We’ve been enjoying our weekly delivery of natural yoghurt from Connage Highland Dairy recently – part of our parcel of locally produced goodies collected from the Inverness Food Assembly on a weekly basis. This week we couldn’t arrange our collection so headed out on the short drive to the dairy in Ardesier for a peruse around their cheese pantry, and a visit to the dairy’s café.
On previous visits (which admittedly were ages ago, we are talking years, rather than weeks/months!) we have seen the cows grazing as the single track road winds up the family run site. There was no such luck on the day of our visit – so the 150-strong organic herd must have been chewing the cud overlooking the coastline and nearby Fort George (which a group of us made out of cake last year- see this post for more details!)
The café has whitewashed walls and there are many products on offer which can be purchased alongside your choice of cheese (think crackers, chutneys and pickles) as well as lovely kitchen slates, knives and boards.
There’s a small selection of cakes, drinks, cheeseboards and savoury specials on offer, and you can look through into the dairy while you wait (though if you really want to see the cheese being made, a morning visit is best).
For today, it was just coffees and cakes – almond and pear tart, a nutella boat topped with hazelnuts and an amaretto bite which had a whole cherry inside. With Brodies coffee and a steaming mug of hot chocolate we were happy indeed!
As we were finishing up, we overheard that a bus tour of 20 was fast approaching, so as it’s quite a wee place we paid up and made our way into the cheese pantry. I was obviously distracted by making our selection of cheeses to buy, as I only took two pictures – which is approximately half of what was on offer! As well as stocking a number of cheeses from other regions, there was Connage Clava brie, Dunlop, Gouda, and Crowdie all produced on site.
We bought some Clava Brie, Gouda and some ‘Bouncing Berry’ cheese from the Snowdonia Cheese company along with some ‘Bradan is Gruth’ – a Connage Crowdie mixed with peat smoked salmon from the Hebridean Smokehouse on North Uist. That was our weekend sorted!