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!