On Monday 15th June Emma & Myself had the pleasure of travelling to Cropwell Bishop to meet Robin Skailes at the Cropwell Bishop Creamery for a visit & tour of the home of Stilton. We travelled up on Sunday afternoon and stayed at the very comfortable and well appointed Hilton Leicester. The staff were very friendly & always smiling plus the breakfast in the morning catered for every taste possible.
Unfortunately we couldn’t stay longer because we had a 1/2 hour car journey to Cropwell Bishop which turned out to be a very arduous as my sat nav decided to guide us through Leicester! Nevertheless we continued and got to discover the Vales which were beautifully picturesque. We spied a sign post to Cropwell Bishop so turned off and arrived on the road to the famous Stilton.
Having found an appropriate place to park the car we walked into the creamery visitors entrance which was a 100+ year old farmhouse with a lovely garden out front. The building retains it’s quaintness even though it’s the commercial & operations hub for Cropwell Stilton. Having signed in we waited for Robin to come and greet us who was going to show us through the Stilton making process from start to finish. By this point my cheesy side was fit to burst with excitement as I have always wanted to visit Cropwell Bishop. Robin arrived and we headed to their meeting room which could have doubled as a trophy room with the amount of awards, cups & trophies that were in there! We had a catch up about all things dairy and judging then came the point for heading into the very hygienic creamery. Now at this stage we learnt all sorts about the process of making each one of their cheeses but without knowing what is a cheesy secret this video will explain the process from milk to cheese.
As you can see they really put care & attention into making the best possible Stilton that they can and the results are truly tasted in their cheeses. After our tour around the creamery where I saw the rubbing of a Stilton which was comparable to an art form we headed out into the lovely afternoon sun back to the farmhouse for lunch. We were served sandwiches, cakes, crisps and of course Stilton & Beauvale. It was again a lovely opportunity to catch up with Robin over lunch but we knew that we would have to make a move soon because we had a 3 & 1/2 hour car journey to do. So we made our goodbyes and left with some Beauvale & Organic Stilton which over the week I have had with a port, on a cheese board & enjoyed it on a steak. In summary this is a wonderful creamery that at its core revolves around the cheese makers & workers passion to achieve the absolute best quality cheese that they can, which in turn means that you can be rest assured that every time you purchase a Cropwell Bishop cheese you are purchasing not only a fine piece of cheese but a passion & story and that is what artisan food should be all about.
Of course at this stage you’re probably wanting to have some to try so head over to Cropwell Bishop Creamery to purchase some for yourself.