Today was the Apple Affair at West Dean Gardens (which we visited last weekend). Appropriately, the Big Apple Dress made its long-awaited debut there! I finished stitching the hem last night. The event is centred around the walled orchard containing a collection of 100 different kinds of apple, including many Victorian varieties.
In addition to the walled kitchen gardens, West Dean House (now a college specialising in Arts & Crafts - if I was rich I'd love to take some of their courses, and normally closed to the public) was open, and we were able to see the entrance hall and three state rooms: the Music Room, the Library and the Dining Room (sounds like something out of Cluedo!).
It did rain for much of the afternoon, but not too heavily. We enjoyed it all the same - never have you seen so many apple-related products and activities, from apple-tasting to cider, juice, apple pie, toffee apples, an apple recipe book (which we bought and my sister promptly stole. Though to be fair she'll probably give us some of whatever she makes!)...
Dress, handmade by me from a late 30s pattern; Cherry umbrella and hair flower, New Look; Bangles, H&M; Belt, Topshop via ebay; 50s handbag, ebay. Photography by Mr Matin.
No fruit is more to our English taste than the Apple. Let the Frenchman have his Pear, the Italian his Fig, the Jamaican may retain his farinaceous Banana and the Malay his Durian, but for us the Apple.
--Edward Bunyard, 'Anatomy of Dessert'.