All posts tagged: somerset

A Wincanton pub crowned best in UK for cider by CAMRA.

Somerset has long been regarded as the home of proper, high-quality cider.

And now this accolade has been cemented, after a pub near Wincanton was crowed the best place to drink cider in the whole country.

The Unicorn Inn in Bayford has been singled out by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) for its commitment to genuine cider from small, local producers.

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West Bradley Orchards, located in the heart of Somerset, home of British Cider, opened a series of ‘Pick Your Own’ weekends in September with a picnic attended by local MP David Warburton and his family.

The Pick Your Own days take place every weekend in September, with visitors invited to pick and purchase their own apples and pears.

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Here are some photos I took of this years event.

Very special as always, including the Wassailing, and guided cider tasting by Julian Temperley, as well as meeting local cider makers in this magical part of Somerset.

We are excited to start the series of informal interviews with people that are as passionate about cider as we are.

We’re aiming to share the knowledge, tips and insight into everything cider with this Question and Answer format for cider drinkers, cider makers and cider publicans. Each people being asked the same questions. If you want to be interviewed contact us.

Onto our first Q&A which is with a man immersed in cider land everyday, Bill Bradshaw:

Bill is a freelance photographer based in Somerset ( and has been photographing and documenting the cider community since 2004. He is currently writing a book on cider culture in UK and abroad (

  1. How did your love of cider start?
    I’ve liked it since I was young (maybe 13 or 14) when I used to sneak into the larder for a secret gulp as my parents would buy farmhouse from out local cidermaker, but my love of cider started much later in my life. I was asked to document ‘Apple Villages’ in 2004, a heritage project engaging 120+ school children in 5 apple-growing parishes In the Somerset, led by artist Kate Lynch and author James Crowden. It aimed to encourage children to write original and lively poetry, and also to draw and illustrate their very personal observations of orchards, apples and Cider making. Documenting it allowed me to become a part of it and really understand the process, traditions and our heritage side by side. When the project ended, I couldn’t stop… its more like a love affair than an interest.
  2. What’s your favourite place to drink cider?
    A hot, sunny afternoon at a festival. Whilst cooking the Sunday roast. At a picnic. A BBQ. The pub. And so the list goes on… anywhere really!
  3. What’s your favourite cider, and why?
    I don’t really have one favourite however, I prefer a cider that is made with 100% juice, from cider apples, that has obviously been crafted with some passion and know-how. I have no problem with them either being gassed, pasteurised and filtered or flat and cloudy like a farmhouse. If its a genuine drink made in that tradition, I’m usually unusually happy with it.
  4. What makes cider so special, compared to other drinks?
    For me, its about heritage; its the taste of our past and present at the same time. Cider makes me enthusiastic for life; its tasty, refreshing and goes well with a large variety of foods or yet is equally enjoyable on its own. And it can get you really trollied, really quickly- which is nice.
  5. What’s the perfect accompanient to enjoy your cider, special mug, cheese, pickles?
    I got bought a John Leech cider mug for my birthday a few years ago and its my favourite cider article. Its a beautiful object, really sturdy, lovely to drink from and is inscribed ‘Bread is the staff of life, but cider is life itself. JC’. He’s an amazing potter and I assume he enjoys a drop of cider because it holds a pint and a half!

A gentle portrait of Frank Naish, (86), possibly the world’s oldest cider maker, on his farm in Somerset, with helper Paul Chant.

Collecting apples on a frosty morning in November 2010, Frank continues a life-long devotion to the artisan way of producing cider, which he did with his brother Harold until his death in 2005. Since then, Paul has worked with Frank, allowing him to continue his passion well into old age. As Frank says, it’s hard work and plenty of fresh air that keeps him going.

Henrietta Lovell meets Julian Temperley, master cider-maker, apple brandy distiller and proprietor of the award-winning Somerset Distillery.

They discuss what makes traditional cider what it is, and discuss what is cider brandy.

View the video on the Guardian web site (opens in new window)

View on the Guardian web site