1. The Fine Cheese Co. visit Westcombe

    Westcombe visit 1The day began with an eventful car journey relying on Flo Neame’s navigational skills. The four of us (Dave – who works with me in the Bath Shop,Flo – who looks after shop customers, Mark – our chief cheese cutter  and myself)  arrived around 9 O’clock at the dairy. Thankfully Tom Calver had told us we weren’t needed at 5 Am for the morning milking! Tom met us at the entrance of the dairy, whilst dealing with the milk lorry driver (even when giving a tour, Tom’s still working!).  We began with a quick hygiene form and into protective wear before entering the “wet room”. The steamy milky air was to greet us and we could see several operations commencing. We started with Cheddar making, watching the robotic giant paddles mixing in the starter culture with the warmed milk. Rob is an excellent Cheddar maker and uses his keen eye to oversee the machine before literally getting “hands on” or elbows deeps in milk.

    Rob stirs the curd away from the sides and bottom where the paddles cant reach.

    Whilst waiting for the rennet to do its job we joined Adam to begin making Caerphilly cheese. Once the rennet had set the milk, we were taught how to find the right consistency by plunging our finger in and looking for the right amount of cracking in the set cheese to see how long it needed before cutting.



    Westcombe visit 2Adam cuts through the set milk to leave chopped curd from the whey.

    We stepped out of the wet room, only to be shown the ageing rooms. The Cheddar room was amazing holding 4,500 Cheddars at one time! That’s the equivalent of 100 tonnes of Cheddar. We tasted several, using a cheese iron learning how to look for texture, smell and overall taste. Yum yum!






    Westcombe visit 3The cheddar Ageing room in it’s glory! 

    We were also shown the Caerphilly (Duckett’s) ageing room. A natural spring still runs through it. The smell as you would guess is quite musty, but the cheeses which are produced are fantastic.

    After seeing this, I eagerly awaited the newest and the most exciting cheese to be made, the ricotta. Unfortunately we had to wait another 2 hours or so before the whey was drained to make it.   Whilst the end of

  2. The Fine Cheese Co. British Cheese Festival

    The Fine Cheese Co. Cheese Festival

    Here at The Fine Cheese Co. we are busy getting ready for our very own British Cheese Festival.

    We’d love all of our customers from in and around Bath to pop along for the day and meet some of the fabulous cheese-makers that we support.

    There will be over 20 producers, which means a huge amount of cheese to try and to buy!

    The Fine Cheese Co. staff will also be on hand to help out and talk you through some of your favourite cheeses.

    As proud supporters of British artisan cheese, we urge other cheese-lovers to meet some of the characters behind Britain’s finest cheeses and learn some more about our favourites cheeses.

    The big event is being hosted by the lovely people at Milsom Place in the centre of Bath on Saturday 27th October from 10am to 5pm.

    From traditional Somerset unpasteurised Cheddars to the finest Stiltons and a few modern-farmhouse cheese-makers in between! The list of attendees reads like a who’s who of the Specialist cheese-maker world.

    The Fine Cheese Co. Cheese Festival Milson Place Map


    Colston Bassett Stilton

    Billy Kevan & team, Nottinghamshire.

    Maker of one of the finest Stilton’s available: hand-ladled and traditionally made it has a deep, lingering and complex flavour.

    Holden Farm Dairy

    Sam & Rachel Holden, Lamepeter, Wales

    Sam and Rachel produce Hafod: a buttery, rich unpasteurised organic Cheddar deep within Wales.

    Hampshire Cheeses

    Stacey Hedges, Hampshire

    Stacey makes the closest thing we know to a classic French camembert: intense, vegetal and rich. British Cheese Awards Supreme Champion 2006.

    Neal’s Yard Creamery

    Charlie Westhead, Herefordshire

    Charlie makes two brilliant unpasteurised goats’ cheese: Ragstone and Dorstone.  As well as fabulous Yogurt, Crème Fraiche, and a triple cream cows’ milk cheese: Finn.

    Ticklemore Cheese

    Ben Congdon, Devon

    Three outstanding blue cheeses (goats’, cows’ and sheep’s) from Devon: made in a Roquefort style, sweet and slightly spicy.

    Appleby's Cheese

    Sarah & Paul Appleby, Cheshire Plains

    Maker of the last unpasteurised farmhouse Cheshire in the UK: fresh and zesty.

    Keen's Cheddar

    George & James Keen, Somerset

    Fourth-generation farmhouse Cheddar makers: cloth bound and aged like a fine wine for 12 months.