While I was off gallivanting in Scotland with my sister, David was off exploring the English Countryside with a friend. Thanks to a recommendation from Chef Philip of Hix Oyster & Fish House, David went out in search of a local distillery in the hills of Somerset. Judging by his pictures and the luscious liquid he brought back with him, we decided to take my in-law’s there for a boozy day on the farm before heading to dinner in Lyme Regis.
Somerset Distillery has been making cider, and just about every other type of liquid you can make from apples for over 150 years. In the main house, there are barrels of hard cider, both medium and dry. The village locals come in with their clear plastic jugs and fill up their containers, drop 4 quid on the desk and get back on the road. Most faces seemed familiar to the staff and between their own potato chips made with cider vinegar and sea salt, the cider and the animals, I could have stayed their for hours. The ciders, juice, brandies and aperitifs were enticing, and the 150 acres of orchard (home to over 40 varieties. of apples) was impressive, however after seeing the pictures from the previous visit, I had come for one thing and one thing only…. the pig. Our friend Paul took a photo of the pig and when I set eyes on his picture, I fell in love with her…all of her. When we arrived at the distillery, we grabbed a couple pints of cider and ventured out into the orchards in search of miss piggy. After walking around the orchard for almost an hour, there was no pig to be found and I was getting discouraged. She doesn’t really blend in with the scenery, and sticks out like a sore thumb among the sheep, roosters, turkeys, chickens, and horses. Just as I started to give up hope, I heard a loud snore from 25 yards away. Sure enough, she was in her home the whole time, snoring up a storm. Meet Bertha.