Is 11am too early to start tasting cider? On a gloriously sunny morning in Sommerset it seems like the logical and sensible thing to do. We plan on doing the cider / Calvados route in Normandy, so I feel it would be good to do some research here, for comparison.
We spot a sign for Rich’s Farmhouse Cider and pop in to take a look. It’s like walking into an old-fashioned sweet shop except it’s mostly cider and wine. They also have a selection of chutneys, pickles and other tasty treats, but it’s the cider that we’re interested in. I have never seen such a vast selection of ciders – it’s apple heaven.
We taste all three of the “home” farmhouse ciders straight from the barrel. Arūnas prefers the sweet and I the dry, so we meet in the middle and buy a litre of the “medium”. I pick up a bottle of Ginger wine, which I see from the label has won 2 stars at the “Taste” awards. I have come to trust these awards, so I buy a bottle, along with a bottle of Sommerset Apple Brandy. (I might wait until slightly later in the day to sample that one, though.)
The journey on through Sommerset is stunning, with winding roads, pretty stone-walled villages, undulating hills and cider-house after cider-house. Our schedule is pretty full so unfortunately we don’t have time to stop at another. Probably just as well – I could feel the kick off the tiny drop I’d had as it was.
Our route takes us through the hippy town of Glastonbury. With Arūnas’s bare feet and trousers rolled up to the knees and my bright red hair we fit in rather nicely, despite having no clue as to the healing properties of an amethyst.
We contemplate climbing the Glastonbury Tor, famous for its healing energies. We opt instead to eat lunch at the foot of the Tor, after which we pad barefoot on the grassy slopes, Arūnas in his Huckleberry glory and me more Laura Ingles, arms outstretched to catch the wind. I’m not sure if it was the Tor or our delicious (mainly organic) lunch, but we definitely did feel energised as we drove off.