Belvoir Ridge Creamery
Dairy farmers Alan and Jane Hewson spent the best part of a decade slowly picking up equipment and trying out recipes for a couple of nearly-forgotten East Midlands cheeses. Now, with beautiful milk from their herd of 60 Red Poll cows, cheese-making has gone from a hobby to a major part of the business.
Their big success has been Colwick, a soft, curdy cheese first developed in the 17th century near Nottingham. It received huge interest after it was featured last year on Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast programme. The centre of the cheese dips to form a bowl shape, into which you would traditionally place fruits or a savoury mix with onions and scoop it out.
Also doing well is Rutland Slipcote. This brie-style cheese was popular in Victorian times and has now made it onto the cheese boards at restaurants such as Hart’s of Nottingham, Hambleton Hall, and The Olive Branch in Clipsham, which often has a whole baked Slipcote on the menu.
The latest development is to make their pasteurised, non-homogenised milk available straight from the cow through a vending machine outside the dairy at £1 a litre (at the time of writing). You can bring along your own container or buy a re-useable one.
The milk, from what is believed to be the only milking herd of rare-breed Red Polls in the country, was a gold award winner at the 2014 Nantwich Show – the world’s largest cheese show. “Judges called it rich, creamy and full-flavoured,” says Jane. “They also liked the fact that, unlike Jersey, it doesn’t coat your tongue – it’s a cleaner, more modern style.”
Belvoir Ridge Creamery stand at Oakham Farmers’ Market each month.