Apples apples apples I do love these wonderful versatile fruit and have always been partial to a little tipple of cider, especially around the Autumn winter time when hot mulled apple cider is a real treat. Each year we go searching for orchards to pick fresh apples from as I feel it's really important for my children to understand where our food comes from and that process of thought shouldn't just stop when you grow up, in fact I find the whole idea of food and drink production fascinating to see how it goes from seed to product so when I had the chance to visit Westons Cider Mill during harvest time I jumped at the chance.
This family run Cider Mill has been going since 1880 and to be given a behind the scenes tour of all that goes on from the orchard to collecting, washing and processing the apples and how the pulp is used for animal feed and recycled right through to bottling the cider the tour never once became boring. Standing in the Vat shed along with huge towering Oak Vats containing hundreds of litres of cider was really quiet something special as was seeing the original Oak Vats used when the Cider Mill was first opened and still in use today.
Wandering around the Orchard was also a real highlight, seeing the trees filled to the bring with cider apples and many of which had already fallen and covering the grass below the trees ready to be scooped up and turned into cider.
This Cider Mill has actually seen a lot of growth through out the years and now produces and array of cider and perry products and of course we needed to test taste them over a delicious lunch in the Scrump House. The fruit ciders seemed to be a popular choice with many of us although I loved one of their newer products Caple Rd. Even though there has been some expansion there is still lots of original reminders of the past such as the impressive bottle collection with over 1000 cider and perry bottles in the 17th century cow shed as well as vintage vehicles and signage dotted around the cafe and scrumpy house.
Even though Cider is obviously of interest to Adults and not so much for children for obvious reasons this doesn't mean that the Cider Mill is not child friendly, in fact they have a great play park area which overlooks the paddock the two resident horses spend most of the their day in. They also allow children to go on the tour and they even get their own little apple juice tasters at the end. Wondering around the Cider Mill at Harvest time was truely a wonderful way to spend an afternoon and the sweet smell of apples that lingers around the whole of the property is as pleasant as their refreshing array of Ciders and Perrys.