Cider in the dell

The West Malvern playing fields, Worcestershire, England.

Earlier this year I compiled a list of ‘English things’ I was hoping to do over the course of 2017. I confess I haven’t been pursuing my list with a terrible amount of vigour, but the other weekend I did tick another item off:

100: Drink traditional cider

It all happened at a little get-together called West Fest…

West Fest is a one day festival focused on promoting musicians, performers, artists and craftspeople from West Malvern.

Adam had been a few times before moving to Australia and described it to me as a day where ‘you sit in a field, drink cider and listen to music’. It’s held on the West Malvern Playing Fields – a picturesque field snuggled into the Malvern Hills.

There was a slightly hippy, happy, family friendly vibe to the whole thing and it was a great place to people watch, with a cider in hand of course!

The crowd at West Fest, Malvern, Worcestershire, England.

Australian cider is generally pretty fizzy and always served ice cold.  In England it’s flat, and drunk at room temperature. I’ve tried a few ciders, but could never get past the spiked ‘apple juice’ like flavour, but the cider Adam recommended I try was delicious. There was a sharpness to it and it wasn’t sickly sweet – plus it’s made in nearby Worcester using Worcestershire grown apples.

English cider in a plastic cup

The temperamental English summer kept us on our toes and a heavy shower of rain saw some of our party employ some rather ‘interesting’ techniques for staying dry – I thankfully had my waterproof jacket with me!

Man wearing camp chair on head to prevent getting wet in a shower of rain.

Within about ten minutes though the sun had come out again, in rather spectacular fashion.

The sun emerging after a shower of rain at West Fest, Malvern, Worcestershire.

When it was time to eat, I made a beeline for a Polish food vendor and feasted upon a huge plate of kopytka with wild mushroom sauce. There are two potato plants in our vegetable garden that are yet to be harvested and I’m thinking kopytka might be a good way to use some of them up.  This recipe looks like a winner.

Polish kopytka.

We stayed until the final band played then made our way home via a ‘shortcut’ – a narrow path, on a steep slope, covered in ferns.  After a few ciders, it was a bit of a laugh!

I think I’ll always prefer beer over cider but I’m glad I’ve finally found a variety I can finally enjoy.  Chin chin!




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