School of Artisan Food
This school offers a huge range of courses, from two-hour “beer and cheese matching” to a 12-day blue cheese course aimed at the semi-professional cheesemaker. The one-day course taught by Lee-Anna Rennie offers a good introduction to the craft. You’ll make a soft cheese such as baby Brie and a lactic cheese, as well as churn your own yoghurt and butter. The milk used comes from a nearby farm.
Lower Motor Yard, Welbeck, Nottinghamshire, S80 3LR, 01909 532 171; www.schoolofartisanfood.org
The Weekend Artisan
An intimate, hands-on course with no more than five attendees. Learn how to make two Camembert-style cheeses, as well as other dishes such as roulade. After lunch, there’s a demonstration of how to make a hard cheese like pecorino as well as tastings. You’ll leave with all the equipment you need to make cheese at home but further support is also available should you get stuck when back in your kitchen.
Courses held at Bay Leaves Larder, 87-91 Hiltingbury Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO53 5NQ, 02380 273895; www.theweekendartisan.co.uk
The Organic Farm Shop
Resident cheesemaker Clive Curtis demonstrates how to make “Dancy’s Fancy”, a semi-soft cheese made with milk from the farm’s own herd of shorthorn cattle. After making your cheese, it’s left on-site to mature for two weeks. You can then collect it or it can be posted to you. There’s also the chance to learn how to make butter and yoghurt.
Abbey Home Farm, Burford Road, Cirencester, GL7 5HF, 01285 640441; www.theorganicfarmshop.co.uk
Hagley Bridge Farm
A large range of courses to suit all levels and abilities from one-to-one tuition days to whole weekend group events, all of which are hosted on the farm. Learn how to make a range of dairy products including butter, yoghurt, soft, hard and Mediterranean cheeses, produced using milk from their own herd.
Hagley Bridge Farm, Waterrow, Somerset, TA4 2BQ, 01984 629 026; www.hagleybridgefarm.co.uk
Hartingtons of Bakewell
This one-day course by Nantwich International Cheese Awards judge Chris Ashby begins with making a soft cheese such as Camembert, followed by mozzarella and a lemon cheese. Ashby also runs another course in which you’ll make paneer, homemade yoghurt and butter. Lunch consists of a Peak District ploughman’s featuring local and regional cheeses.
1st Floor, Rutland Mill, Rutland Mews, Coombs Road, Bakewell, DE45 1AQ, 01629 888 586; www.hartingtons.com
Andrew Webb is the author of ‘Food Britannia’; (Random House)