Press Release: Not just a load of old cobblers, Apple Affair at West Dean Gardens

West Dean Gardens' successful Apple Affair returns on 1 and 2 October with live folk music and cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs. The weekend event celebrates the best of the British harvest including apples and pears, and pumpkins and gourds, from the Victorian walled kitchen garden at West Dean. Making their debut at West Dean will be the 'folk-pop, indie, foot-tapping' Keston Cobblers. "Every song is an absolute killer…They're terrific" (Dermot O'Leary, BBC Radio 2).

Budding cooks will be in for a treat as Jean-Christophe Novelli, the 5 out of 5 AA Rosette and multi Michelin Star celebrity chef, will be cooking up a storm in the Cookery Theatre using classic autumn ingredients. Novelli appears regularly on television including popular BBC1 show, Countryfile, and ITV's Loose Women and This Morning.

West Dean Apple Affair is held during the British Food Fortnight which runs from 17 September to 2 October 2015. Visitors can bring their own apple varieties along for identification by expert growers and shop for seasonal produce at around 30 artisan stalls.

Gardening enthusiasts will be able to join in tours around West Dean Gardens' orchards. The fruit collection features over 150 varieties of apple and pears including heritage varieties with Sussex links such as Golden Pippin, the first recorded apple at Palmer Park, Storrington in 1629. Children's activities will include craft workshops, apple fun and games.

Visitors to Apple Affair will be able to explore the award-winning West Dean Gardens which is marking 25 Years of Glorious Gardening in 2016. In the wake of the Great Storms of 1987, husband and wife team, Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain, have been transforming West Dean into award-winning gardens since 1991.During that time they have revitalised the 19th century landscape including the 13 Victorian glasshouses which are the jewel in the crown of the walled garden. A photographic display illustrating the highlights of the gardens' renovation is open in the renovated 'mushroom shed' (1 April to 30 September). Free entry with an event ticket.

Apple Affair (1 and 2 October)

Open10.30am to 5pm (last entry 4.30pm). SAVE 20% and book Early Bird tickets online from £10 (Standard £12.50) Adult for either Saturday or Sunday £1 Child (Age 5-15). Workshops at extra cost. To book tickets and workshops visit

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

Notes to editors

  • For more on British Food Fortnight visit
  • Keston Cobblers
  • Jean-Christophe Novelli
  • 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.
  • Photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • 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

For further information, high-resolution digital images of filming opportunities contact

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


West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ