Click here to watch a clip of a film made by AgWa Media on Sunday 30 November, when Apley Farm Shop held its annual Christmas Food Fair. Shropshire’s local producers came to offer to our customers free tasters of their festive food & drinks. Agata Wasieswka & Gary came to create this film, interviewing members of staff about what’s going on in their departments this Christmas. Julie’s minced pies are delectable, baked daily on site. Amongst other things, I came away with a Christmas veg box from Apley Walled Garden, incredibly good value at £8.95 & 7 bags of cinnamon stars from Cottage Delights, which make great little Christmas & thank you presents for members of staff in the children’s schools.
Included in the veg box are 3 leeks, 1 celeriac, 3 parsnips & a bunch of carrots, all grown in the Walled Garden. From the Farm Shop, the box also has 4 potatoes, brussel sprouts, 1 cabbage, 1 cauliflower (all items are of course subject to availability). I’ve been cooking with my veg box all week – totally yummy winter goodness.
We’ll be featured (albeit very briefly) on BBC Radio Shropshire tomorrow, Tuesday 16 Dec. They called me this morning & said they’re making a piece for their breakfast programme on cost saving at Christmas time. Look out for turkeys, great value Christmas lunches in the Creamery, Playbarn the for cold wet days & Apley Walled Garden’s winter vegetable boxes which are great value at £8.95 – packed with winter root veg giving vitamins & goodness to get survive the winter viruses.
I’m delighted someone just spotted us last week (& Elizbaeth Beckett Skincare, also at Apley) in County Woman, a super local Shropshire magazine. http://www.countywoman.co.uk/christmas-shopping-shropshire/.
The Apley butcher, Mark Lowe, has a delicious range of meats in stock for Christmas including of course whole turkeys, chicken, cockerel, goose, duck, beef, pork, lamb, gammon joints, bacon joints, sausages, sausage meat, chipolata sausages, bacon, ‘Pigs in Blankets’ £2.95 & ‘Bird in Bird’ ready to roast.
Prices are based on weight, so given at the counter.
On our Delicatessen counter, we also have honey roasted hams, smoked pheasant & the usual unsmoked pheasant.
Mark’s winter seasonal offers are:
5lb Beef mince – £12
5lb Diced beef – £15
5lb Pork chops – £13
5lb Chicken fillets £14
5lb Back bacon – £15
5lb Pork or lamb sausages (11 varieties) – £14
It’s 14 days to Christmas ! Oh yikes – I’m hardly ready ! I’ve just been sent this great stocking filling idea: Norton tea towels, which are bigger than average & cotton, featuring beautiful drawings of local landmarks by the Norton Art Group. All proceeds go to St Chad’s Church, Stockton, just opposite Apley Farm Shop, from where you can buy them for just £4.
Apley Christmas veg boxes – £8.95 – great value, homegrown. All you need for your Christmas meals
Butcher & Delicatessen orders – including amazing cheeses – until Wed 17 Dec
Festive Taster days – Delicious free samples of festive food & drinks on 13-14, 19-20-21 Dec
Santa’s Grotto is open 1-5pm, at 13, Sun 14 Dec – £6.45; Fri 19, Sat 20, Sun 21, Mon 22, Tues 23 Dec -£7.45
We had some great feedback for Santa’s Grotto on 5 Dec: “I have just spoken to the [teaching] staff [from a visiting school] who came out on the first of our trips to see Santa today and they have been very complimentary about the whole experience. They were lost for words at the time that you all gave to our children in order for them to have a lovely experience. Many Thanks, great start, everyone else is excited to come.”
Christmas Craft Club in Pigg’s Playbarn – Th 11 Dec – Write & decorate your letters to Santa & Th 18 Dec – Snow flakes, 4-5.30pm, £3.50
Festive Afternoon teas in The Creamery, £9.95 per person. Mince pies & sandwiches with a pot of Lord Hamilton’s tea
Plus of course our range of bespoke or ready made hampers.
Wishing you all a very Happy Apley Christmas & healthy New Year !
Julian Elcock runs PQ Academy holiday activity clubs in Bridgnorth & the surrounding areas, including film making courses. Last week, his 17 yr old son, who has applied to university to study film directing, needed a bridge & riverside location to make a film for an exam. So I put him in touch with the Apley Estate Office, they made their film & Julian has kindly sent me this photo of the action.
Contact Julian on 07838 115 152 for details of forthcoming holiday club in Shropshire.
We’ve just added an extra date, so you can now have Breakfast with Santa on Christmas Eve ! Wow, I thought Santa would be way too busy that day, but clearly he’s so well organized, he’s got enough time to have some lucky children to breakfast with him, 9.30-12.30pm.
Santa will come & meet you himself in the Conference Room (NB. not Creamery Café) where you will be offered a delicious buffet style English breakfast, served by one of Santa’s elves, with coffee, tea & fruit juice. Afterwards, visit Santa’s Grotto with the live donkey (to remind us of Mary’s journey to Bethlehem) to collect your present from Santa himself. It costs £9.95 per child & £6.95 for accompanying adults having the English breakfast or £2.95 for accompanying adults only having a hot drink & a pastry.
Booking is essential. Click here to book your tickets.
December is a fairly quiet farming month & I know this doesn’t look like an exciting field, but it’s 2015’s wheat [which is therefore breadin ‘Camp Field’. I try & get an update from Adrian Joynt, Apley’s Farm manager, every week, to keep abreast with what’s happening at the food source. He told me “the crop [in this photo] has established well & the wet soil is now not a problem [it posed a small problem earlier in the Autumn]. Activities on the farm this week include hedgecutting, fencing, washing machinery & putting it under cover for the winter, as well as catching up in the office with paperwork.“
In the middle of the Apley Christmas Food Fair last Sunday, we announced the 13 winners of the Apley Children’s Christmas Art competition. So many staff & customers have said how delightful they think the whole exhibition is. The standard was so high, it made choosing winners very difficult – hence the 13 categories ! Thank you to all who entered, especially Worfield School children. The overall winner turned out to be the drawing I’ve already blogged last week of Jesus in Pigg’s Playbarn. The theme was food, Christmas & Apley – all 3 or any combination.
Prizes can be collected from the Farm Shop (ask for Rebecca or Jane in the office) during normal opening times (Mon –Sat 9.30-5.30pm, Sun 10-4pm).
The winners were:
|Best drawing||Olaf||Oliver Evans|
|Most Christmassy||Angel||Kal Francis|
|Best hand or foot print||Snowmen feet||Thomas Tipton|
|Best hand or foot print||Christmas lights||Luke Smith|
|Most imaginative||Wreath of hands – The Special Christmas Tree||Owen Atherden|
|Best collage||Oh Christmas tree||Henry Walker|
|Best hand or foot print||Reindeer hands||Ava Chandler|
|Best hand or foot print||Christmas pudding||Gabriella Atkinson|
|Most writing||Christmas at Apley||Iona Brickley|
|Most creative||Collage on blue card||Josie|
|Overall winner||Jesus at Pigg’s Playbarn||Hannah Insley|
|Most Apley||Christmas at Apley||Chloe King|
|Most foodie picture||Tescos butter Christmas tree||The Nest Early Years Group|