Follow your nose to the cult of curdled milk and sample the best bits of this county, home to the world famous Cheddar. Stay in a self catering cottage in Somerset and fill up on a feast of local milky delicacies.
The one and only place left in Cheddar making officially recognised ‘West Country Cheddar Cheese’, as authorised by the EU Protected Designation of Origin. You can stay for up to 7 hours to watch the entire life cycle of a cheddar cheese, from making and maturing to packing. Or just watch their 20 minute film. Either way, they’ve a whole visitor centre all about, you guessed it, cheddar.
Their cheesemaking processes start and end on the farm – before finishing up on your plate, that is. They keep a close eye on the milk’s transformation as they need to respond to the individual character of each batch of the white stuff, to make sure it makes the best cheese it can. They use raw milk, you see, which lends itself to a rich flavour full of vitality and a natural finish – it’s not forced to taste a certain way. Taste for yourself in their on-site shop and peek through the glass door into their Cheddar ageing room, grab yourself a ‘growler and see what’s cooking.
Lye Cross Farm are especially welcoming, siting their farm shop and a café in the heart of the dairy farm. They’re only a few miles from Cheddar, in the shadow of the Mendip Hills. The cheeses are matured mere metres from the tills and you’ll no doubt spot a member of the Alvis family who’ve owned the place for over a century.
Visit them for ‘vodka sampling, daily cheese tastings, or simply a friendly chat about how they create their Godminster goodies!’. It really would be the icing on the cheesecake following a little stroll around the delightful town of Bruton. Their organic farm is just on the outskirts and is very respectful of the local flora and fauna, restoring natural habitats and maximising sustainable practices. It all makes for very good cheese.
Last but not least, we can’t leave out the oldest cheesemakers in the world – they’ve been going since 1833 so have perfected their recipes to the nth degree. Their cheese only leaves the farm when it reaches perfection so pop into their onsite shop to sample the cheddars made from historical cultures. It’s gotten really good after 200 years.