Record numbers attend Apple Affair

Janine Maxwell and daughter Marsha of the Fishbourne Mill Morris take a break. ''C111566-1
Janine Maxwell and daughter Marsha of the Fishbourne Mill Morris take a break. ''C111566-1

Forget the autumn – summer was still in full swing when West Dean Gardens held its annual Apple Affair.

And the weather certainly ‘a-peel-ed’ as a record 6,200 visitors flooded through the gates to enjoy the beautiful gardens and celebrate the apple – and also the pear – in all its glory.

There were plenty of activities on offer such as apple bobbing and demonstrations of apple pressing.

There were more than 100 different varieties of apple over the weekend and experts on hand so visitors could get plenty of apple advice.

Visitors also enjoyed live folk music thanks to various bands, while the merry Fishbourne Morris dancers provided a soundtrack of traditional tunes with their banjos and accordions.

There were also plenty of surreal surprises thanks to the art and antiques in West Dean House, which is open just once a year to the public.

Tours included the old dining room, the music room and old library as well as the grand oak reception hall, while the work of photographer Marco Sanges and painter Timur D’Vatz was also on show.

For those looking to get a bit more creative in the kitchen, there were a number of cookery demonstrations by food writer and cook Rosemary Moon.

Youngsters and adults could also show off their creative skills by taking part in the Big Draw with help from artist in residence Richard Barnes.