Thursday, 12 July 2018

Apple Snow recipe ~ Snow in summer!

It's been so very hot these last few weeks, time to appreciate a little snow in summer ~ in this case Apple Snow for dessert!


500 grams (1 lb) Bramley apples, peeled, cored and sliced.

50 grams (2 ozs) caster sugar.

2 tablespoons water.

2 egg whites.

Grated rind & juice of half a lemon.

Place sliced apples in a saucepan with the water and sugar, bring to the boil then simmer gently for approximately 15 minutes until the Bramleys are fluffy.

Blend to a puree and leave to cool.

When the apple mixture is cool whisk the egg whites until stiff before folding into the apple puree along with the juice & rind of the lemon.

Serve spooned into individual glass bowls.

Nice with sponge fingers. 

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Art at The Orchard ~ Mary Win Art by Rosemary Ladeji

Throughout the month of July Rosemary Ladeji of Mary Win Art is exhibiting a selection of her original art work in our tea room. Do pop by and take a look at this local artist's work. Entry is free and we're open daily 10-4.

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

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Apple and strawberry pie ~ recipe

We've been waiting until the English strawberries were in to share this customer recipe for a strawberry and apple pie.


Pack of ready made shortcrust pastry

7 dessert apples (we suggest Royal Gala but our customer uses whatever she happens to have in her fruit bowl)

500 grams strawberries, washed, plugged & halved

2 tablespoons sugar + additional sugar for sprinkling on the pastry crust

Beaten egg for glazing


Peel, core & quarter the apples.

Put the apples in a saucepan with the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water, par cook until water is absorbed, watch carefully so the apples don't burn. Remove from heat and add the strawberries, leave to cool while you prepare the pie crusts.

Roll out the pastry and line your greased pie dish with half the pastry reserving the other half for the pie lid.

Spoon the cooled fruit mixture into the pie, top with pastry, seal edges, make a hole in the centre for steam to come out.

Glaze with beaten egg, sprinkle with sugar and cook in a pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes Gas Mark 4, 180c, 350f until the pastry is golden brown.

Remove from the oven, serve warm or cold. Very nice with ice cream.  


Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Georgian Apple and Rose Petal Pie ~ Recipe

Apple pie is a great favourite served with custard or cream but have you ever heard of apple and rose petal pie? No, neither had we until a customer kindly shared this recipe with us:


225 grams (8ozs)  puff pasty 

675 grams (1 1/2lbs)  Bramley apples

125 grams (4ozs) granulated sugar + additional sugar for sprinkling on crust

Grated rind of 1/2 lemon

A handful of rose petals (scented), washed with the base pinched out.

3 cloves 

A blade of mace 

Beaten egg to glaze


Peel, core & slice the apples into thick slices.

Place the apple peel, cores, cloves and mace in a saucepan with enough water to cover them.

Bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Remove peelings, cloves and mace before dissolving 125grams of sugar in the syrup, leave to cool.

Put the apple slices in a pie dish, sprinkle the grated lemon rind on top then add the cooled syrup.

Next scatter the rose petals on top.

Roll a pastry lid and cover the pie, leaving a hole to allow steam out.

Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle lightly with sugar.

Put the pie dish on a baking tray and cook in a preheated over for 10 minutes on Gas Mark 8, 230c, 450f, followed by a further 30 minutes at Gas Mark 5, 190c, 375f.

Remove from oven and serve with clotted cream. 

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Bee Body Part a video for World Bee Day

It's World Bee Day so we thought we'd share this fun video about the structure and function of a bee's body parts.

Interesting use of a toilet brush!

Watch it, it's educational and great fun especially for children :

Bee Bodies: Structure and (Fun)ction from Bug Chicks on Vimeo.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Queen Anne's Lace

It's everywhere at this time of year, in the hedgerows, at the roadside, in the orchard, Queen Anne's Lace :

Queen Anne, Queen Anne, has washed her lace
(She chose a summer day)
And hung it in a grassy place
To whiten, if it may.

Queen Anne, Queen Anne, has left it there,
And slept the dewy night,
Then waked to find the sunshine fair,
And all the meadows white.

Queen Anne, Queen Anne, is dead and gone
(She died a summer's day)
But left her lace to whiten on
Each weed entangled way. 

                                                                                                         Mary Leslie Newton 

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
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
PE14 0RN

Telephone: 07527 046184
Website: 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’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
PE14 0RN

Telephone: 07527 046184
Website: 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
PE14 0RN

Telephone: 07527 046184

Website: 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
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
PE14 0RN

Open 10-4 daily 

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Fieldfare in The Orchard

We have flocks of visiting Fieldfare in the orchard and luckily for customers they can currently be seen swooping across the green between trees from the tea room windows.

These wonderful birds, members of the Thrush family, visit us from Scandinavia each winter to feast upon our fallen apples. We're very lucky to see so many Fieldfare, Turdis pilaris, as they are an endangered bird being on the red list for UK conservation concerns which means that they are a species that require urgent conservation. 

Fieldfare will stay in the orchard throughout the winter, as long as there are apples for them to eat, before returning to Scandinavia around April time.

Be sure to visit us soon so you don't miss out on this wonderful sight.

Open 10-4 daily 

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

(First pic not ours, the other two are, credit

Friday, 12 January 2018

New Year New Art at The Orchard

We have an eclectic mix for January 2018 Art at The Orchard consisting of paintings by local artists


who have both exhibited in our tea room before.

And for something completely different we have 

wooden items from The WoodWitch
designed and made by husband and wife team Wayne and Rosemary Ladeja using reclaimed wood.

Open 10-4 daily throughout January

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