I took a day off for something which was then cancelled, so rather than waste the day a few of us took the opportunity to head to Perry’s Cider to have a look around their musuem and have a bit of a sample!
The works and museum are in the quiet village of Dowlish Wake, out in the countryside somewhere near Ilminster.
Even wandering slowly it doesn’t take long to look around the yard and the building housing the old machinery. I think they still use the machinery either for demonstrations or production runs, so if you go later in summer/autumn you should be able to watch them work. For us though the place was very quiet apart from the work going on in the adjacent bottling plant.
We arrived at about 1pm and after a bit of a walk around we thought it was a good time for lunch before looking in the little museum. The site has a modern yet sympathetic thatched building containing a tea room at one side and a shop at the other.
I can heartily recommend lunch at the tea room! From the specials board we all had a beef and mustard baguette, warmed, with a big salad and Burt’s Crisps. I cleared the plate. Lovely! Malcolm and I both love an apple crumble so when we saw the apple and summer fruits crumble on the board for £3 we had to have that too, with custard of course. Out comes this big portion with a liberal amount of custard, all nice and hot – I was getting full but had to finish it, it was so good!
One of the other highlights was the ability to buy a half or a pint of draught cider from the shop to accompany your meal. Of course, to know which cider you wanted you had to sample some from each of the 5 or 6 barrels..
Suitably stuffed we took a casual walk around the shop, lots of stuff there, the usual ‘farm shop’ foods and condiments as well as gifts and suchlike. Personally I was only really interested in the ciders! I walked off with a 4-litre tub of medium dry, that’s about 7 pints, straight from one of these huge barrels for the princely sum of £7.75. Naturally, after my pallette was coloured by the food I had to sample each of them again – and those from the many bottles – in order to choose the one I wanted to take away, after all, you have to remain properly informed.
Next to the production building is the old works which now houses a small museum of old bottles, jars, hand tools, a huge bellows, and all manner of other tools from 80-100 years ago! Sadly my photos from in here didn’t come out well, I’d messed up the camera settings after judging the light wrongly, and perhaps I was still suffering the effects of a few too many samples!
After that.. what better thing to do than to go back to the tea room for a nice coffee?
The wander around the yard and the museum is a nice relaxing way to spend a bit of time, but the tea room is worth the visit alone. Despite actually not being a whole lot there, we somehow managed to while away a good 2 or 3 hours and it didn’t feel it at all.
A great relaxing way to spend an afternoon. I recommend it.
Venue: Perry’s Cider
Location: Dowlish Wake, Ilminster, Somerset
Museum Price: Free
Facilities: Shop and tea room (both selling the full range of ciders plus cakes, sandwiches, etc)
Take a look at my other photos here.