Cerney Cheese, Gloucestershire
The entrance to the dairy at Chapel Farm looks like the entrance to the farm house and that is exactly what it is! The whole downstairs has been made into the dairy with special cladding all over the walls, a sealed floor and so on. The aspect from the wrapping room is wonderful as you overlook the back garden. Cheese making started here in about 1983 when Lady Angus returned from France where she had learned alot about making fresh goats cheese similar to 'Valencay'. According to her daughter Barbara who now runs the dairy with Angus her husband, she made some awful cheese but eventually got it right. Together with Avril, the chief cheese maker, they make about 6-700 small cheeses each week and distribute them locally to shops and restaurants in the area.
They use frozen goats milk from around Gloucestershire but import the ash from France. To make the ash pyramid the ash is mixed with salt and spread on each cheese by hand. The salt gives the cheese flavour and the ash helps preserve it as well. Barbara and Angus work in the dairy in the morning but return to run the gardens at Cerney Manor where Lady Angus still lives. The gardens are open to the public during the early summer and produce jams, chutneys, honey and organic eggs.