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October 23, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Autumn farming at Apley

2014-10-21, Drilling winter oatsCurrent farm activities at Apley are weaning the cows & calves, housing them for the winter & finishing off the last few bits of corn drilling. When all the cattle are housed the calves will be vaccinated against pneumonia & treated for gutworms. This is Adrian Joynt’s great photo showing ploughing & drilling winter oats amidst a cloud of sea gulls !



October 22, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley Walled Garden spinach & lamb recipe

Spinach imageWherever I go, I pick up recipes for new ideas – this being the latest, which is a great way to enjoy Apley Walled Gardens spinach.

Moghlai lamb with spinach


560g boneless lamb shoulder, cubed

4 teaspoons ginger, peeled & grated

7 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed

2 tablespoons ground coriander

5 tablespoons corn or peanut oil

140g onions, sliced into rings

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons plain yoghurt

450g spinach, cut into strips


Put the meat into a bowl & add the ginger, garlic & coriander. Mix & leave for 30 mins

Gently heat the oil into a wide, lidded pan. Add onions & fry until crisp.

Remove onions & add meat with its marinade

Add turmeric, cayenne pepper & salt, then stir for 1 min

Cover & cook for 10 mins

Remove the lid & add 1 tablespoon of yoghurt, stirring until it’s all absorbed. Add the rest of the yoghurt in the same way.

Stir in the spinach until it’s wilted

Chop the fried onions & add to the meat

Cover the pan & cook on a low heat for 50 mins until meat is tender, stirring occasionally. Add water if the liquid reduces too much.

October 21, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley Farm Shop film: So much more than a farm shop !

AgWa media logo2014-11-02, Amanda-Jayne Park jewelleryClick here to view Agata Wasiewska’s wonderful film of life at Apley Farm Shop, which I feel above all, shows how much more than a farm shop we really are. We’ll be using tiny clips of it in animated [skyscraper] adverts on a selection of 30 websites. Customers will also be able to watch it at the cash till, to get a better idea of all that’s going on at Apley. We’re truly delighted – it’s been a project I’ve wanted to get done for ages ! Agata can be contacted on

2014-10-21, Mark Lowe Butcher, Apley smoked bacon 1Moving on from films to bacon !, our butcher has just emailed me to say that Lord Hamilton’s oak smoked bacon will soon be available for the first time ever & exclusively from Apley Farm Shop of course !

And on Sunday 2 November, Amanda-Jayne Park will be demonstrating her jewellery making skills at the Apley Craft Fair, 10-4pm in the Courtyard.

Young Blood makeup logoTomorrow, Wednesday 22 October, 6.30pm, Elizabeth Beckett Skincare at Apley Farm Shop, will hold a demonstration of the Youngblood makeup range which she is now stocking. 6.30 for 7pm, ends 8pm. £5 tickets include glass of wine & canapes. Suitable for ages 14-104. Booking is advisable, but not obligatory. Online bookings can be made at or go to her shop, or call 01952 739575 or email

October 20, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley news – pumpkins & cheese

2014-10-20, Pumpkin Express 5 2014-10-20, Pumpkin Express 6 2014-10-20, Francis's 5th birthday party, Shropshire 2014-10-20, Pumpkin Express 1Francis has just turned 5 today & part of this birthday party was a trip on the Pumpkin Express at Apley Farm Shop, when Sabine of Virtual Shropshire happened to be onsite taking some lovely photos.

The children could hardly manage to carry their pumpkins up the bank at the end of the ride. We’re one of the few places in Shropshire where you can Pick Your Own pumpkin. The Spookley Pumpkin Festival continues 25-31 Oct, coinciding with half term week.

Moving from pumpkins to cheese, Gavin just got an email from Matt Hiles having met him in the Farm Shop: “My Grandfather (Alan Cope) saw your article in the Shropshire Star and was fascinated to read the story about the recipe and that the cheese was still alive. He taught Rosemary [Keen, nee White] the art of making the cheese and was keen to be remembered to her. The cheese tasted great. I had to try it! a real delight. I can’t wait to give some to my grandfather for his seal of approval.” Isn’t that great !




October 19, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

The Farming Year at Apley

2014-10-14, rolls

Linking it to Apley Farm Shop, my intention is to try to track the Apley Estate farming progress throughout the next 12 months, starting with these photos taken by Ian Edwards, one of our farm workers.

“The process for preparing the ground is stubble cultivation or scuffling. We usually use a Discaerator, which works the soil and sows the stubble turnips at the same time. Growth rate depends on the weather. If it’s very dry they grow slowly. Normally though I would say you can start animals grazing on them in November/December time.

The Discaerator breaks up the sub soil, and uses 2 rows of discs to work a tilth (soil) ready to sow. It is working up last year’s oil seed rape stubble. The Lemken Drill sows the seed at the calibrated weight per hectare, and will also work the soil ready for planting. The rolls are used to firm the soil up around the seed to aid germination and to conserve moisture in dry times. The photo of the wheat field is at Apley Home Farm which was recently sowed. The photo of the Oil seed rape field is also at Apley Home Farm. It was sown in September but due to the dry time it is slow to germinate, and will hopefully get going now we have had some rain.”2014-10-14, oil seed rape, Apley Home Farm 2014-10-14, Lemken drill 2014-10-14, Discaerator 2014-10-14, wheat, Apley Home Farm

October 17, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Christmas party bookings open in The Creamery Cafe, Apley Farm Shop

2014-11-08, Creamery Cafe Christmas menu 2014Christmas party bookings open in The Creamery Cafe, Apley Farm Shop. It’s a great Christmas party venue, with family, friends or work colleagues. Chef Martin McKee has compiled a mouth watering menu of festive dishes, mixing traditional turkey & ham recipes with some more unusual dishes, such as butternut squash & blue cheese Wellington.

Click here to see our menu.

The very popular Breakfasts with Santa are also being held in The Creamery, perfect for families with young children. Click here to see prices & to book.

£9.95 per child – Includes buffet style English breakfast, visiting Santa in his Grotto & a present

£6.95 per adult – Includes buffet style English breakfast

£2.95 for accompanying adult – Includes hot drink & pastry

October 15, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Pumpkins galore at Apley Farm Shop

2014-10-09, Pumpkin & ginger cupcakes recipeWith 1250 pumpkins at Apley Farm Shop for the rest of October, I thought I’d share 5 of our favourite pumpkin recipes, starting with these cup cakes ! The Spookley Pumpkin Festival at Apley Farm Shop starts this weekend 18-19 Oct & continues in half term week 25-31 October.

The Creamery Café windowsills & Pigg’s Playbarn are looking very orange, decorated with pumpkins & Turks Turban squash decorations.

We already have small pumpkins for soup ‘bowls’, then today we’re expecting some special eating pumpkins to be delivered, so no doubt the Creamery’s chef will very soon be cooking up some delicious recipes such as pumpkin muffins & pumpkin pie.

In the Farm Shop, we have Shropshire Pumpkins: 1 for £2.99, 2 for £4.99 & 3 for £5.99

The Spookley story is an anti bullying message for young children with the message that it is alright to be different – hence the square pumpkin. The Spookley book & DVD are on special offer at £9.99.

Also in the shop, you can pick up a pumpkin & carving set to carve at home for £3.99,  if you just want to get cooking or carving there !

Don’t forget to pick up your pumpkin sausages from Mark Lowe, the Apley Butcher & your pumpkin chocolate lollies on the way out !

During the Spookley Pumpkin Festival visitors can ride the Pumpkin Express which runs daily at 2pm, hear the Spookley story, select their own pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, carve it, enter the competition & taste pumpkin recipes in the Creamery Café.

Ticket prices are:

The Orange Deluxe ticket – £10: This includes a pumpkin & pumpkin carving set, Spookley the Square Pumpkin book, a ride on the Pumpkin Express & entry into Pigg’s Playbarn 

Pumpkin Carving & Pumpkin Express – £6.50: This includes a pumpkin, a pumpkin carving set & a ride on the Pumpkin Express

Pumpkin Carving – £4: This includes a pumpkin & pumpkin carving set

Read more about it here by clicking here for Virtual Shropshire & here for Shropshire Live.

October 15, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Pumpkin & Rosemary Muffins

Originally posted on Lady Harriet Hamilton:

Pumpkin and rosemary muffins

These are great for picnics & car journeys, but why not offer mini muffins as canapés or extra large ones for breakfast. They’re also perfect as a quick lunch or snack, for adults as well as children. Slow energy release & packed with vitamins to help survive the winter viruses.


  1. 180g Self raising flour
  2. 130g wholemeal flour
  3. 2-3 teaspoons baking powder
  4. ½ tsp baking soda
  5. Pinch of salt
  6. 3 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
  7. 2 beaten eggs
  8. 100ml plain yoghurt
  9. 275ml milk
  10. 2-3 dessertspoons honey
  11. 60ml vegetable oil
  12. 240g cooked pumpkin (about 1 small wedge)
  13. 1-2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds


  1. Dice pumkin flesh into saucepan & cover with water. Boil for 5-10mins, then drain.
  2. Mix ingredients 1-6
  3. Mix ingredients 7-12
  4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry
  5. Spoon into muffin tray
  6. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds
  7. Cook at 200˚C for 2-25 mins



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October 14, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Help us win the Best Restaurant in Telford competition !

2014-10-09, Telford Journal, Best Restaurant in Telford competition - advert jpeg 2014-10-09, Telford Journal, Best Restaurant in Telford competition 2014 layout jpegHelp us win the Best Restaurant in Telford competition ! The Telford Journal is running a Best Restaurant in Telford competition which Apley Farm Shop’s Creamery Café Restaurant has entered.

We would love all our Creamery Café customers to vote for us please. Forms can be cut out of the newspaper itself or picked up in The Creamery Café. Customers can then hand in their entries to Apley Farm Shop or Creamery Café staff or post them into the responses box provided. Or they can be posted to Tom Langford, Shropshire Star, Waterloo Road, Ketley, Shropshire, TF1 5HU.

It’s running every Thursday (9, 16, 23, & 30 Oct) then on 31 October, the entry forms will be collected & counted.

Martin (chef) & Zoe (front of house) always work so hard with their teams to give all our customers the best possible experience when they visit the Creamery, offering fresh, local, seasonal meals at affordable prices.


October 13, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Lords a leaping – Hope House Hospice zip wire

2014-10-12, Aerial photo of Apley Farm Shop from zip wire crane2014-10-11, CPRE The Big Draw in Pigg's PlaybarnYesterday, Lord Gavin Hamilton descended the 700ft Hope House Hospice charity zip wire at Apley Farm Shop. The crane hoisted participants up into the air 120ft, from where they zipped their way to the photographer awaiting them at the end of the 700ft wire. The Apley team included Apley’s land agent Graeme Manton, Gavin (Lord Hamilton) & our new housekeeper Katy Atherden, who only admitted to having vertigo just before she got into the cage to go up !

Gavin took the rare opportunity to take this great aerial photo of the Farm Shop site, showing the courtyard & the 9 businesses on site.

I’m waiting to hear from Hope House fundraisers how much they have raised so far. Participants had to pay a £20 registration fee then pledge to raise a further £80 at least in sponsorship.

On Saturday 11 October, the CPRE organised The Big Draw in Pigg’s Playbarn – as seen here in this photo. I’ll find out later this week how many participated.

In the meantime, 2 of Apley’s holiday cottages were being emptied. The sale catalogue will soon be available. Do contact the Estate Office 01746 762 110 or the Farm Shop office 01952 730 345 (option 6) if you’d like a copy.


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