The Big Apple, Herefordshire
This weekend we were blessed with some wonderful weather and what better way to enjoy it than supping cider and perry in an orchard whilst watching Morris dancing? Ok, so Morris Men might not be everybody’s cup of tea but we had a wonderful time celebrating all things appley at the Big Apple Festival in Herefordshire. The festival is held twice a year at Blossomtime (May) and Autumn (October). Each festival has it’s own unique delights, with the autumn events being held in and around Much Marcle and the Blossomtime celebrations focusing on the nearby village of Putley.
Despite having attended the festival quite a few times now, I never cease to be dazzled by the huge array of apples on display in the Great Barn at Hellens. It’s amazing just how many varieties there are and I think it’s a great shame that so few of these varieties are available in the shops. I confess to not being much of an apple fan when I was younger, regarding them as ‘boring’ when compared to exotic fruit like mangos and pineapples. However, I’ve since realised that this was largely due to the bland, woolly tasting apples that tend to fill the supermarket aisles. Now, thanks to the likes of the Big Apple and various Farmers Markets, I know just how delicious apples can be. We returned home with 2 big sackfuls of apples and we’re getting through them very quickly.
For me, I think the highlight of the weekend was the open day at Gregg’s Pit. Here we strolled around the orchard, watched a pressing demo and sampled some delicious cider. The staff from Truffles Delicatessen in Ross-on-Wye provided a wonderful ploughmans lunch and some irresistible cakes which we enthusiastically munched on whilst watching the Morris Men dance in the orchard. In fact, I think we became Morris Men groupies – every time we turned up at a venue, the Morris Men seemed to just be starting up!
All in all it was a wonderful weekend and I eagerly look forward to Blossomtime – especially the grand cider tasting!