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September 27, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Membership hampers on sale in Pigg’s Playbarn


Pigg’s Playbarn annual membership hamper for girls


Pigg’s Playbarn annual membership hamper for boys

Layout 1Layout 1Layout 1Layout 1Hope you like our new wall banners in Pigg’s Playbarn …

but also our Pigg’s Playbarn membership hampers (£65 each), are the perfect presents which last all year round. Plus, especially for the October half term week 22-30 Oct, we’re also offering Spookley hampers.

September 26, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley Walled Garden – lovely article in the Wolverhampton Magazine

2016-09-23-wolverhampton-magazine-article-on-awg-by-karen-knowl-001-466x640 2016-09-23-wolverhampton-magazine-article-on-awg-by-karen-knowl-002-466x640 2016-09-23-wolverhampton-magazine-article-on-awg-by-karen-knowl-003-466x640The editor of the Wolverhampton Magazine has just written a lovely article about Apley Walled Garden – right here in case you can’t get your hands on a paper copy.

We’d love to hear from anyone who’d like to volunteer for a couple of hours (or more!) per week. On Saturday at the Apley Farm Shop Harvest & Craft Fair, customers saw 18 different vegetables including multiple different varieties of tomatoes.


September 25, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley Harvest & Craft Fair photos


Pumpkins ready for Spookley week


Merangz by Flower & White


Peter’s Yard crackers


Cottage Delight chutneys & jams


Peter’s Yard knacks


Apley barbecue using meat only from our own Apley butcher


Craft Fair


Craft Fair jewellery


Shropshire cider


Popular Merangz


Tipsy Fruit Gins


Hobsons Brewery


The Best of Taste Company – sauces & coulis


The Best of Taste Company sauces

bu1y2610-640x427 bu1y2688-copy-427x640 We had a lovely day at Apley Farm Shop on Saturday when we held our annual Harvest & Craft Fair. Steve Watts of A Decent Exposure photos took these fab photos. He’s been coming to photo events at Apley Farm Shop for so long now, I no longer need to brief him on the shots I’m after – he just knows & I’m always delighted with the results. With over 20 local Shropshire producers & 12 crafters, it was a fun & very tasty day for everyone. How blissful – wandering from stall to stall dipping into delicious food & drinks, some being launched for the first time at Apley, so new to our customers. If you missed it, our Christmas Food & Craft Fair is very similar, but obviously with festive tastes to enjoy. It’s a great way of introducing new foods into your kitchen & breaking out of the habit of eating the same or very similar foods week after week.  Our Apley Butcher held demos at 11am & 3pm & made delicious burgers, sausages & ‘meat sticks’ for the barbecue. He even made venison & chocolate sausages – though I couldn’t taste the chocolate that much!

September 24, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

October’s newsletter – Harvest & Craft Fair TODAY – Free event, 10-4pm


September 22, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Last quarter of 2016 – diary dates

2016-09-22-afs-everything-christmas-leaflet-a5-2016-list-jpegIf you’re planning ahead this Autumn, here are our latest leaflets including one suitably called “Everything Christmas at Apley” – anything from Christmas parties, Christmas menu, Christmas turkeys, Christmas presents, Christmas puddings, Christmas cakes, Breakfast & Afternoon Tea with Santa, Santa’s Grotto .. plus our October, November & December calendar dates.

September 21, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Planning the Christmas holidays ?

On the eve of our Harvest Food & Craft Fair at Apley Farm Shop, we’re already looking forward to our Christmas Food & Craft Fair too. Here are all the details as well as those for Everything Santa at Apley – Breakfast with Santa, Afternoon Tea with Santa & Santa’s Grotto. I can’t begin to think about Christmas until after bonfire night, but clearly some of our customers do & have already booked themselves in for our Santa events. For example, a local nursery has already block booked a whole day exclusively for themselves. More on this subject tomorrow !


September 20, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley Home Farm’s laminated beams


King Edward VI College, Southampton

This relates to our Apley Archive project & is a follow up to a recent meeting with Professor David Perrett who recently came to Apley with the Association of Industrial Archaeologists, to look at the model farm buildings (model in 1877) at Apley Home Farm. I love this archive work & the research done by these historians is so important for our nation’s cultural history.

Professor Perrett told me he had recently attended a lecture on laminated timber roofs at the Institution of Structural Engineers History group, the subject of which was laminated roofs like the one at Apley Home Farm. The speaker was Paul Bell & the following is the abstract of his talk given in London:

Until recently there has been a misconception that the earliest surviving English nineteenth century laminated timber roof in England is that of the assembly hall of King Edward VI College, Southampton (1860). Paul Bell has found nine earlier laminated timber roofs, particularly in two clusters in Northumberland (from 1840) and in the Liverpool area (from 1852). Building on the papers of Geoffrey Booth, Paul will look at the railway viaducts and roofs of John and Benjamin Green in Northumberland. The Liverpool churches and their builders and other early laminated roofs in London will also be considered. In France Colonel Armand Rose Emy was the engineer for several military riding schools with laminated timber arch roofs in the 1820s and 30s. The drawings in his Traité de l’Art de la Charpenterie are outstanding. His buildings had problems, the arch roofs pushing on the walls. Captain Paul-Joseph Ardant, another military engineer, published a critique of laminated timber arches based on experimental analysis in 1840. Booth believed that laminated timber arches were superseded by the arrival of wrought iron but, at least on the Continent, the problems created by thrust upon the walls were the reason for their demise.


September 19, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley Delicatessen cheese counter


Apley cheese by Mr Moyden (photo by Pete Flemmich)

Apley Delicatessen cheese counter was recently shortlisted in the top 10 cheese counters in the UK run by the Guild of Fine Foods. We didn’t make it into the top 3 sadly, but congratulate all our farm shop staff for getting that far, notably Lora & Donna who have recently been on a cheese training course.

Food journalist Patrick McGuigan visited us in August to judge & kindly sent us some very helpful feedback:

“I thought your counter was great – I was seriously impressed with what you have managed to do in a short space of time and with a limited space. I liked the balance between local, national and Continental cheeses, the tasters and what you had done in terms of a training manual. The creation of Apley Cheese with Mr Moyden’s was also a great idea. So you are definitely on the right track.”

His suggestions included visiting local cheesemakers so we can personally hand select the cheeses for the Apley counter. We need to take time out to visit other local cheesemongers too. He added that we should improve our display, host cheese & wine/ beer evenings with a local cheesemaker (I have a couple in mind !) & offer more recipe cards (cheese fondue is a favourite of course !).

Click HERE to read about who won !


September 17, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Santa’s Grotto at Apley Farm Shop

afs-2013-xmas-00008I know this is crazily early in the year – those gorgeous hot September days were only last week – but customers tell us they want to book their places, so we’ve got them available already for online purchase. Just click HERE to buy yours. It runs 100-11 Dec & 17-23 Dec. Here are full details:

Give your little one the magical experience of meeting Santa Claus. Whether it be a child’s first Christmas or a family tradition, a visit to Santa’s Grotto is the perfect way to start the festive season. Enjoy Apley Farm Shop in all its festive glory, Christmas shop in our beautifully decorated Farm Shop, enjoy our delicious Christmas menu  with festive coffees and seasonal drinks. Make it a festive day out for all the family!

No booking required. Price includes a visit to Santa in his new Apley Farm Shop Grotto, a present from Santa Claus himself to take home & a play in Pigg’s Playbarn.

Grotto dates, times & prices – include a play in Pigg’s Playbarn: 

To book now CLICK HERE

Dates Times Over 2s Under 2s
Sat 10th to Sun 11th December 12noon – 3pm £9.95 £8.95
£18 for 2 children  £16 for 2 children


Dates Times Over 2s Under 2s
Sat 17th to Fri 23 December 12noon – 3pm £11.95 £9.95
£22 for 2 children  £18 for 2 children

Santa’s grotto bookings on Christmas Eve are only for those who have booked Breakfast with Santa, as he must fly by 12pm.

September 16, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Breakfast & Afternoon Tea with Santa at Apley Farm Shop

2013-10-14-afs-santas-grotto-18Breakfast & Afternoon Tea with Santa at Apley Farm Shop is so popular that as soon as our tickets went for sale online last week, someone immediately snapped up the first ones. So to secure your slots, click on the links below. Natasha’s been masterminding this whilst Charlotte in Pigg’s Playbarn has been preparing Christmas (I know it’s soooo early, but we need to plan ahead!) holiday activities & I’ve been conjuring up this year’s Christmas decoration themes.

Breakfast with a visit from Santa

Sat 10 & Sun 11 Dec & Sat 17 – Sat 24 Dec

9.15am – 11.55am

Please arrive promptly for 9.10am as this is when you will be seated for breakfast. 

Afternoon Tea with a visit from Santa

Sat 10 & Sun 11 Dec & Sat 17 – Fri 23 Dec

2.25 – 4:45pm

Please arrive promptly for 2:20pm as this is when you will be seated for afternoon tea. 

CLICK HERE to book Breakfast with Santa tickets

CLICK HERE to book Afternoon Tea with Santa tickets