Phil Allen, Head Gardener of Apley Walled Garden, will be on Gardeners’ Question Time on BBC Radio Shropshire again today Sunday, 15 November 12-1pm with Paul Shuttleworth. In the gardens themselves, he’s growing to order more than ever before – currently for our own Apley Farm Shop & Creamery Cafe of course, as well as 2 local restaurants & our local university. Whilst Phil had a fabulous display of Christmas veg for our Christmas Launch yesterday at Apley Farm Shop, I spent an hour in the Walled Garden (whilst the girls rode their ponies round the park), catching up & taking these photos to continue our ‘progress story’.
Santa’s Grotto at Apley Farm Shop is open 12 & 13 Dec & 18-24 Dec, open 12:30-3pm. Our General Manager Tina has been busy creating a rustic Winter Wonderland which I know will be lovely. Prices (see leaflet) start at £9.95 & include a present & play in Pigg’s Playbarn. We’re delighted to confirm we have 2 local photographers, Lisa Holland & Steve Watt of A Decent Exposure, coming to photograph the children during their Grotto experience.
Steve Watts will be onsite Sun 13 Dec, Fri 18 Dec & Sat 19 Dec; Lisa Holland will be there Sat 12 Dec, as well as 20-24 Dec.
They will charge £3.50 per 6×4” gloss image which is printed instantly & presented in a cardboard mount to take home. Special offer: 3 prints for £9. They’ll make perfect Christmas presents for grandparents.
No doubt Francis (at 6 – such a magical age) will be lining up ! He’s just started writing his Christmas lists – 1 for giving & 1 for receiving. Both are very incomplete, but it’s always lovely to see his ideas ! They’ll reflect his typically boyish interests – he loves is his den, his new red bike, reading, karate & going to his weekly rugby lessons at Bridgnorth Rugby Club.
Take a look at what’s happening in the second half of November at Apley Farm Shop by clicking HERE.
Up next is our Christmas Launch this Saturday 14 November for which our staff have been preparing all week.
During our Christmas Food Fair on Saturday 28 November, we’ve got a fabulous programme of demonstrations lined up, including Suree Coates (chef of the King & Thai restaurant) with Phil Allen (Apley Walled Garden), Martin Moyden of Moyden’s Handmade Cheeses, Sue Currie of the Nertherton Foundry (Shropshire’s answer to Le Creuset), Gilly Clayton (Apley Cookery Club), Derrin Westmacott (Bakers & Cooks), Lajina Leal (Masala Magic) & Annette Cole (Taste of Game). With free tasters from over 20 Shropshire producers & a passport checklist of unmissables, our customers will be busy !
Once again, I think Apley Farm Shop could possibly have [one of ?] the tallest Christmas trees in Shropshire ! Sourced from the Apley Estate, here are some photos of how it was installed – not an easy task – & some of our 12 sparkle-shimmer-dazzle-glitter Christmas angels & stars in Apley Farm Shop itself. Saturday 14 November is our Christmas Launch, so all departments are trying to be completely Christmas-ified by then. I spent some time today preparing the demonstration schedule for Saturday 28 November, when we will hold our Christmas Food Fair. The site is open 9.30-5.30pm on both Saturdays as usual, but the Food Fair & demonstrations will run just 10-4pm. Over 20 local producers of some of Shropshire finest food & drinks will be present to offer customers delicious free tasters.
I’ve just ordered some new window box plants at last from the Apley Plant Centre, to keep it looking relatively colourful & alive in the winter months. I selected some from a photo on their new Facebook page & will collect some bulbs too on Saturday, when I’m at Apley Farm Shop for our Christmas launch (can’t wait to see all the decorations up). The plant centre’s Melanie & Tom just sent me this quick update & lovely photo about their end of season sale:
“Apley Plant Centre is closing for a winter break at the end of November. From Saturday 14th November until the end of the month all stock will be reduced where stated. This is the ideal time for the discerning customer to find a bargain or Christmas present at a great price. There will be a selection of fantastic garden trees on offer. Pots & containers have a 25% discount – so why not plant up a container to make the perfect Christmas gift? Bulbs for planting now will provide floral cheer in Spring next year. Larger specimen plants are discounted by 25%, providing an instant feature within the garden. All 1/2/3L plants will have 50% discount. All dry goods to include plant feed & gardening tools are also reduced by 25%. Plenty of offers to take advantage of !“
My first call this morning was on the very happy subject of Christmas decorations which our Apley Estate men are kindly installing this week at Apley Farm Shop. Brenda is finishing off a few things & from tomorrow, I hope customers will enjoy my theme this year of “Sparkle ~ Shimmer ~ Dazzle ~ Glitter”.
In my blog of 21 Oct, I mentioned Breakfast with Santa, Afternoon Tea with Santa, when this lovely leaflet wasn’t quite ready. This year, Child tickets are £14.95, Adult tickets £7.95 & Family tickets £43.95
CLICK HERE to book Afternoon Tea with Santa tickets
CLICK HERE to book Breakfast with Santa tickets
I’ll post details of Apley’s 2015 Santa’s Grotto in another blog asap.
Apley Farm Shop is your one stop shop for local, luxurious & special Christmas treats for your family, friends & colleagues. Something made in Shropshire makes a perfect present – if you’re visiting family & friends, take a bit of Shropshire with you to share.
We have something for everyone from Lord Hamilton’s sloe gin & bespoke hampers to our very own Apley cheese made by Martin Moyden, Apley honey, Apley beers, Apley minced pies, Apley Christmas puddings, Apley Christmas cakes, locally made chopping boards, wooden bowls & spoons (made by Neill Mapes), books, cards, aprons, mugs & gorgeous Christmas biscuit tins, chutneys & jams, pâtés & crackers. We have plenty of stocking fillers in our beautifully decorated shop.
Whilst there, stock up for Christmas week on our butcher & delicatessen counters. To place your order, go to http://apleyfarmshop.co.uk/christmas-ordering/
Every now & again, something is unearthed from the past, giving us a clue to how the Apley Estate was run over 100 years ago. Today, it’s Major AW Foster (AWF)’s correspondence wallets. AWF (nicknamed Jimmy, which is rather confusing) was the last member of the Foster family to live at Apley Park (often known as Apley Hall, set in Apley Park). He was born in 1884, injured in May 1915 during the First World War & died aged 76 on 29 June 1960. So this folder would have been in use 100 yrs ago, if not more.
I’m still working on the labels for the Fourth Apley Archive Exhibition (finding it hard to find the time, with Christmas coming up in Apley Farm Shop). Centrally placed is a photo of the Foster family taken in 1905, thought to have been taken on AWF’s 21st birthday, so you can see him there (there are very few photos of him). More on this when I get a moment !
Christmas Craft Club at Apley Farm Shop begins 5 Nov with carrot printing. This weekend (which looks as if it may be rather wet) I’ll get painting with Francis to make some lovely personalised Christmas cards (which also record his foot / hand size for posterity!).
Booking is not essential – it’s fine to just turn up. The club takes place in a party room 4-5pm, then 5-5.30pm it’s free playtime in the playbarn.