An artisan micro dairy producing experimental cheese is opening in Lancashire

Chef Mark Birchall is currently building the dairy at Moor Hall.

By Emma Davidson | 22 November 2022

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Set to open next year, the latest project from chef Mark Birchall is an artisan dairy offering a selection of fine cheeses in the stunning countryside of Lancashire. 

His new venture will open inside the grounds of Ormskirk’s Moor Hall, where Birchall already creates delicate produce-driven menus in its 2 Michelin star restaurant. 

Moor Hall Dairy is being set up alongside producer Martin Gott, the man behind Cumbria’s acclaimed St James Cheese. 

Spending most of his life in the food industry, it was cheese that really grabbed his attention, setting him off on a mission to create some of the best in the industry, to which he has subsequently succeeded. 

Once open, the new concept will offer cheeses ranging from a pecorino-style variety, to a gouda style, and a soft, mature cheese akin to brie. 

The venture isn’t anything new, it’s something that Birchall has been working on at an experimental level for a while, but it’s now ready to make its public debut at some point next year. 

Speaking to the Good Food Guide, Birchall said: “We’ve been making an Alpine-style cheese and we have plans for more. We bought a massive copper cauldron from Kappacasein Dairy in Bermondsey, which allows us to heat the curds higher and create a wider range. We’ve been learning from Martin Gott to develop and create more varieties. All will be traditional and made with raw milk from shorthorn cattle.

“We’re going very old school and artisan and we have plans to sell the cheeses for retail. We’ll also be incorporating them into the menu, adding to the guest experience.”

As part of Birchall’s plans for the dairy once it’s open for good, he will offer guests tours around the cellar in which the cheeses will age. A glass-windowed corridor will also give anyone paying a visit exclusive insight into the cheesemaking process. 

The dairy is one of many additions to Moor Hall. There are also plans for seven new rooms, doubling capacity, with cabins being built around the lake and in the woodland.