It’s a cold and wet day, but I decide not waste it, but heading on down to the Orchard Festival. This will be my first trip to Camley Street Nature Park. Off the bus at Kings Cross, I walk north, past all the new, posh H.Q. of the Guardian and Independent, and after quickly getting lost down on the canal, I find the entrance to the park, hidden within a patch of trees.
Through the entrance, there are a few cosy looking wooden huts, and a cider bar. I decide to check out the lay of the land first, before attacking the bar. It’s a mini forest walk with pond and a view over the canal. Today it’s full of families with children. I should have brought my waxed jacket and wellies. After many trees, I quicken my pace to get back to the cider bar.
On the way back I see a chap with some kind of torture machine attached to a table. It’s an apple peeler and the aim is to cut the longest length of peel. I give it a go, but my peel snaps before it’s finished and I’m promptly beaten by a small child, next in the queue. I console myself with the knowledge that I could probably drink this kid under the table in a cider-drinking contest, and head off to the bar, for some warm-up exercises. The ciders are by London Glider Cider. I see bottles of cider, perry and a crab apple cider! However, on draft are a medium and a dry. At £3, it’s a reasonable price for a London pint, and I curate a glass of the medium through the darting children, to a peaceful bench overlooking the canal, and risk a wet arse to sit and enjoy it. Thinking about it, sitting alone on a wet park bench, drinking cider on a rainy day would normally cost me 79p.
The London Glider Medium is flat and hazy, pale yellow-green. It smells quite fruity, with a hint of public toilet hand soap. the taste is just right, not too sweet, not too dry, very, erm medium. The apple taste is sharp, this is almost like drinking fresh apple juice, but with a nice warming feeling from the tannins, rather than an ‘aftertatse’.
Warmed up after the first pint, I make a purchase from the food hall (shed) where all kinds of wholesomely unhealthy looking cakes and quiches are on display, and then it’s back tot he bar to try the dry. I learn that the Glider Cider is made from lots of unwanted apples from London gardens. The nice chaps from Glider come and collect your garden apples, that would otherwise fester and attract wasps, and they turn them into cider. Even crab apples, most cider varieties don;t make good eating, so that makes sense.
Back on my wet seat, I try the dry cider and it’s not bad at all, with the same crisp apply taste, just…drier.
It’s getting cold now, as I watch the Disco Volante sail by, and crash into the canal wall. Oops, how embarrassing. I decide to get a few of the bottles, including the crab apple, for further analysis at the ciderlab, before heading off to the bus stop. Shame it’s a Sunday.
Verdict: 5/5 for a truly local cider