Good Afternoon Cheesy1’s
What a glorious Afternoon it is as well because the sun has got its best hat on today and Summer has returned; but for how long! When I visited Ludlow Food Centre it certainly wasn’t Summer but extremely wet. Only a short 10 minute journey from the Fishmore Hall Hotel where I had rested my cheesy head from my day at the International Cheese Awards the day before. Arriving at the estate you get the sense that they want this to be an experience because not only do they have a Food Centre they have a Garden Centre, Post Office, Gift Shop, Hotel, Restaurant and Village shop. It is designed to be a hub for local produce and accessible to all. I’m quite jealous that there isn’t anything like this in the New Forest because I truly think that it would be remarkably popular. Having entered the Food Hall I gazed upon some wonderful & freshly prepared foods from chicken cushions (Chicken breasts stuffed with sage & onion wrapped in bacon then string tied together) to freshly baked feta & red onion focaccia. It all looked delicious so a trolley was in order to make sure I had a good selection to take home. I found Bridie who also attended the Guild Of Cheese Graders with me at the same time and had a catch up, but she also put me into contact with Dudley who is a cheesemaker for Ludlow. Dudley then kindly talked me through the products they make from yoghurt, cream, butter & cheeses with hardly any byproduct being left behind. It is a fascinating concept that each area cheese, bakery, meat, fish, deli and coffee roasting all have a window so as you shop you can see your food being made in front of your eyes, I wish this was more widespread in shops as it brings a connection to your food. Dudley explained about the milk that comes from the Oakly Park estate as they have more control of the production. We then went to the cheese storage room and looked at all the lovely cheese maturing away and the hunger started to gather. We then returned to the cheese counter and I thanked Dudley for his time.
I was then helped by a lovely lady who gave me some tasters and my favourite was the Cheese With No Name with Truffle. It is so delicate but with the lovely hint of the truffle it is great cheese board introduction to cheeses with truffle. It is such a brilliant location if you love food and its provenance but you can also buy a selection of products from their online store here. If you are ever nearby pop in and see what delights they have on offer and I would like to thank everybody there for being welcoming to me on that Morning.
The Cheesy 1