Press Release: Apple Affair, celebrate the British Harvest at West Dean Gardens

West Dean Gardens' Apple Affair is a celebration of the best of the British autumn harvest including the impressive apple harvest from West Dean's own orchards and pumpkins and gourds from the Victorian Kitchen Garden. West Dean Apple Affair is held during the British Food Fortnight which runs from 19 September to 4 October 2015. Visitors can bring their own apple varieties along for identification and shop at around 30 artisan stalls offering seasonal produce and products. Live music throughout the weekend will be provided by Lady & The Dukes , FB Pocket Orchestra, The Kites and Steel Strum, and other local bands.

New for this year, the Apple Affair features craft and cooking workshops in the marquee including professional florist Matthew Spriggs who will guide you through the creative process of making a beautiful and unique autumnal display to take home. Make a Floral Table Centrepiece using gourds, crab apples, seasonable berries and foliage (£15 Adult 1½ hours 11.30am and 2.30pm Saturday 3 October).

Budding and experienced cooks will be able to pick their own pot-grown beetroot from the Kitchen Garden to use to prepare a seasonal dish with Ben Goldsmith of The Hungry Guest, Petworth. Make your own Beetroot & Apple Pickle (£12 Sunday 4 October 11.30am and 2.30pm).

Gardening enthusiasts will be able to join in tours around the West Dean Gardens' orchards. The fruit collection features over 100 varieties of apple and 45 varieties of pears, including heritage varieties such as Court Pendu Plait, Peasgood Nonsuch and Lemon Pippin, many with links to West Sussex.

Children's activities will include storytelling and apple fun and games.

Local countryside enthusiasts Jackie Herrington and Michael Boxall, woodman and author of 'A Woodman's Lot', will be leading walks around the West Dean Estate to give visitors the opportunity to experience the breathtaking landscape at the heart of the South Downs. (11am and 3pm Saturday and Sunday).

Visitors to Apple Affair will be able to explore the award-winning West Dean Gardens in all its autumnal glory. A highlight is the recently renovated Sunken Garden situated at the eastern end of the spectacular 300 foot Edwardian Pergola. Don't forget the peaceful Spring Garden, where visitors can stroll and view the rustic summerhouse, restored to its early 19th century glory with moss walls, seaweed decorations, heather ceiling and thatched roof.

Apple Affair (3 and 4 October) Open10am to 5pm (Last entry 4.30pm).

Early Bird prices from £8.25 (Standard £9.00) Adult for either Saturday or Sunday £1 Child (Age 5-15).

Saturday 3 October 11.30am and 2.30pm Make a Floral Table Centrepiece £15 Adult

Sunday 4 October 11.30am and 2.30pm Make your own Beetroot & Apple Pickle workshop £12 Adults. Each workshop is limited to 20 places so early online booking is advised.

Garden walks and orchard tours are FREE. Dogs are welcome on short leads.

To book tickets and workshops visit


Notes to editors

  • For more on British Food Fortnight visit
  • West Dean Gardens is part of The Edward James Foundation which also comprises West Dean College, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
  • West Dean Gardens are open from 1 February - 21 December supported by events in the grounds. Remaining events in 2015 include: Half term week Halloween activities (26 - 31 October) and Father Christmas visits 12 - 13 and 19 - 20 December.
  • Photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • Any journalist interested in visiting the Gardens, attending a course or an event for news or review purposes should contact the Media Relations Team.
  • West Dean College and Gardens are situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.

Media contact information

Media contact information

Irene Caswell, Senior Media Relations Officer +44 (0)1243 818301