Wassail at The Ethicurean, Barley Wood Orchards- Friday 21st January

Credit- Bill Bradshaw


Here’s to thee, old apple tree, That blooms well, bears well. Hats full, caps full, Three bushel bags full, An’ all under one tree. Hurrah! Hurrah!

It’s time once again to ward off those evil spirits, satisfy the green man and feed the robin.

Question-‘Ere, what goes on at a Wassail?

Answer- Farm workers and west-country ruffians carrying lanterns, a pail and pitcher flagons full of cider, horns and one designated shot gun shooter will gather in-front of the oldest and most prolific tree. This tree is known as the Apple Tree Man and is feted as the guardian of the orchard. Cider or beer is poured onto its roots and pieces of soaked toast or cake are put in the branches for the robins – guardian spirits of the trees. Often the tips of the lowest branches are drawn down and dipped into the pail of cider. A Wassail King and Queen lead the Barley Wood song, the Wassail Queen will then be lifted up into the boughs of the tree where she will place toast soaked in Wassail from the Clayen Cup as a gift to the tree spirits (and to show the fruits created the previous year). Next the Wassailers fill their earthenware cups with cider and toss it into the branches. They then refill their cups and drink and sing a toast to the tree.To drive away evil spirits and wake up the sleeping trees, cow horns are blown, trays and buckets beaten and shotguns fired into the upper branches – as much noise as possible is made.

Sounds Bloomin’ marvellous don’t you think?

Gates will open at 7pm with the ceremony beginning at 7.30pm. Wassail will be in the Orchard, there is no cover so wrap warm with plenty of waterproof clothing.

We will be organising a coach from the Harbourside Restaurant next to The Watershed, email us if you are interested in hopping on!

Barley Wood Wassail- 7.30pm-til late



Local Beers

Mulled Apple juice

Splendid soft drinks

Excellent food.

Tel. 01934 863713 for more details.



2 thoughts on “Wassail at The Ethicurean, Barley Wood Orchards- Friday 21st January

  1. Just a note to say WOW! What a great Wassail! We had such a good time last night. We loved the Wassail ceremony and especially the mummers play which was funny and relevant – we loved the fire circle.

    A great crowd, a great atmosphere for all ages. A real connection to the land and history.

    We left early though as there was nothing for non meat eaters to eat by the time we got to the front of the queue, the wait was way too long for the band and we gave up on a drink, too much of a crush at the bar – we gave up and went to the pub.

    Thanks to everyone who worked hard to make it a great night.

    1. Hi Sally,

      We’re really pleased that you enjoyed our first Barley Wood Wassail. Unfortunately all of the veggie options sold out early on and next time we will be getting the band on a little earlier.

      Thank you very much for attending, we hope to see you at Barley Wood again soon.

      The Ethicureans

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