At the open day at the arboretum at Sédelles that we visited recently, I picked up an intriguing leaflet about pomology (the science and study of apples). The sociéte pomologique du Berry was having a fête des pommes (Apple Fair) the last weekend in October. Well, you should know by now that I like my fêtes and since we have Caiti at home for the half-term hols from the big bad city, we thought we should remind her of the joys of the countryside. So off we went to the apple fair.
It was being held at Neuvy St Sepulchre up north in wealthy Indre. (Actually it was only forty minutes away, but there’s a noticeable difference between quiet rural Creuse, our department, and decidedly smarter Indre.) It was easy to spot where the fair was being held thanks to the wonderful appley decorations that looked good enough to eat.
Neuvy is famous for its 11th and 12th century basilica, which we had a look around after the fair. I’ll put those photos in now since I’ve mentioned it,
Now back to the apples. At the arboretum there had been an impressive display of different varieites of apples – a whole table full. Well, this time we had a whole hall full.
And not just apples, but also pears,
grapes and chestnuts.
It was fascinating.
We’d tempted Rors to come too with promises of tasty apple-based goodies to sample at the fair. Rors loves apples so even though the prospect of the journey was a little offputting (he still gets travel sick), he tagged along. And I was right about the goodies. Practically every stall was selling food – from fruit to chestnut cake to doughnuts – and there were apples being crushed to produce fresh apple juice. That was delicious.
They were obviously expecting a lot of very thirsty visitors, judging by the apples they had lined up waiting to be pulverised.
There was a coin pour enfants with some wooden puzzles, and another hall to visit, this one selling books and recipes. I was sorely tempted by a book about coings since I find them intriguing as well as very tasty, but we spent our money instead on apple beignets (fritters in this case). A wise decision.
There were plenty of fruit bushes and trees for sale but we need to do a bit of work on our young orchard before we add more trees to it so we resisted temptation.
A lot of work had gone into organising the fair and it was a pleasant way to spend an autumn Saturday afternoon. I probably won’t go rushing back every year, but I’ll be visiting again some time, if only for more of those beignets.
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