Northumberland Cheese Company has been around since the eighties, although under a different brand name at the time (Redesdale Sheep Diary) the company has expanded on a great scale producing 1 tonne of cheese a week.
I hadn’t really heard of the cheese farm until the start of this year and with its location being so close to Newcastle I thought I would take a trip up to Blagdon to see what the hype was all about. Admittedly I’m not the biggest cheese lover in the world but I was mainly going for the Loft Café. Open 10am-5pm seven days a week this gorgeous British coffee shop is the perfect spot for a slice of cake and a cup of tea. If you know Blagdon well you will know that it is in the countryside of Northumberland and so the drive to the cheese farm involves one lane country roads. But the grounds of Northumberland Cheese Company certainly make up for it. Stunning trees surround the traditional granary building which is the perfect setting for afternoon tea in the wilderness.
Of course cheese is on the menu. From freshly baked scones to a cheese lovers afternoon tea and even Northumberland’s famous cheese soup. It isn’t just cheese though (don’t worry I know it’s not for everyone) the Loft Café serves up toasties, cakes and sweet treats and a classic Ploughman’s lunch. On my visit I was delighted to see a chef’s specials board which I was told gets updated monthly. Homemade mince and onion pie caught my eye immediately. For £5.95 I thought it was a bargain for pie, peas and potato wedges. Other dishes on the specials board included pea and ham soup and a delicious looking raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake with cream.
The pie was delicious and very filling but a dessert on the menu was calling my name. Warm cookie dough pie with vanilla ice-cream. Need I say anymore?…I had to give this bad boy a try and needless to say to no surprise it was absolutely amazing. Crunchy on the outside and gooey in the middle. The milk chocolate chips were perfectly warmed so that they weren’t melting on the cough dough but started to melt as you took a bite. If you are so far not convinced to have a visit to Blagdon and see what the Northumberland Cheese Company has to offer then I think I may have just got your attention. I would return purely for this dessert alone hahah.
Attached to the café was the Cheese Loft Shop. Although only a small area of the Loft is dedicated to the shop but not much space is needed. The quality of the produce outdoes the quantity. An extremely large selection of different Northumberland cheeses which are made only a few feet below in the dairy. Again a large focus is on the cheese (hence being a cheese farm) but other produce such as jams, chutneys, cordials and cakes all locally produced are also on offer. On the day I visited there were a selection of some of the produce on for customers to ‘try before they buy’. Rindless
Reiver cows cheese, cheese and onion crackers and ginger, beetroot and wasabi chutney were the three to try on the day.
Gifts at Northumberland Cheese Company were also available from the likes of coffee cups, luxury popcorn, wooden chopping boards and home décor signs as well as cheese knife sets. It is a great trip out for any cheese lover or even just a trip outside of the city for afternoon tea or a bite to eat for lunch. There are lovely love bird seats and picnic benches outside for when the weather is nice other than that it is a flight of stairs up to the café and shop. Due to the traditional building structure the owners ha
ven’t been able to fit any disabled access upstairs which wouldn’t be great for the elderly as I had planned on taking my grandmother but we would have to go on a sunny day to sit outside. Other than this small issue, I was impressed with the Northumberland Cheese Company farm. It is in a remote location in Blagdon where tours and visits to the dairy can be requested. This homely and farm-cosy farm shop/café/dairy is the definition of a cheese lovers paradise.