Hi there, my name is Lynda Hill and I live in the beautiful riverside town of Marlow in South Buckinghamshire.
For years I have secretly harboured the thought of becoming a cheesemaker (probably from watching 'Countryfile') I not only love to eat the wonderful stuff but I am truly amazed how you can take this liquid called milk and transform it into something you can use and enjoy in so many different ways.
After a lifetime of mundane office and retail jobs and following a serious health scare, I decided that if I didn't follow my dream now I never would, so in June 2015 I attended an introductory Cheese course at the Artisan School of Food in Nottinghamshire. Here I was introduced to the handcrafted production of 'real' cheese, I came home determined that Buckinghamshire would have an artisan cheesemaker to call its own!
The building of our first cheese room was at our home in Marlow, after unsuccessfully trying to find an (affordable) workspace my very patient and understanding husband agreed to convert our garage and summerhouse into my very own micro dairy. Lots of hard work, sweat and tears followed not to mention cost (my biggest expense being my bespoke 300 litre cheese Vat all the way from Germany, my version of a Porsche!) this was completed in the summer of 2016.
As I am passionate about keeping things local and the provenance of high-quality produce, I approached my (very) local dairy farm, owned by the Lacey's family in Lane End, Buckinghamshire their 100% pure Guernsey herd still produce milk like 'the old days' where the cream is on the top! This milk contains three times as much omega 3 as other milks and contains beta-carotene which is a source of vitamin A, as this is not digested by the cows it passes straight to the milk which creates its lovely golden colour and is an A2 milk.
'Factoid':- Beta-carotene is found in green vegetable matter ie grass and is thought to give protection against certain cancers
My first cheese was a soft Lactic style cheese, fresh and young with a natural white rind called Cygnet. Perfect on crackers or French bread, ideal for a cheeseboard or adding to your cooking this cheese will ripen from the inside and is sold at 2 weeks and can be enjoyed up to 8 weeks old.
My second cheese was a blue version of the above also made with Guernsey cow’s milk for all those who like a bit of 'uumph' with their cheese, this has a natural grey rind and is called Bucks Blue.
I wanted to make hard cheese at certain times of the year (leading up to the Christmas period) this I hoped will please the gentlemen who love to have a chunk of cheese with their beer(s), yes hubby I mean you! So, my third cheese called Regatta was developed again with the outstanding high-quality Guernsey cow’s milk, this is based on an alpine style cheese but with a few tweaks!
We quickly realised we needed more space! So again my poor husband was tasked with coming up with a solution; his solution was to build a bespoke cheese room, ticking all my “the cheese makers” boxes and our very supportive EHO Mr S.
In a blink of an eye hubby found a perfect location, so in March 2019 the second build began. Check out the build on our news feed.
We moved to the new premises end on May 2019, which has now allowed us to not just make the different styles of hard cheese and most importantly the ability to mature in our purpose built “Hard Cheese Maturing Room” our version of a Cave!
We then revisited what we had locally (on our doorstep) and started discussions with other local dairy farmers as I really wanted to make a Stilton style cheese but needed “black n white” milk from the lovely Holstein Friesian cows. I was so lucky my hubby had contacted a local dairy farmer at White Heath Farm, again a family run dairy farm ran by the Mitchell Brothers’ ( No nothing to do with Eastenders!) I’ve called this Father Thames.
I wanted an alternative to cows’ milk as we started to hear a common theme from some of our customers about dairy intolerance issues, so we started talks with a local Sheep farmer at Mudds Bank Farm just up road! Where we now get our sheep’s milk to make our stunning Manchego style cheese called Chiltern Cloud which is coated with a traditional black rind.
Finally, my sixth cheese (I won’t say my last cheese!) a Golden Brie made with that Gorgeous Golden Guernsey cow’s milk, I can’t make enough of this little beauty it sells as quick as I can make it! and it’s called Bisham.
I really hope you get to know and love my cheeses; I take pride in their production and quality; I can be found at various Farmers Markets, Shows and Events, please feel free to come over for a chat and nibble.