Sheppy’s is one of the oldest and most distinguished cider making families in the world – with a rich history that spans six generations and 200 years. Now that centuries-old heritage, tradition and passion for cider has been brought spectacularly to life – as the wraps are taken off Sheppy’s stunning new showpiece visitor centre, farm shop and deli, and restaurant.
Sheppy’s House of Cider & Fine Food pays homage to the Sheppy family’s passion for crafting real cider, and love of fine food. Every room has been painstakingly renovated, and each has a nod to cider-making – past and present. New life has been breathed into old apple pressing rooms, and even an oak vat has been converted into a unique outside venue. This bespoke development at the family farm at Three Bridges, Bradford-on-Tone in Somerset, will also include cider tours – and is set to put Sheppy’s firmly on the map as the cider destination in the UK.
Sheppy’s House of Cider and Fine Food is made up of a Deli and Farm Shop, a Cider Tasting area, and the Apple Bay Bar and Restaurant. Each offers the finest local artisan produce and Sheppy’s cider. The Farm Shop houses an on-site bakery delivering freshly baked bread, and a butchery selling Sheppy’s own Longhorn beef, as well as other local traditional breed meats. Fine foods dominate the Deli including artisan cheeses and pastries; while the shelves will also be stacked with Somerset chutneys and jams.
Visitors will be able to soak up the history in the handsome new Apple Bay Bar and Restaurant, now housed in the former apple pressing rooms. Locally sourced food and drink are a feature of the cafe and restaurant. The venue will also be open in the evenings offering a contemporary and cosy atmosphere in which to enjoy local beers, spirits – and of course, Sheppy’s ciders. Guided tours and tastings are available on a daily basis, including a VIP tour option for small groups, who will do their tasting inside an old oak vat.
The new development embraces Sheppy’s impressive heritage. Huge cider making vats have pride of place in the farm shop, and a stone’s throw away from the Apple Bay Bar and Restaurant proudly sits one of Sheppy’s 100-year-old oak vats. This piece of Sheppy history has been completely transformed into a quirky venue – offering visitors the ultimate cider setting for private get-togethers and celebrations.
Louisa Sheppy, who has masterminded the re-development, said: “It has been quite a journey to restore and renovate our old buildings to give them a new lease of life – but the effort has been well worth it. We are thrilled with the end result; it has exceeded all of our expectations, and will offer visitors a wonderful Somerset cider experience, alongside the chance to sample and buy some incredible food and drink, including Sheppy’ cider. We are so proud of our heritage, and House of Cider is a fitting celebration of that passion and history – a new and unique cider destination for the UK.”
To mark the opening of House of Cider, Sheppy’s will be launching a limited edition cider – Sheppy’s Iwood. This new cider includes apples grown at Iwood Farm, near Congresbury. There, 200 years ago, David’s great, great, great grandfather, John Sheppy, originally farmed and made cider. Apples from these trees are still growing at Iwood, and some were hand-picked by David and his family back in October 2015. They have been incorporated into the blend, along with vintage quality apples from Three Bridges. These 750ml, hand labelled and waxed bottles are beautifully presented in wooden boxes, and will only be available to buy from House of Cider.
Tasting Tours begin at £5 for a half an hour tasting, tour packages start at £10 and the VIP package is priced at £35, including a two-course meal at the Apple Bay Bar and Restaurant.