Getting the good stuff into your kids’ meals isn’t always easy, but it’s crucial for healthy development. Calcium in particular is important for strong bones and teeth, so it’s vital that you get enough of this into their diets. Here, Jane Rylands of British kitchen appliance manufacturer Belling shares her top tips for sneaking extra calcium into your children’s meals.

Getting the good stuff into your children’s diets isn’t always easy. But, by thinking creatively about how you incorporate these into their meals, you can ensure they’re getting enough of the right nutrients — even when you’re serving up their favourite treat meals!

Calcium is one of the most important minerals that your children will need. It supports the structure and hardness of bones and teeth, but also enables our blood to clot, muscles to contract and even encourages our heart to beat. Here, I will be sharing my top tips for parents looking to boost their children’s calcium intake with exciting meals that they will love eating.

Choose a cheese fondue
A cheese fondue that your kids can dip baked bread or vegetable sticks into is sure to be received well. And, with so many delicious cheeses that can be baked, including creamy ricotta and tangy goat’s cheese, you can try a different one each time to introduce your little ones to lots of different sources of calcium. Your kids are sure to love ditching their knife and fork and getting stuck in with finger food, so give this a go to add a fun element to dinnertimes.

Suggest making mini pizzas
Adults and kids alike love pizza, so why not try getting the kids involved with the dinnertime preparation? Making your own mini pizzas is a great way of letting the children get hands on and have lots of fun in the kitchen. Plus, they’re sure to feel a sense of achievement when they sit down to tuck into their tasty treat meal.

You’ll want to keep the cooking process as simple as possible to keep the kids engaged and to get to the fun bits quicker. I recommend buying pre-made mini pizza bases and setting up a workstation where they can add their own tomato sauce base and their favourite toppings. This could even be the perfect opportunity to pre-grate a variety of different cheeses and place them in the same bowl, to sneak some extra calcium into their dinner.

Serve cheese and fruit kebabs
Get creative with your kids’ snacks and give some cheese and fruit kebabs a go. All you’ll need is cubes of any hard cheese and some of their favourite fruits to thread onto a skewer. Halved strawberries, apple slices and whole grapes work really well for this. As well as ensuring your kids are getting their calcium and a portion of their five a day, they’re sure to find these more fun to eat than their usual snacks.

If you want to stir up excitement about this snack, you could even get them to help you prepare them. They can help chop the fruit and cheese and place them onto the skewers — just be sure to supervise your children around any sharp items like the knives or skewers themselves.

Create colourful smoothies
Kids can be easily drawn in by colour, and this is no different when it comes to the drinks they choose. Smoothies are a colourful, delicious and nutritious way to incorporate extra calcium into your child’s diet, and as the milk you use will be whizzed up into an appealing drink, they’ll be none the wiser!

Simply place a couple of handfuls of their favourite berries into a food processor with a sliced banana and top it up with 500ml of milk. Whizz together until the drink has a silky-smooth consistency and serve in their favourite cup or glass.

If you want to boost your child’s calcium intake even more, try switching regular cow’s milk for sheep’s milk. This alternative is recommended by the Sheep Dairying Association as it contains double the protein and about one third more energy than cow’s or goat’s milk. It is usually the choice of athlete’s looking to bolster their performance, so it will be perfect to boost your little one’s energy.

Make creamy desserts
Kids love sweet treats, which means they’re most likely looking forward to dessert each night than the main dish. And, while their favourite sponge cake might include some calcium, you can find desserts which are much higher in the mineral.

Try creating your own frozen yoghurt for a healthy post-dinner treat. I recommend following this frozen strawberry yoghurt recipe from BBC Good Food and setting out bowls of tasty toppings that your kids can add. Finely crushed biscuits and chopped nuts will work well, as will dried or fresh fruit pieces.

There you have it! Five ways to sneak some extra calcium into your children’s diets. Try one or all of these and you may just find a new family favourite


Refrigerated Cheese brining store. 

This project supported by the Leader Project consists of the installation of a refrigerated brining room to the dairy, to improve product storage and workflow, and the purchase of equipment for creating marbled cheeses.

It is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development

The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development:

Europe investing in rural areas.


It was Open Farm Sunday at the weekend and we were among the Sussex food and drink producers that took part at Cockhaise Farm’s Open Farm event. The farm is less than a mile from the Dairy, as the crow flies, and is where we source our organic cow milk from to make cheeses like Tremains Organic.

The Open Farm Sunday initiative was launched in 2006 by the charity LEAF, Linking Environment and Farming, and is designed to show people first-hand what it means to be a farmer. Hundreds of farms up and down the country open their gates and welcome the public in for this year’s event on Sunday, 10th June. Cockhaise Farm has taken part for a number of years and this year’s event offered visitors the chance to tour the farm and see some of their 240-strong herd, sheep being sheared and to join tractor rides around the farm.

Rees Woodward who won our Sussex food and drink prize at Open Farm Sunday

Sussex food and drink in the spotlight

Other Sussex food and drink producers at the event included Sussex Chefs and Caroline’s Dairy. There were around 900 visitors to Cockhaise Farm on the day – including a camera crew from Meridian TV who interviewed Mark! You might have spotted him on the evening news talking about the importance of giving people an understanding of where their food comes from. In addition to giving people a chance to taste the cheese that we make from Cockhaise milk, we also ran a competition asking people to guess how many litres of milk go in to making a 3.640kg wheel of Tremains Organic cheese. The answer? 34.58 litres! Our lucky winner was Ree Woodward (pictured above with Mark) who won a hamper of cheese.

A great event for a good cause

Entrants to our competition were asked to make a donation to the event’s charity partner, The Bevern Trust. The Trust is a Sussex-based disability charity which supports young adults with profound learning disabilities. Take a look at the Farmers’ Markets and Shows pages to see other events we’ll be selling cheese at this summer.

This month we’re celebrating Sister Sarah and Ashdown Foresters which were among the award-winning cheeses at the British Cheese Awards. Almost as soon as the first wheels of 2018 Sister Sarah cheese had finished maturing, we were sending a sample off to be judged in this year’s British Cheese Awards. And it was definitely worth the effort as judges awarded Sister Sarah with a gold medal. Our Smoked Ashdown Forester cheese was also a winner, scooping a bronze medal for the High Weald Dairy. The awards took place at the Royal Bath and West Show in Somerset’s Shepton Mallet on May 30th and saw cheeses from 147 cheesemakers judged.

Award-winning cheeses were selected at the show

The cheese awards were founded 25 years ago as a way to celebrate a renaissance in cheesemaking in this country and to promote awareness of British cheeses. In the first year back in 1994 there were 296 cheeses entered, now there are more than 1,000 – so our High Weald Dairy cheeses faced some tough and tasty competition. Judges score the cheeses on presentation, texture, aroma, flavour and balance.

Our award-winning cheeses

Sister Sarah is the only cheese we make from goat milk at the dairy. It’s a semi-soft cheese which is matured for 8-12 weeks. As goat milk is only available at certain times of the year, we don’t sell the cheese all year round and its arrival is eagerly awaited by some of our customers who love its mild flavour. For that reason, we made it our Cheese of the Month in May, which seemed especially appropriate when it scooped the gold medal at the end of the month! It’s quite unusual for a goat milk cheese because it doesn’t have the ‘goatiness’ that puts some people off goat cheese. It’s a very white cheese, thanks to the goat milk, and is coated in annatto (a south American berry) which gives it an orange coat.

Our second award-winning cheese, Ashdown Foresters Smoked is a cow milk cheese. It is an unpressed cheese which has an attractive shape and basket weave texture on the outside. It’s matured for around three months to achieve a firm but slightly squidgy texture and is smoked over oak shavings here at the High Weald Dairy.

The best of British cheeses

A total of 77 judges took part in the judging process with Michel Roux OBE on the judging panel. Among the award-winning cheeses, Sheep Rustler by Somerset cheesemakers, White Lake Cheese, was judged as Supreme Champion for 2018.

Peter Mitchell, chairman of the British Cheese Awards, said: “The number and quality of the cheeses entered for this year’s awards has been exceptional and made judging and choosing the winners a real challenge. We’re delighted that White Lake Cheese, a local Somerset cheesemaker, won the Supreme Champion trophy for its Sheep Rustler; a delicious and intriguing ewe’s milk cheese.

“We’re very fortunate in this country to have such a great number of dedicated and skilled cheesemakers that are renowned for their excellence and commitment to quality. This is reflected in the cheeses that were judged this year.”

High Weald Dairy Ashdown Foresters
High Weald Dairy Ashdown Foresters
High Weald Dairy Sister Sarah
High Weald Dairy Sister Sarah

Do you make your own cheese or would you like to? We are pleased to be sponsoring a cheese-making competition at the Coleman’s Hatch Flower Show in July. The competition is open to amateur cheese makers and will give them the chance to have their cheese tasted and critiqued by the experts. It’s perfect for those who have been on our one-day cheese making course which teaches all the skills needed for people to make their own cheeses at home.

You might have a cheese already maturing that you would like to enter, or you might like the chance to put skills learned on the course to the test as you make a new one. The closing date for entries to the cheese-making competition is Wednesday July 25th ahead of judging which takes place at the show on Saturday July 28th leaving plenty of time for harder cheeses to mature.

Entering the cheese-making competition

Whether it’s your first time making cheese or you consider yourself a bit of an expert, the competition should be a good fun way to compare your wares against other amateur cheese makers, to share your skill and perhaps to win a prize! Cheeses will be judged by High Weald Dairy cheese makers and the best from the five classes will be awarded the Supreme Champion Trophy. See below for the competition rules.

Cheeses can be entered in five classes as follows:

1. Soft Cheese Plain
2. Soft Cheese with additives
3. Hard Cheese
4. Blue Cheese
5. The People’s Favourite

The cheese-making competition is one of a number of competitions that take place at Coleman’s Hatch Flower Show, an annual event which has taken place for decades in the village of Coleman’s Hatch. It’s just a few miles from the High Weald Dairy and within the Ashdown Forest and the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The show is, of course, centred on home-grown flowers and plants with classes for vegetables, fruit and lots more. There are also competitions for children and a range of activities on the day.

Competition Rules

Cheesemakers can enter more than one class and can enter more than one cheese in each class.

Each entry for class 1 – 4 should provide a portion of cheese, no less than 200g.

Entry for Class 5, should be a minimum of 500g as the public will taste and vote on the cheese.

Cost of entry is £ 1.00 for each cheese entered for each class. Please pay be cheque or enquire for BACS details.

Entry forms are available to download from the flower show website downloads page.

Forms must be returned by Wednesday July 25th, 2018 to: SHEPHERDS GATE FARM, Coleman’s Hatch TN7 4HR or by email to secretary@colemanshatchflowershow.co.uk

Entries (cheeses) will be received on Saturday July 28th, 2018 by 10 am; which is the day of judging.

Some people thrive on competition, others feel nervous at the thought of being judged but everyone agrees there’s nothing quite like winning. Competition has been a recurring theme at the High Weald Dairy in the last few weeks as our cheeses have recently been judged in the 2018 Artisan Cheese Awards and now the tables have turned and we’ve been asked to act as judges in a local competition too.

We were thrilled to receive a gold, silver and bronze at the recent Artisan Cheese Awards. The event is in its third year and is designed to celebrate the craft and skill of small artisan cheese makers. Judges at the event on Thursday April 26th had the enviable task of tasting their way through more than 500 cheeses including High Weald Dairy’s Brighton Blue, Duddleswell and Little Sussex cheeses.

Artisan Cheese Awards 2018

A great result for High Weald Dairy artisan cheese

Entries had come from more than 115 cheesemakers from across the British Isles so we were up against some tough competition and were pleased to receive a gold award for Brighton Blue, silver for Little Sussex and bronze for Duddleswell.

Mark said: “We are delighted with the results from the Artisan Cheese Awards. The gold award for Brighton Blue is especially welcome news and adds to a growing list of accolades it’s received in the last year. It’s becoming more and more popular with the public as well as judges and we can hardly keep up with demand – but we don’t mind because it’s one of our favourite cheeses to make too!

He added: “Competitions and awards offer a great way to benchmark our cheeses against those that are made by other cheese makers and help keep us on our toes. They help to boost the profile of the Dairy and give us a chance to reach new customers. And if you win something it’s a great feeling and a reflection on the hard work of the whole team.”

Calling all budding cheese makers

We are now looking forward to the British Cheese Awards which take place at the end of May and further ahead to a cheese making competition which we are sponsoring at the Coleman’s Hatch Flower Show in July. The competition is open to amateur cheese makers who like making, or want to try making their own cheese. It’s perfect for those who have been on our one-day cheese making course who already have a cheese maturing or want to use their skills to make a new cheese.  Budding cheese makers can enter cheeses in five categories: Soft Cheese – plain, Soft Cheese – with additives, Hard Cheese, Blue Cheese and “the People’s Favourite”. There will also be a trophy for the “Supreme Champion” – the best of all the cheeses entered. Full details of how to enter are in our Cheese Making Competition post.

High Weald Dairy Little Sussex
High Weald Dairy Duddleswell artisan cheese

It’s not an exaggeration to say that sheep milk is close to our hearts at the High Weald Dairy. Mark and his parents started the business with a flock of 150 British Friesland sheep for milking, the first cheeses we made were sheep milk cheeses and now, seven of the 16 cheeses we make are crafted from sheep milk.
Aside from all that, there are serious reasons for being fond of sheep milk: there are many health benefits of sheep milk and sheep milk cheese which you may not be aware of. Most people know that all milk and dairy products are great sources of protein and calcium and can help form part of a healthy diet – but did you know that sheep milk has a much higher calcium content than milk from a cow? Calcium is, of course, particularly useful for helping us develop healthy bones and teeth.

Nutritional benefits of sheep milk cheese

What’s more, sheep milk is both higher in fat and protein than cow and goat milk which gives it a sweeter taste and higher nutritional content. You can see a table showing a typical nutritional analysis of sheep, goat and cow milk on the Nutritional Benefits page of our website. You may also notice that it has higher levels of zinc and B vitamins too. While a higher fat content may not be welcome news to all who are considering switching to sheep milk, it’s worth noting that 45% of the fatty acids in sheep milk are mono or polyunsaturated.

Mark says: “Sheep milk is good because it’s so digestible. The fat and protein molecules are very small. It has twice the goodness of cow milk and three or four times as much calcium. And it’s suitable for most people who have an intolerance to cow milk.”

An alternative to cow milk

Sheep milk contains lactose so may not be suitable for those with lactose intolerance but, according to the British Sheep Dairying Association, some people are able to tolerate it. Sheep milk has been shown to contain a higher proportion of medium and short-chain saturated fatty acids which lead to a higher lactose absorption making it easier to digest. Further to this, sheep milk products such as yoghurt and cheese can often be tolerated by people who have trouble digesting cow milk. This is because all the lactose has been converted to acid by lactic acid bacteria added by the cheese or yoghurt maker during the cheese-making process. Another of the benefits of sheep milk cheese is that it may help with the management of asthma and eczema. A switch to sheep milk is recommended by both the Asthma Research Council and the National Eczema Society.

Among the alternatives to cow milk, such as almond milk, soy milk and oat milk (many of which are high in added sugar), sheep milk is a good natural alternative. British grassland is ideal for grazing sheep and they live outside for most of the year. We sell frozen bottled sheep milk from Top Paddock in nearby Horsham. The milk is very suitable for freezing and can be kept for up to four months. There is more information about the nutritional benefits of sheep milk cheese in an interesting article on their website.

Why sheep milk makes great cheese

The benefits of sheep milk to a cheese maker, in addition to all this, is that it offers a good cheese yield. Due to the high quality of sheep milk, it takes about three-and-a-half litres to produce a soft sheep milk cheese like Sussex Slipcote, while an equivalent soft cow milk cheese would need around five litres of milk. Sheep milk also makes cheese that tastes good too. Here at the High Weald Dairy, we no longer keep our own flock of sheep but produce our range of seven sheep cheeses using organic milk from Orchid Meadow Sheep Dairy in Dorset: from fresh sheep cheeses like High Weald Dairy ricotta and Sussex Slipcote, through Mediterranean-style cheeses Halloumi and Medita (our name for Feta), to hard-cheddar style Duddleswell cheese. Take a look at our sheep milk cheese page for the full range.

All High Weald Dairy cheeses are made with pasteurised milk which means they are safe for pregnant women to eat and are produced using a vegetarian rennet which makes them suitable for vegetarians too.

With Easter fast approaching, the cheese makers at the High Weald Dairy are busy making and packing cheese. After Christmas, it’s one of our busiest times of the year as people get together to mark the occasion and share a meal. Much of the cheese we make is destined for farm shops, delicatessens and the cheese boards of restaurants near our base in Sussex. Due to the current lock down we now offer a selection of hampers and cheese boxes directly from the dairy and make great alternative Easter presents.

Supermarkets and shops are packed to the rafters with chocolate eggs and sweet treats at this time of year so something savoury can be a welcome alternative – and just as decadent. If you’ve been invited to spend Easter with friends or family, contributing a cheese selection to finish the meal can be a thoughtful touch and is an Easter gift that can be shared by all the family.

With Easter fast approaching, the cheese makers at the High Weald Dairy are busy making and packing cheese. After Christmas, it’s one of our busiest times of the year as people get together to mark the occasion and share a meal. Much of the cheese we make is destined for farm shops, delicatessens and the cheese boards of restaurants near our base in Sussex. Due to the current lock down we now offer a selection of hampers and cheese boxes directly from the dairy and make great alternative Easter presents.

Supermarkets and shops are packed to the rafters with chocolate eggs and sweet treats at this time of year so something savoury can be a welcome alternative – and just as decadent. If you’ve been invited to spend Easter with friends or family, contributing a cheese selection to finish the meal can be a thoughtful touch and is an Easter gift that can be shared by all the family.

And if you’re doing the cooking, how about choosing your own selection of British cheeses from the High Weald Dairy to round off a special lunch? If you can’t make it to see friends and family this Easter, you can even order a cheese selection box online for delivery to a friend or family member’s home in the same way you would a bouquet of flowers.

Our cheese selections – alternative Easter presents

Our cheese selection boxes are available throughout the year and are a great gift for foodies and cheese lovers, whatever the occasion so whether you are looking for something different for Mother’s Day, an alternative birthday gift or a token of thanks, they are well worth considering.

We have several different cheese selections available including an Alternative Selection, featuring only sheep and goat milk cheeses, a Mellow Selection with some of our milder cheeses and a Sussex Selection which celebrates the area in which our cheese is made. We also introduce seasonal selections at different times of the year and can pack a special hamper of cheese to order according to your preferences.

Sustainable British cheese gifts

High Weald Dairy sheep, cow and goat milk cheeses are made and packaged from start to finish at our dairy in Horsted Keynes, West Sussex using milk sourced as locally as possible. We are proud of our eco-credentials and pack our cheese selections in cardboard presentation boxes with recycled packing materials made from shredded paper so, aside from being delicious, they are sustainable and environmentally-friendly too.

Our range of selection boxes and vouchers are all available to order online although, if you live locally, you can avoid the delivery charge by popping in to see us at the High Weald Dairy office at Tremains Farm to buy your cheese.

We also sell a slate cheese board and Horsham Sussex Thins biscuits which complement our cheeses and often have Ouse Valley Chutneys available from the office too.

  • Easter Selection – Cheese Hamper

    Celebrate Easter with our Easter Selection – Cheese Hamper.

    We have chosen our creamiest cheese’s, that are great for sharing, cooking and make an ideal gift for an alternative to chocolate.

    Your cheese hamper will include:
    Ashdown Forseters – Cow cheese 150g
    Saint Giles cheese – Cow cheese 150g
    Sister Sarah cheese – Goat cheese 125g
    Sussex Chilli Marble – Cow cheese 150g
    Plain Slipcote – Sheep cheese 100g
    Horsham Gingerbread – Sussex thins 175g
    Barties Chutney – Spicy Pineapple 115g

    Order online via the link below, or use our click and collect service via our website.

    *Last date for delivery 13thh April for delivery before 14th of April.
    **Please note we will be closed bank holiday Friday  for click and collect.

    Alternative Easter gifts

    Show Nutritional Information


    SKU: easterbox-1 Category:

We are always pleased to see our cheeses being used on local restaurant and pub menus – either as an ingredient or as part of a British or Sussex cheese board. One place we’re particularly proud to have an association with is the restaurant at nearby Gravetye Manor, where a focus on seasonal local produce has helped win it a Michelin Star.

But in January the tables were turned when, instead of cheese being taken the seven short miles from the High Weald Dairy to the kitchen at Gravetye, the kitchen came to visit the cheese!

The restaurant at Gravetye is currently closed (until May 2018) for an extensive remodelling which has given the chefs a chance to go out and visit some of their local suppliers to learn more about the produce they use. We were happy to be among the places selected and hosted a team of 16 chefs, led by Head Chef George Blogg, on a half-day visit.

Head Cheese Maker Chris Heyes showed the chefs around the Dairy and took them through the process of making Brighton Blue. The chefs were then welcomed to our Sussex cheese school to make mozzarella with Mark before a tasting of six of our cheeses.

Championing local produce

Head Chef George said: “It was an incredible experience. To be able to go around and see, from start to finish, the process of making Brighton Blue was fantastic. It’s such a great blue cheese.

“We want to champion things that are extremely regional, as long as they are good enough, so using produce from the High Weald Dairy makes complete sense. Our guests come to us because there’s a level of quality they expect and they want to eat things that are local and regional.”

George said the whole experience has given all the chefs a better understanding of the cheese we produce and has also fuelled their imaginations and given new ideas which may start appearing on the menus when the restaurant re-opens in May.

He said: “Something we are going to try and do is make some light curd with our guests at the table. Without going to the Dairy and seeing and talking to Mark I wouldn’t have the knowledge or experience to be able to do that.”

Sussex cheese on the move

In fact, shortly after the visit George was championing Sussex cheese alongside produce from Gravetye’s own impressive kitchen garden at the gastronomic event – Obsession. This international festival of food sees a different chef take over the kitchen at the Northcote Hotel in Lancashire every night for 18 nights in a showcase of talent from around the world. The chefs are challenged to create a unique menu for their night and we were thrilled to learn that George used cow’s curd from the High Weald Dairy in his first course which centres around celeriac grown at Gravetye.

If you would like to try some of George and his team’s inventive menus you can make reservations on Gravetye Manor’s website where you will also find more information about the new restaurant they are building. Look out for High Weald Dairy cheeses on the menu. They are often used as an ingredient in recipes like George’s lunch menu starter of Heritage Garden Beetroot Salad with High Weald Dairy Cow’s Curd, which he has been kind enough to share with us. Our St Giles and Brighton Blue cheeses are also fairly firm fixtures on the local Sussex cheese selection or their Best of British selection.

If you like the sound of the chefs’ experience at High Weald Dairy, why not book yourself a place on our one-day cheese-making course at our Sussex cheese school where you will get the chance to tour the dairy and will have the chance to learn how to make cheese at home?

It’s not Christmas without cheese – and this year we played a part in making sure that Chelsea Pensioners don’t go without during the festive season.

We donated 8kg of Saint Giles, Duddleswell and Brighton Blue to the annual Ceremony of Christmas Cheeses at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

The ceremony has been part of the Chelsea Pensioners’ traditional Christmas celebrations for more than 300 years. It started soon after the Royal Hospital Chelsea was opened in 1692 when a local cheesemaker agreed to provide cheese for the war veterans in the care of the hospital.

Now there are 300 Chelsea Pensioners, all former soldiers of the British Army, and cheese donations have been organised by The Dairy Council for 50 years.

Ash Amirahmadi with Chelsea Pensioner Leo Tighe

This year we were one of a number of British cheesemakers who donated enough cheese to feed a small army – a total of 514lbs. The ceremonial cheese was a giant 53lbs of Montgomery Cheddar which was cut by 74-year-old Chelsea pensioner Leo Tighe who served in the Irish Guards for 25 years, attaining the rank of Warrant Officer Class 2. During his service, he was deployed to East Africa, Hong Kong, Germany, Belize and the Middle East. Following outstanding service in Jordan, he was awarded the British Empire Medal.

He left the Army in 1985 and became a Chelsea Pensioner in January 2016 and along with his colleagues feels deeply privileged to represent the Royal Hospital throughout London and overseas.

He said: “It is a great honour to take part in this wonderful ceremony, especially as it involves one of my favourite foods. I am extremely proud to be representing my fellow In-Pensioners here at the Royal Hospital today. We cannot thank the cheesemakers enough for their generous contributions. Every year we look forward to receiving this delicious Christmas gift, now it’s time to enjoy it.”

Ash Amirahmadi, chairman of The Dairy Council, said: “Cheesemakers across the UK have a great tradition of paying tribute to the courage and contribution made by our war veterans, and this year they certainly didn’t disappoint.

“Cheese is a food of the forces. It has been included in soldiers’ rations for centuries and that says it all – from its nutritional value to its much-loved taste, we have a great British product.”

A video of the ceremony is available at: https://youtu.be/1xX4biA3PRs

Brighton Blue has been recognised as one of the best cheeses in the world in the 30th annual World Cheese Awards.

At the 2017-2018 World Cheese Awards Brighton Blue was pitted against more than 3,000 cheeses from 35 different countries. Against some tough competition, it was recognised as one of the top 66 cheeses in the world, receiving a prestigious Super Gold Award.

The judging panel at the event on London on November 17, 2017 saw cheese experts including cheese makers, buyers, retailers and writers assessing the cheeses on their rind, body, colour, texture, consistency and, above all, taste.

It’s one of our favourite cheeses to make at the dairy and perhaps the reason the judges rated it so highly can be traced to the most important ingredient – the care and attention that we put in to it.

A hand-crafted cheese

Although all the cheeses we make at the High Weald Dairy involve a lot of work from our skilled cheese makers, Brighton Blue requires an even more hands-on approach.

Mark explains: “At least two of us spend about three hours with our hands in the curds and whey, gently stirring it to expel surplus moisture from the curd, before draining the soft curd and adding to the cheese molds…generally there is a fight for this job!”

The cheese makers’ skill is in knowing, by touch, when the curds are at the right consistency to make the perfect cheese. The cheese is only lightly pressed because a more open texture, than for example a firm hard cheese like our cheddar-style Tremains Organic, lends itself to good veins in a blue cheese.

Each cheese wheel, or truckle, is pierced with stainless steel spikes so air can enter the cheese which allows the blue mould, added at the start, to wake up and create the magic mellow blue. It is then placed on the wooden slatted shelves of our cheese maturing room where it remains for up to three months. It is this maturating process that puts the blue in to Brighton Blue. During this time, the cheeses get more attention as we turn them three times a week to ensure an even distribution of moisture through the cheese and brush them down to keep the mould rind to a manageable level.

Brighton Blue flying high

It’s been a good year for Brighton Blue as in addition to winning Super Gold at the World Cheese Awards, it was Highly Commended in the International Cheese Awards and received a Silver in the British Cheese Awards.

It was also selected to be served as part of a British cheese board to passengers flying in Virgin Atlantic’s upper-class cabin.

If you haven’t tried our world class cheese yet, what are you waiting for? Brighton Blue is available from farm shops and delicatessens across Sussex and beyond or bought direct from us at the dairy or online.

If you get cheesed off at the idea of battling the crowds to do your Christmas shopping, why not head for the High Weald Dairy Mini Christmas Cheese Fest this year to pick up gifts for friends and family?

Our special Christmas event takes place from 10am until 2pm on Saturday 16th December and Sunday 17th December and aims to provide a more relaxing Christmas shopping experience than a dash around the high street.

You’ll be able to enjoy a taste of our cheeses and a glass of mulled cider or apple juice in our festively-decorated Cheese Barn at Tremains Farm in Horsted Keynes, while you browse the goods on offer. And we’ll even give you a sneak peek behind the scenes of our working dairy with a look at the cheese maturing room.

Heavenly High Weald hampers

You can pick up cheeses for your own Christmas cheese board and can make up hampers as gifts for friends and family with High Weald Dairy cheeses and other locally-produced goods including Black Pig Orchard ciders and juices, Ouse Valley chutneys and cheese biscuits from Horsham Gingerbread.

Hampers can be made up and taken away on the day or, for even less stress, let us deliver them by courier to friends and family further afield.

We’ll also be selling vouchers for our popular one-day cheese-making course – the perfect gift experience for food and cheese lovers.

If you can’t make it to the High Weald Dairy Mini Christmas Cheese Fest this year, you can also buy High Weald Dairy Christmas cheese selections and/or vouchers for delivery online.

How to find us: The Cheese Barn, High Weald Dairy, Tremains Farm, Horsted Keynes, RH17 7EA

For more information call: 01825 791636

We’re thrilled to share a quirky short film that has been produced for us by Sister Sarah performing arts company which reveals what we all knew already – that the only way to a woman’s heart is through cheese!

The film was produced following our sponsorship of Sister Sarah’s stage production, Stories of Serendipity, a contemporary dance and storytelling performance exploring unexpected, coincidental and magical encounters by Sarah Hutchinson.

You may have noticed that the name of the performing arts company shares its name with our delicious goat milk cheese and it was Sarah’s timely discovery of our cheese that led to the start of our relationship with her – our own story of serendipity!

Sarah explains: “I had just concluded a meeting with my manager where he proposed the name Sister Sarah for my company – inspired by the so-named character in the musical Guys and Dolls.

“I was giving it consideration as I walked into a health food shop and my eyes fell upon Sister Sarah goats’ cheese, made by High Weald Dairy. I saw it as a sign that the name was a winner and, with a production date looming, also thought it was probably a good idea to give High Weald a call!”

An opportunity not to be missed

Sarah got in touch with us and asked whether we would consider a reciprocal arrangement whereby she would make a short film to help us market our cheese in return for financial support to enable her to take Stories of Serendipity to Edinburgh.

We jumped at the chance and are pleased to say that her Edinburgh run was well received with one review describing the piece as: “theatre that has a quiet magic to it, and brings out your sense of wonder” (Dedee W).

We’re pleased to support Sarah, not only because she has produced a wonderful film to showcase our cheese, but because of her mission to create positive social change through performance and participatory events, including masterclasses at schools and colleges through the charitable arm of the company, the Sister Sarah Trust.

Find out more about Sister Sarah performing arts at www.sistersarah.co.uk

You can watch Formaggio d’Amore, Sister Sarah’s film for the High Weald Dairy, above and, if it inspires you to buy cheese for a loved one, why not take a look at our cheese selections available to order online?

While we were working on our new High Weald Dairy website, we thought it would be a good time to commission a short video to give customers a bit of insight in to what we do and who we are.

Fortunately for us, help was on hand in the shape of one of our Canadian relatives, Charles Shepherd, who has recently graduated from Humber College with a Batchelor of Applied Arts in Film and Media Production.

Although Charles has had experience of working for other people, the film for the High Weald Dairy was the first independent project he has produced.

Charles visited us at the dairy while he was in the UK this summer to learn about the business and capture the shots he needed for the film, which is now displayed on our home page. We love the result and think he has captured the dairy beautifully.

He said: “A key reason I got into media was so I could go find inspiring people and help them to tell their stories. I love learning about different people and different lifestyles, and then I love sharing what I’ve learned with other people.

“Although I’ve been on set numerous times, this was still my first independent project and my first job in the UK, which meant buying some new technology, so honestly there were some challenges I hadn’t anticipated. However, Mark and Sarah have been super supportive all the way through. They’ve given me lots of room to experiment, practice new techniques and just really push my skills. I think the results reflect that investment.

“Your first independent project is a huge deal, so I’m hugely thankful that Mark and Sarah were my first clients. Thanks to this job, I know that I can and will keep doing jobs like this for clients big and small. I want to keep telling people’s stories, because big or small, we all have stories that are worth celebrating. Here’s to great stories and great cheese.”

Watch Charles’ video above or on the High Weald Dairy homepage.