Saturday, 21 April 2018

Rhubarb Rhubarb Rhubarb ~ a weekend treat ~ Crumble


We're now pulling stalks of green and pink freckled rhubarb by request, you won't get it any fresher than that unless you have a patch of rhubarb in your own garden.

So who fancies rhubarb crumble for pudding?

Everyone has their own favourite crumble topping but just in case you fancy a change  so we thought we'd share ours':

3 ozs of butter
4 tablespoons self-raising flour
2 big handfulls of porridge oats
4 tablespoons of cane sugar

You know what to do don't you? Rub the flour with the butter etc





Sunday, 25 March 2018

A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch ~ review

If you've ever visited our tea room and farm shop you'll know we have a love of books and reading so we thought it would be nice to share the occasional book review here on our blog:



"Never judge a book by it's cover" ~ but we do don't we?

It was the cover of Charles Finch's A Beautiful Blue Death that caught my eye!

"Charles Lennox, Victorian gentleman and armchair explorer, likes nothing more than to relax ib his private study with a cup of tea, a roaring fire, and a good book. But when his lifelong friend Lady Jane asks for his help, Lenox cannot resist the chance to unravel a mystery.

Prudence Smith, one of Jane's former servants, is dead of an apparent suicide. But Lenox suspects something far more sinister: murder, by a rare and deadly poison."

First off I'll say that I did actually enjoy this book BUT I can see how others would find it enormously irritating and throw it aside.

Don't they say "Write what you know about"?

Sorry but Mr Finch doesn't seem to know much about the social mores of Victorian England, the geographical layout of London and maybe not that much about British history. I winced at the use of the name Lady Jane Grey for Lenox's childhood friend. Lady Jane Grey having been the unfortunate 9 day Queen of Tudor England who was executed in in 1554. I further winced at the over familiarity of servants to their employers and amongst many other anomalies was astounded to find Lenox drinking Rye rather than Scotch whiskey.  And for a gentleman to have to ask someone of lower social class than himself where to purchase waterproof boots in an age when someone of Lenox's standing would be wearing made to measure footwear, well that would have been unheard of.

"England and America are two nations separated by the same language" George Bernard Shaw

I also found the use of American English rather than British English somewhat grating ~ Lenox would have changed his trousers not his pants, eaten scones not biscuits etc etc

If you can cast all that aside it's an okay murder mystery, not exactly thrilling or over taxing, a book that's not as good as it's cover!


Having said all that it's now available to purchase in the second hand section of our 50p book sale in the tea room and farm shop.


The Orchard Tea Room & Farm Shop
Redmoor Lane
Wisbech
Cambs
PE14 0RN

Open 10-4 daily 



Saturday, 24 March 2018

Interview with the artist ~ Moira Johnson

Moira Johnson is currently exhibiting her art here at The Orchard with another local artist Sally Anne Goodale, as we last interviewed Moira back in 2016 we thought it would be nice to catch up again with a fresh interview. 



Moira please tell us about your work? 

I first started painting in watercolour, then progresses to oils which I loved. As oils are very messy, and not easy when painting outside, I tried acrylics, they are now my preferred medium.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a painting of a Jersey Cow. I love painting animals and have done several pet portraits as commissions ~ dogs and cats. I also love painting landscapes.

How did you decide to become an artist?

I became an artist after attending a "Beginners Painting Weekend" run by Chris Parker, I enjoyed it so much that I signed up for another weekend, then went for several painting days with him. I joined a course at the local college with Andrea Taylor, then I was invited to join Wisbech Art Club. I have been secretary of the Art Club for several years. I love going to demonstrations and workshops, it is very inspiring to see how other artists paint and pick up tips.

What's the best advise you've been given as an artist?

The best advice I have been given is to look at shapes, colours and tones and paint what you see.

What are your life and work goals for the future?

My goal for the future is to spend more time painting. My friend Sally Goodale and I are in the process of setting up our own website which we hope will be up aqnd running very soon. 

Moira Johnson is currently exhibiting her art here at The Orchard with another local artist Sally Anne Goodale, as we last interviewed Moira back in 2016 we thought it would be nice to catch up again. 

Many thanks to Moira Johnson for agreeing to be interviewed for The Orchard Tea Room and Farm Shop Blog. You can view Moira & Sally's art daily 10am -4pm during March 2016 at:

The Orchard Tea Room and Farm Shop
Redmoor Lane
Wisbech
Cambs
PE14 0RN

Telephone: 07527 046184
Website: theorchardtearoom.co.uk Twitter: @OrchardTeaRoom Facebook: The Orchard Tea Room

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Art at The Orchard interview with artist Sally Anne Goodale

We're delighted that artist Sally Anne Goodale has agreed to do a little interview for the blog, she's exhibiting a selection of her original paintings here at The Orchard during March along with another local artist Moira Johnson.


Sally Anne please tell us about your work? What are you currently working on?

I started mainly with watercolour- sometimes using pen and ink. Then a few years later mainly Acrylics - though when away on days out sketching and painting back to my old favourite watercolours.
Currently working a series of 4 Abstracts - 2 of which are commissions and another of Dog. Also a bespoke Card. 


How did you decide to become an artist?

I’ve always loved sketching and being doing pencil drawings, so When a fiend suggested I joined her one afternoon to a class with Ian King a well known local artist who also had a programme on how to paint on T.V.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and went from there. As I do less hours I have found more time to peruse my painting.

What's the best advise you've been given as an artist?

Look at a subject whether photo or a scene in front of you - it doesn’t matter how you interpret it as everyone sees things differently - don’t try to copy another persons style just be yourself. (Look at Picasso & Van Gogh).  Experimenting is a lot of fun - some can appear to be a disaster and turn out as you best pictures.
As a beginner I would advice them to join a club - all artists are always willing to share there knowledge and experience and helpful it doesn’t matter how good you are.


What do you do when you are not creating?

I help run a Friut farm so it’s hands on at harvest time and through the year we pack Apples.  My family is quite large and are very important to me so I like spent time with all.
On holiday I have a A5 size book which I draw or paint in to record the day whether its doing illustrations of hotel signature Cocktail & written recipe or people chilling..........it’s my holiday diary then I send hand painted postcards to family and friends. 

What are your life and work goals for the future?

 I love learning new techniques and going to Workshops or Demonstrations of other artists - you pick up lots of tips and see other ways of tackling a subject. 
I hope that every painting I do whether a commissioned one or from gallery that the person will put on the wall and love it as much as I did creating it - as my husband (no.1 Fan)wants too keep them all!! 

Sally Anne you're currently exhibiting some of your original artwork here at The Orchard where else can we find your work?

Many thanks to Sally Anne Goodale for agreeing to be interviewed for The Orchard Tea Room and Farm Shop Blog. You can view Sally Anne's art daily 10am -4pm during March 2018 at:

The Orchard Tea Room and Farm Shop
Redmoor Lane
Wisbech
Cambs
PE14 0RN

Telephone: 07527 046184
Website: theorchardtearoom.co.uk Twitter: @OrchardTeaRoom Facebook: The Orchard Tea Room

Saturday, 10 March 2018

March Art at The Orchard ~ a collaboration by local artists Moira Johnson & Sally Anne Goodale



We have a treat for you this March as popular local artists Moira Johnson and Sally Anne Goodale present a collaborative art show here at The Orchard. 





Whilst this is Sally Anne's first art show here at the tea room Moira is one of our regular artists whose work has proved to be a great favourite with our customers. The exhibition runs  throughout the month of March and entry is free of charge. Do come along to support our local artists. 

Opening Hours 10am -4pm daily

Free entry

The Orchard Tea Room & Farm Shop
Redmoor Lane
Wisbech
Cambs
PE14 0RN

Telephone: 07527 046184

Website: theorchardtearoom.co.uk Twitter: @OrchardTeaRoom Facebook: The Orchard Tea Room

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Signs of Spring at The Orchard Tea Room Wisbech

It's been a long winter so far,  much colder than the last few years and very, very wet but here we are in February and there are signs of Spring showing in the orchard.


Clumps of snowdrops ~ Galanthus under the apple trees.

Galanthus comes from the Greek gala for milk and anthos for flower thus Milk Flower also known as Candlemas Bells they've dedicated to the Virgin Mary and are considered  to be a symbol of hope and purity.


Our cherry trees are in bud ~ although it seems light years away now it won't be that long before we're enjoying cherry blossom again, not in the scheme of things anyway.


And look what's showing  ~ rhubarb. A few more weeks and it will be rhubarb crumble time!



It might still be cold, wet and muddy but that doesn't stop our intrepid customers from enjoying the occasional February blue skies and sunshine. Look closely at the picture above and you'll see a kite flying over the orchard, surely another sign of Spring.



And when it gets too cold outside it's wonderfully warm and cosy in the tea room.


The Orchard Tea Room
Redmoor Lane
Wisbech
Cambs
PE14 0RN

Open daily 10am-4pm


Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Old Twelfth Night & Wassailing The Orchard


As far as we're aware our Fenland orchard was first wassailed in  2016, it was done later in the year then but the traditional day for the  Wassailing of orchards is Old Twelfth Night. 

Bread is hung in the trees and a libation of cider poured at the roots, shots fired through the branches and much noise made by the banging of pots and pans this is said to ward off evil spirits and encourage the apple trees into growth. 

Old Apple Tree, we Wassail thee
and hope that thou will bear
Hats full, caps full ,three-bushel bags full 
and a little heap under the stair.
 Hip Hip Hooray 

(Old Twelfth Night, 17th January, how come?

It's all to do with the change from the Julian to Gregorian Calendar in 1752 which resulted in the loss of 11 days with September 2nd being  followed by September 14th. There were huge protests and many folk refused to follow the new calendar.)

The Orchard Tea Room & Farm Shop
Redmoor Lane
Wisbech
Cambs
PE14 0RN

Open 10-4 daily