February is an expensive month for my Husband, as not only is it Valentines Day, it’s also my birthday and his daughters birthday!
As my birthday is also so close to Christmas just passing, I find it difficult to think of gift ideas. My family and friends always ask what sort of gift I would like and I never really have a clue. Not because I am fussy, but because as a gift I would rather an experience. Regardless of whether it’s a coffee in costa with my bestie for the afternoon, or a cream tea in a posh hotel or even a surprise day out to somewhere new!
I love making memories, as you never remember the handbag you bought back in 2003, but you will always remember the day you planned to eat fish and chips on the beach for tea last June, but the rained poured so you sat in the car and watched the rain!
Anyways, back to my birthday.
This year Mr P surprised me with a little trip to the Healeys Cyder farm! Yay!! I love cider! Well I love alcohol and cider is one of my favourite tipples! Healeys Cyder Farm are the producers of the award winning Cornish Rattler Cider and Cornish Scrumpy – yummy! They also produce spirits including whisky and brandy and some delicious wines!
Located in West Cornwall, just South of Newquay, Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm, isn’t just a day out for us adults! Healeys is a real family day out!
With a restaurant, brewery tours, museum and animal farm, there is something for us all to enjoy!
So we opted for the 2pm tour as we wanted a chilled Saturday morning at home.
You will be taken around the Orchard on the back of a tractor and the whole journey has audio playing to talk you through the various part of the orchard with some history facts along the route. As the picking season is September to December, the apple trees were bare, but still you can see how they prune them to get the maximum flavour and quality from their apples.
After the tractor ride, we were guided up the large entrance barrel into the brewery. I was amazed how relatively small their warehouse is. Healeys now sell many brews and not only do mail order but also supply large supermarket chains. With the warehouse being the size it is, they must be running a very swift and efficient ship! We were advised that the warehouse sends out approximately 140 cases of Rattler during the lead up to the Christmas season, and last week just 4 were sent. December seems to be their busiest season, especially as it is the end of the picking season and with all their customer wanting their favourite brews sent in time for festive cheer!
The tour was extremely informative, I won’t give all the juicy secrets away, but our tour guide was lovely!
We were shown through to the distribution unit, the jam making room, the press room, the museum (fascinating!) and lastly to the cellar. This was great, purely because we were able to sample every single product that Healeys produce. Yep! So all the ciders. the fruit juices, the wines and even their energy drink! Plus afterwards we were able to go into the bar at the Farm shop and get a pint of whatever we fancied! I was having a lovely time, for obvious reasons!
Healeys also make their own jams. We were shown in to the jam making rooms, where everything is produced by hand. The jam is even poured into the jars by hand. All jars are lined up on a steel table and the jam is poured in one by one!
After our super interesting tour, we were shown to the Farm Shop (obviously the tour ended in the shop, every tour does!) where you can purchase anything Healey’s you wish, plus there is a bar! Result! So we ordered a pint of cloudy Rattler and enjoyed sipping it whilst browsing around the store. The Farm Shop cat takes all it’s visitors in its stride, just slept on a bar stool next to the till.
Included in the price of our tour was an afternoon tea for two. As a Devonian myself, I personally wouldn’t have called it an afternoon tea, it was a couple of scones with jam, cream and a pot of tea for two. There was no sandwiches with the crusts cut off, but hey, I was in my element none the less, cider, tea and scones with cream!
All in all, Healey’s Cyder farm is good fun, for adults, not children. There isn’t much for kids to do. Us adults are more than happy to wander around a working cider farm listening to the guide and all their interesting facts, plus we are happy to stand in a cool, damp cellar sipping on a variety of brews, children are not. The farm isn’t particularly a day out either, but nice for an afternoon, or maybe on your journey home from a weekend in Cornwall.