Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Somerset Cider Farm

When we attended a neighbourhood barbecue a few nights ago, we were asked where we'd been in Somerset. We told of all the marvellous places we had visited. "Have you been to a cider farm yet?" Why, no, we hadn't. But it was definitely on Joe's 'to do' list.

Our neighbours recommended we go to the Wilkins Cider Farm in the village of Mudgley. Anything in a village called Mudgley is a must-see in my books!

We set off yesterday morning in search of some 'proper' cider.

My goodness, the Somerset countryside is beautiful. So peaceful. Pastoral. One day I want to go for a week long walk-about on its many footpaths. And climb over stiles like this one to cross farmer's fields.


The narrow country road we'd been driving on for half an hour finally led us to Mudgley and the Wilkins' cider farm.


This farm is not on the beaten path. In fact, it's the exact opposite. People find it through word of mouth.


We walked into the stone barn. Thick cobwebs hung from the ceiling and covered most everything inside the building. Huge wooden casks stood in a row along a wall.


We were greeted by Roger Wilkins. He asked us, "Wanna taste?" He poured us each a 'taste' in an 8 ounce glass mug.


The mugs were so full the cider spilled onto the floor as he handed them to us.


The cider comes in three styles: dry, half and half, and sweet. I couldn't drink the dry cider. Roger told us it was 'an acquired taste'. No kidding, Rog! But the sweet cider was very nice indeed.


We bought a litre of sweet cider and a pottery 'loving cup' with three handles, for sharing sips amongst friends.


After sampling our cider, we walked through the barn into the lounge.


When I remarked on the mural on the back wall, one of his helpers nonchalantly said, "Banksy did that portrait of Roger." Banksy was here?  BANKSY WAS HERE? BANKSY WAS HERE?  I couldn't believe it.  How cool.


Even though Roger was busy, he had time for a quick photo shoot.


Roger Wilkins is a very generous man.


Roger then said to us, "Wanna try my friend's cheese?" Of course we did! We couldn't believe the thick slices of cheddar he brought us to sample!


Just then a large extended family came in. They were from Liverpool and were on their way to Cornwall for their holidays. They joined us with their mugs of cider. It quickly turned into a party!


At Roger's invitation, Joe poured us each another half mug of cider.


Before we left we not only added two big pieces of cheddar to our purchases, but we also bought a huge wedge of the most delicious Stilton we'd ever eaten.


What a fabulous experience.

The village of Mudgley, meeting Roger Wilkins, drinking sweet cider in his stone barn, eating English cheeses, seeing a Banksy mural, and partying with Liverpudlians.  All in the same afternoon!

None of it expected.

All of it appreciated.



6 comments:

  1. That is defintely a 'don't-miss' event if you are in Somerset!

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  2. My mouth started instantly watering when I saw that Stilton. Holy Moly!

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    1. That Stilton was something else! We are planning on bringing that big chunk o' cheese home with us.

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  3. What a fabulous day!! Yummy cheese!Shu

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  4. looks like the perfect evening!

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  5. There's no other place like roger's, we've being going there for the past 25 years while on our holidays, And we hope it never changes. PS, We like your blog you wrote about your experience there.

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