I love summer! It promises of hot sunny days at the beach (if we’re lucky), longer evenings and lots of barbecues. The other thing I love about the summer is the taste of juicy ripe strawberries.
Strawberries are of course available all year round in the supermarkets, but they just taste bland at any other time of the year. It is during the summer months that the humble British strawberry really comes into its own.
In the pursuit of a punnet of juicy red strawberries, we headed to Hendrewennol Farm where you can pick your own. Based not far off the A48 outside of Cowbridge, Hendrewennol grows a selection of seasonal fruit including raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries and pumpkins.
We headed straight to the strawberry fields, punnets in hand. There were rows and rows of strawberries and with the sun beating down it looked more like a scene from rural Provence rather than Wales.
The kids loved the whole experience. As with everything we do it became quite competitive between them to see who could find the biggest and redest strawberry. It was hard to drag them away from the fun of the picking but with two full punnets of strawberries we were pretty sure we had enough to last us.
After the strawberry picking we headed to the picnic area where there were a couple of tables and umbrellas providing some much needed shade. We had taken our lunch with us, but if we hadn’t we could have ordered some light bites or sandwiches from the nice onsite café and farm shop.
The picnic area has some play zones to keep the little ones entertained. There is a shaded sand pit, some willow tunnels and hideouts and an area with some hay bales creating a climbing area. All of mine loved the hay bales and they played there for ages until in the end the hay was just too itchy for them.
Walking on past the gooseberry fields there is another area where the kids can make their own wigwam den structures. At certain times of the year there is a maze to go round, but it wasn’t open on our visit.
What we as a family love about Hendrewennol, is that it is just a lovely chilled out place to visit for a couple of hours. It is all about having some good old fashioned fun in the countryside without any unnecessary frills or gimmicks. The kids also get to learn about seasonal produce and source their food from a real farm rather than just picking it up already packaged at the supermarket.
To finish off our afternoon there we called back into the café and had an ice-cream to cool down. There was a great selection of ice-cream, many of which, like the raspberry jam ice-cream, are made with produce grown at the farm.
We went home after a really enjoyable afternoon to enjoy our strawberries with even more ice-cream and then finally polished them off the next morning with some waffles and yogurt.
I have to say, they were hands down the best strawberries I have ever tasted. I’m looking forward to going back next time to try out the raspberries too.
For more information visit the website: www.hendrewennol.com