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Europe, Travel, UK

Visiting Myrtle Farm – The Home of Thatchers Cider

October 21, 2018

Thatchers cider.

Those two words bring back countless happy memories of sitting in a beer garden in the summer, sipping on a cold pint.

Being a west country girl, I’ve always preferred cider to beer so imagine my delight when I got a chance to visit Myrtle Farm, the actual home of Thatchers! I’d always known that the Thatchers farm wasn’t that far from Bristol but it’s one of those things that you never get around to doing, isn’t it? But on a cold, rainy Saturday, I made the half an hour journey with a group of other Bristol bloggers who were all equally excited to look around the farm and drink some cider.

We were greeted by the Thatchers team in The Railway Inn – a beautiful pub next door to the farm and factory. We warmed up with some hot drinks (tea & coffee only, apparently 10am is too early for a Haze!) and got to pick our three courses for our meal later. The whole menu looked amazing so this took a while!

Food ordered, it was time to get our high vis and wellies on and head out to the orchards. It may have been miserable but I’m still glad we got to go out and see where the apples are grown. I’ve never really given much thought to the process of how cider is made so it was good to hear about the different types of apples and the harvesting process. We were really lucky to be able to visit during harvest season so got to see some apples being delivered. The sight of 30 tons of apples falling is something I won’t forget!

The process of making Thatchers cider was very secretive and we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside most of the factory but we could in the giant room filled with huge oak barrels. I always find it interesting to learn about how something is made. We got to follow the process from the orchards to the cider being bottled and canned.

With our brains full of information, it was time for tasters – yay! Before my visit I’d tried Gold, Haze, Katy and Family Reserve before. These are usually available in local pubs, especially Thatchers Gold but Thatchers have tons of other options which are only available at the farmshop or in The Railway Inn. These vary from the extra strong Redstreak to the delicate Rosé. It was great to try some different ciders and learn how they’re made – it’s amazing what tweaking a few apples will do!

With plenty of cider inside us, it was time to line our stomachs. Now, I don’t know what I was expecting from a meal at Thatchers but I definitely wasn’t expecting food of the standard I got. It. Was. Beautiful. Nearly every meal was influenced by cider or apples and looked and tasted incredible. I had the scotch eggs with Thatchers ketchup to start, followed by the gnocchi and the Haze sorbet (obviously) to finish.

It’s safe to say that a visit to Myrtle Farm wouldn’t be complete without a meal at The Railway Inn.

Thank you to everyone involved in the visit. Thatchers is a family company and it’s clear everyone loves working there. You were all friendly and full of information. It was great to meet the people behind one of my favourite drinks!

My visit to Myrtle Farm included a complimentary tour, tasters and meal at The Railway Inn. The free cider did not influence my views, promise! 

Australia, Travel

Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

September 21, 2014

Once again, apologies for the lack of writing. I’ve been very busy doing my regional work but that is now all done and dusted and I can get back to travelling! I’ve got trips to write about that happened months ago but I’m going to try my hardest to get this blog up to date as quickly as possible.

Back in April this year, Stu and I were in Sydney for the first time and we spent a week with Stu’s parents. It was a fantastic week and we did so much in so little time. Even now I look back at that week thinking it was one of the best parts of our whole time away. The day after they went home was certainly the most home sick we have been.

One thing that sticks out in my mind about that week was a coastal walk we did from Bondi beach to Coogee bay. It’s a fairly easy walk that can last half a day if you take a picnic as we did.

From Sydney CBD you can catch a bus to Bondi to begin your trip there. Bondi is obviously world famous but I don’t actually know why it’s any more famous than other beaches in Australia. It’s not my favourite by far because it’s full of tourists. If you get the chance definitely visit some of the lesser populated beaches around the area, especially the ones along this route!

Along the coast there are a number of bays and picnic areas to rest at and break up the walk if you want to make a day of it. The views of the sea and surf are incredible. We saw plenty of surfers during our walk and I’m still itch ing to give the sport a go!

The end of the walk is Coogee which is a really pretty beach. You will definitely want to stop off for a well deserved beverage at one of the bars over the road. We went to the Coogee Bay Hotel which has great views of the seafront with big panoramic windows. I recommend the Dirty Granny cider, goes down well after all the sea air!