And that is the most beautiful kind of day, isn’t it? One that crunches under your feet & smells like a mushy red apple. And where else to enjoy a gorgeous sunny day like that other than at a cider mill surrounded by thousands of apple & perry pear trees! I had the chance to spend mine at the Westons Cider Mill at Much Marcle, nestled cosily in the Herefordshire countryside.
All the magic of traditional cider making happens at The Bounds – a 400 year old farmhouse where the mill itself was established in 1881. You can take a guided tour around the farmhouse and its grounds and see everything from the original stone mill which was used to make the very first cider with the help of a horse power to the larger than life vats (with endearing names of Weston’s family members) full of golden fermenting cider. You will get to meet Old Rosie, wander around the autumn orchard and watch the harvest happen in front of your very eyes. And of course – you’ll get to taste a couple of scrumptious ciders!
I would lie if I said that tasting all the different ciders wasn’t fun – you get to taste the strangest flavorous such as rhubarb & custard and damson, however I do have to admit that I was enchanted by the grounds of the mill the most. You can’t even tell that there are tons & tons of apples being washed, milled, pressed and fermented just around the corner from where you’re sat eating a plate full of pork belly for tea. I expected loud noise, machinery, big trucks! Yet all I saw around me were bushes adorned with autumn berries, peaceful orchards, wooden crates (way fancier than the ones you can get off Etsy) and even a couple of Shire horses calmly nibbling on patches of green grass. It’s like time has stopped there.
After a stroll through the alleys of cider making history you can pop into The Scrumpy House – a quaint & cosy restaurant where you can snuggle up next to the heating with a cuppa of mulled cider or a pint of refreshing Stowford Press.
For anyone planning a trip to Westons Cider Mill (be it in time for harvest or after – I bet it looks bloody gorgeous when it’s all covered in snow too!) you can find more info here.