth fire ashes has been popular with our regulars for some time, it was good to see where it’s made.

We loved their red cheese, Plumpton and the sheeps cheese Ewe Eatme is very special, rather like a Manchego.They developed the creamy semi-soft cows milk cheese Lord London, in time for the Olympics. It also appeared on the cheeseboard at the Royal wedding breakfast at The Goring. A true champion cheese, it has won a medal in the World Cheese Awards. There’ll always be slight variations in the taste and texture of the cheeses, constantly changing maturing conditions and differences in the milk supply, which vary month-to-month depending on changes in the weather and different feeds and this, they believe, is what really keeps them apart from mass producers. A tasting of their Apple Jelly topped of our visit, lookout for it on the MM Van next week. ...* actually don't, we loved it but you didn't seem to want to buy it so we only get it on special occasions, sadly.

We returned home via Scotney Castle and Knole Park in Kent, two fabulous National Trust properties.

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.

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 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.


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.


We love David Jowett's Rollright cheese and sell a lot of it. He has recently (Aug 2019) moved to a fabulous new dairy at Manor Farm, Chedworth near Northleach. 


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.