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November 30, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley Farm Shop’s Christmas Food & Craft Fair, report & photos


Shropshire Gin Company


Bennett & Dunn rapeseed oil


John Wesley, General Manager


Hop & Stagger beer tasting


David Cartwright, Kelly bronze turkeys, Home Farm, Condover


Story drinks


Shropshire crafters


Apley Farm Shop


Neill Mapes’s wooden reindeer


Previns spices


Neill Mapes & Jane Moller, wooden Christmas decorations


Mulled wine


Oak Apple Catering, Christmas puddings

At last, here are some of the photos from Apley Farm Shop’s Christmas Food & Craft Fair, taken by Steve Watts of A Decent Exposure photography. It ran for 2 days, 26-27 Nov, with local food producers & Shropshire crafters filling our beautifully decorated & heated tent. On both days, we broke records, which was wonderful news & fun for all who came to offer the delicious as well as those who came to enjoy it.

We’ve had some great feedback from the food producers including:

“There was a great atmosphere – you’ve created something really special.”

“It’s always a pleasure coming to Apley – we had a great day.”

This is my favourite: “I had a great day on Sunday and I think we sold a lot of Quickes’ cheese. Compared to a tasting I did in Harrods a couple of weeks ago, it was a resounding success !”

Feedback from customers included:

“Went yesterday. Excellent food and drink tasting, lovely crafts. Very busy but worth it.” 

& from another customer

“Lovely day had at Apley today. We really enjoyed the taster, children enjoyed Pigg’s Playbarn and now I’m enjoying your pistachio and parmisan nibbles! Thank you, will be back before Christmas xx”

November 29, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Autumnal sunrises & sunsets at Apley Farm Shop


Friday 21 October


Wed 26 Oct


Leaves falling on entrance drive to Apley Farm Shop

Sat 26 Nov, last of the day's sunshine

Sat 26 Nov, last of the day’s sunshine – by Steve Watts

Being seasonal is key to our ethos at Apley Farm Shop. So I thought I’d share a few Autumn photos, before winter begins:

As she arrived at Apley Farm Shop on Friday 21 October, Natasha took this lovely Autumn sky photo.

Then during Spookley week (Wed 26 Oct), I was the last to leave with 6 pattypan squashes to stuff with lentils & grated cheese. I’m so pleased I caught this orange sky behind the orange of the pumpkins. I also caught the last of the leaves falling from the lime trees down our front entrance drive (where I’m hoping one day to get a bus stop, to enable non-car owners to reach us – both staff & customers).

It’s now nearly winter (for me, that’s Dec Jan Feb) & Steve Watts of A Decent Exposure photography took this lovely shot at the end of Saturday, after the record breaking day we had for our Apley Christmas Food & Craft Fair. The light was so pretty. It looks across the fields from Apley Farm Shop towards Shifnal, across farmland managed by the Apley Estate farm manager Adrian Joynt & his team (Ian, Mike & Bill).

November 28, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Online bookings are now available for our Conference room

balfours-in-conference-room-at-apley-farm-shop-1Online bookings are now available for our Conference room. Just click HERE. It’s as great for private Christmas parties, talks, courses & social functions (we’ve just had a baby shower there for 20 last weekend) as it is for business meetings (this is a Balfours meeting in the photo). For full details & availability, click HERE.

It’s easy to find, there’s free parking & wifi, & of course delicious food from our Creamery Cafe, handmade onsite. All very Apley !

Call Jane with any queries 01952 730 562 or email her on

November 27, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Pigg’s Playbarn parties

2016-11-23-playbarn-birthday-party-invitation-a5-final-jpeg 2016-11-23-playbarn-birthday-party-invitation-a5-p2-final-jpegJanuary & February is a great time to book in your child’s birthday party, whilst the weather isn’t at its best. Here’s an example of the birthday party invitation you’ll receive to send out to your child’s friends.

You can hire the whole playbarn for yourselves on Sundays 4-6pm.

Parties can be booked on any day of the week. Saturday & Sundays are the most popular, anytime from 10-4pm, for 2 hrs slots.

To book, click HERE to book online, email or call us on 07739 320 314 or 07771 70 85 07.


November 26, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Christmas trees for sale at Apley Farm Shop

2016-11-22-christmas-tree-arrivals-1 2016-11-22-christmas-tree-arrivals-3 2016-11-22-christmas-tree-arrivals-5Christmas trees are on sale at Apley Farm Shop! Drop into our Christmas Food & Craft Fair tomorrow or Sunday (both days 10-4pm) & select yours !

Below are sizes & prices. They are Premier Nordman’s (non-drop) Christmas Trees:

Height in feet Height in metres Price
3’-4’ 1.00m – 1.25m £16
4’-5’ 1.25m – 1.5m £22
5’-6’ 1.5m – 1.75m £28
6’-6’6 1.75m – 2.0m £34
All prices exclude stands which are £4

Tues 29 Nov – We have just had some potted trees delivered today, £29.50, 4-5ft tall.

November 25, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Gourmet Shropshire & Netherton Foundry promotion tomorrow

2016-11-25-gourmet-shropshire-promotion-artwork-sam-williamsBuy a copy of Gourmet Shropshire & have a chance to win a £100 Netherton Foundry pan set during a promotion tomorrow at Apley Farm Shop. The Shropshire Star, who have recently published the Gourmet Shropshire book, are running a competition during our Apley Christmas Food & Craft Fair, 10-4pm on Saturday 26 November.

Netherton pans are handmade in Shropshire & used by Nigella Lawson. The Gourmet Shropshire 2017 magazine profiles some of the best food providers in the county, including of course Apley Farm Shop !


November 24, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Santa’s Grotto at Apley Farm Shop

Layout 1piggs-playbarn-transparent-logoIt’s the 24 Nov & that means there’s a month to Christmas ! Francis is getting excited (aged 7), deciding what he’s giving all his cousins & what he’d like to ask Father Christmas for too. There are some challenging / interesting ideas on his list, I must admit !

There are still some places left in Santa’s Grotto at Apley Farm Shop. So you get exactly the time & date you really want, click HERE to book your slot or book when you’re next onsite at Pigg’s Playbarn.


November 23, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Ordering procedure for Apley meat boxes

2016-11-23-christmas-meat-box-ordering-procedure-final-jpeg-2To make it as easy & clear as possible, here is the ordering procedure for Apley meat boxes. I found a franchise of G-Force, offering next day delivery for £8. It turned out the lady I was dealing with (when opening an account), lives in Village Road in Norton, less than 1 mile from Apley Farm Shop!

It’s taken ages to consider many different packaging options. Who would have thought it could be so complicated to choose. The options are endless. Which box, size, weight, branding, liners, quantities, insulation etc.

Initially, we’ll be using polystyrene boxes with ice packs (£5), but in time we hope to use Woolcool’s more environmentally boxes insulated with sheep’s fleeces – amazing !

So on top of the price of the meat box, there will be those extra costs of £8 & £5 to get your meat box delivered (both at cost price) to your door.

We can of course also pack up veg boxes & cheese boxes. Many items are available in our online DeliShop, especially useful at this busy time of year.

Come & meet our butcher this weekend during our Apley Christmas Food & Craft Fair, 10-4pm, Sat 26 & Sun 27 Nov. On both days, the courtyard will be full of some of Shropshire’s finest food producers & crafters.

November 22, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Beckbury Trail raises £1800 with 300 runners running 9km


Goody bags ready for the runners

2016-11-20-beckbury-trail-2 The organisers of Beckbury Trail just sent me a lovely thank you email, for the bananas we donated:

This year we had 300 places for runner & they were all sold out 2-3 weeks before the race on the Sunday 20th November. 

The run which is 5.6 miles (9km) starts in Beckbury, out through the fields to Newton woods, over to Stapleford through to Ackleton, through the dingle to Badger & down the famous Badger bite back though to Beckbury.

Every runner had a goody bag with information of local events, busnesses who helped & water, a banana, cookie & a set of event clips as a memento.

We had some extra costs this year, due to licences, better signage but we still exceeded our expectations with the help of the bake sale. As we did not have to pay any fees to use the land owned by Richard Solari, there was no car parking charge so we asked runners to bring a tin of food to go to our chosen charity this year – the food banks. We have raised £1800 to be split: 

  • £100 to the Cadet group – 20 young cadets helped on the day with parking & giving out medals.
  • £100 to to the Beckbury Hall (donation on top of hire charges)
  • £100 to Severn Hospice
  • £1500 to be split between Wolverhampton, Telford & Shrewsbury Foodbank charities. Also a car full of food to be delivered to the food bank.”

I think that’s all totally brilliant – to raise that much, but also to just be willing to go for a 9km run in late November !

November 21, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

What’s on this Christmas at Scotty’s Animal Park

2016-11-21-santa-at-scottys-correx-by-badgerVery young children will absolutely love dropping into Scotty’s Animal Park this December to meet Santa & his deer called Munch & to enjoy their live animal nativity scene.

Dates are:

  • Sat 3 & Sun 4 Dec
  • Sat 10 & Sun 11 Dec
  • Sat 17 & Sun 18 Dec
  • Thurs 22 Dec
  • Fri 23 Dec
  • Sat 24 Dec

Times for all the above dates are 11:30-1pm & 2-3:30pm, except for Christmas Eve which is 11-1pm.


Separately, in Apley Farm Shop’s courtyard, why not book in your children to see Santa in his grotto – just click HERE to grab your preferred slot. Tickets for under 2s are £8.95 & over 2s are £9.95.

There are a few last places available for Breakfast with a visit from Santa. Click HERE to book.

And a few places left for Afternoon Tea with a visit from Santa. Click HERE to be one of the lucky ones.