Who would have thought that there is such a thing as an apple tasting festival? I didn’t until I attended one in Hampshire. I would go back every year if I could! We found out about the annual Blackmoor Apple Testing by pure chance: we happened to see a sign on the side of the road on our way to Chawton, also in Hampshire. We thought (I might have been my idea…) to come on Sunday and see what it was all about.
I’m glad we did. Sunday is definitely my least favourite day of the week and having something to do makes it less depressing, I suppose. So, anyway, we jumped in the car after lunch and headed to Blackmoor. We turned off the road and drove along a country lane so narrow that only one car fit at any given time. If there was another coming in the opposite direction, one had to maneuver to the side and give way. The trees formed a lush green canopy above us, quite pretty.
The farm is right behind the old village hall and school, both lovely Victorian buildings. We had a look at the craft fair inside a barn. We then walked past cider stalls and local charities, like Save the Hedgehog or Save the Isle of Wight’s Butterfly (not their actual names but the same cute critters). We eventually made our way to the apple and pear tasting tents. Each tent had two or four varieties. I never imagined that there were so many varieties of apple. They had 20 here!
There was a bowl with cut fruit and a short description beside it. There’s nothing like freshly harvested fruit: it was crunchy, firm, juicy, and most importantly, tasty! I don’t know how I’m going to go back to grocery store produce, which in Dallas is particularly bland and boring.
We missed the Morris dancers but, all in all, it was a fun experience. And I went home with four kilos of Cox’s Orange Pippins.