Bramley Apple Festival tickles the tastebuds at Southwell Minster

FESTIVAL FANCIES -- smiles from behind the counter at one of the many food stalls at the Bramley Apple Festival. (PHOTO BY: Richard Jarvis)
FESTIVAL FANCIES -- smiles from behind the counter at one of the many food stalls at the Bramley Apple Festival. (PHOTO BY: Richard Jarvis)

The annual Bramley Apple Food and Drink Festival at Southwell Minster tickled the tastebuds of hundreds of visitors.

The day-long festival was staged for the sixth time and was an even bigger success than usual.

About 2,500 paying visitors flocked to the Bramley celebrations and enjoyed more than 30 food and drink stands and cookery demonstrations.

The event also featured music inside the cathedral, courtesy of the Minster School Ceilidh Band, Morris dancers outside and apple-related crafts, treats and trails in the Archbishop’s Palace and Education Garden.

Apple-themed activities included a display from John Hempsall’s Heritage Orchard at East Markham, an apple pie competition run by the Women’s Institute and a painting competition and exhibition at Southwell Library. Throughout the town of Southwell, shops, businesses, cafes, restaurants and pubs also took part in the occasion.

Kathryn Anderson, marketing officer for the minster, said: “The festival continues to grow each year. It is just a lovely community event both for the minster and the town to celebrate the world’s most famous apple. Feedback from visitors this year was very positive.”

The festival was launched in 2011 to celebrate the origins of the Bramley Apple in Southwell, a fruit much loved throughout the world for its unique flavour and excellent cooking qualities.

The event is now firmly established in the town, with the number of attractions growing each year. The 2016 renewal included a young chef of the year competition and also a poetry competition, both with a Bramley apple theme. There is even a Bramley Heritage Trail.

The Bramley apple was first cultivated more than 200 years ago, and the original tree still bears fruit annually in a private garden on Church Street, Southwell.