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Sunday, 18 October 2015

Apple Day at Bromham Mill

I've been going on about it throughout a few posts now, and today Apple Day finally arrived!


A celebration of all things apple, Bromham Mill is a beautiful setting to celebrate it. I've been going for a few years now and look forward to it every October, it's become one of my favourite autumnal traditions.

There's a real mixture of things to do, and it's a quintessentially British affair. Apple bobbing, cider bars, hog roasts, Morris Men dancing for the crowds.

The first thing we do on arrival is have a good nose around the stalls. There's a multitude of stands - food, preserves, drinks, crafts, charities, all catering for the thousands who visit. The first we came across was the Owl Sanctuary, being supported by some of their most feathery friends.




We then came across our friends from the Happy Brewer. Anyone that's read my previous posts will know that these are the guys I turn to for all of my home brewing goodies. Last year they helped me make my own white wine, and advised me on what to do with my sloes from making sloe gin (making Slider). Today they were convincing me of the benefits of making your own spirits at home and advising me of what kit I would need to start up. That's my new project sorted for January! The Happy Brewer is a family-run business, with a real wealth of knowledge about the products they sell and how to make the best home brews possible. This all stemmed from brewing being a hobby of theirs, before buying the shop 5 years ago. They offer great service and are just lovely, genuine people. I can't recommend them enough! Find out more about them at www.thehappybrewer.com


After visiting the next few businesses sharing their wares, we made our first purchase. We met the lovely Elisabeth Evershed on her homemade cider and soft drinks stall. What caught my eye was her gorgeous ginger beer. 3 varieties were on offer: traditional, cinnamon and damson. I tried the traditional and damson, both of which were stunning. As a huge fan of all things plummy, I went for a bottle of the damson ginger beer, with its delightful pink hue, a fruity flavour with a gingery kick. We also had a chat with her about her products and how she sources her ingredients. Neighbours and friends of hers are happy to allow her access to their fruit trees, collecting windfall to make her drinks. It's wonderful that people are so generous. Find out more about Elisabeth at http://www.evershedscider.co.uk/Introduction.html.

A little further on we met Jo from Uniquely Yours by J. Jo makes utterly gorgeous memory boxes, photo frames, mirrors, wooden bunting and butterfly and heart hangings, all hand painted and so, so sweet. Everything on her stall would make a wonderful gift for someone, and with Christmas coming up, it would be great idea to see what she has to offer. Either that or you can treat yourself, I'm thinking about it! Jo doesn't have a website but she is on Facebook so go over, check out her page and give it a like. She'll also be at the upcoming Vintage show at the Centre MK.

After our first sweep around the stalls, we were feeling a bit parched, so it was time to visit one of the cider bars. Local brewers and micro brewers offer up some of their best ciders (hard cider to our American friends), it would be rude not to sample some of them. I tried a lovely example called Burrow Hill. Smooth and tasty, it was a great choice. Suicider was the choice of my partner in crime, and if the name doesn't give you an idea of what it was like, the shocking orange colour of it would have!

After that, we visited the stalls inside the tent set up for the apples. I was treated to some Falstaff apples (yum), and some bottled local brews from Glebe Farm including a refreshing strawberry cider. I also received a beautiful ruby and gold coloured glass candle holder from The Lemon Tree as another treat. I've visited The Lemon Tree stall at several events, admiring all the lanterns, tea light holders, candles and wind chimes. I bought a gorgeous lantern from there some time ago, and had hoped to see them again soon. Today was my lucky day!


After buying some very fresh corn on the cob from the fruit and veg stall, we took a walk through the woods, back to the car, and off to the local pub, The Swan for a quick drink before home and warming up. 

The weather wasn't up to much, being a grey, dowdy blanket on the day, but it dampened no spirits. The fayre was as popular as ever, with people flocking to visit. The mill is beautiful no matter what the weather, and the trees offered some much needed shelter when the rain decided to pay a visit. It was a fantastic day, I'm already looking forward to next year!

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