The summer season at Merridale is always a special time. The orchard is lush and green as our apple trees soak up rays of sunshine each day, and fruit begins to take shape. Our Farmhouse Eatery and Tasting Bar are bustling with guests, and our team is hard at work looking after the daily operations of our craft cidery and distillery. We invite you to visit us this summer for a tour, a cider tasting, and a leisurely afternoon or Sunday evening on our back patio overlooking the orchard. Here are 5 Hidden Gems of Summer at Merridale that you can take advantage of.
1 - Sunday Pizza Nights with Live Music
Back by popular demand, our Sunday Pizza Nights kicked off in June and take place every week through the summer. On Sunday evenings at Merridale, you can enjoy live music, brick-oven pizza pints of cold cider and artisanal cocktails in our Farmhouse Eatery or out on our covered patio. There are two seatings every Sunday, at 5pm and 7pm, and live music by talented local performers each week!
Pre-booking is required, so click here to see our line-up of artists and book your table.
2 - Retreat overnight for a glamping experience in one of our Yurts
The ultimate way to wake up is by way of Mother Nature’s alarm clock: Golden sunlight, birds chirping, and bees buzzing! That’s exactly how you’ll start the day after staying over in one of our two gorgeous yurts, situated in the orchard overlooking the pond.
The yurts are large, round, semi-permanent tents that don’t really feel like tents at all. They’re framed out, so there’s tons of space, and each one is completely decked out with a full Queen-sized, four-poster bed, claw foot tub, vintage armoire and private bathroom. They both have electricity and running water, crisp linens, and fluffy towels. You’ll feel like you’re at a resort but with no neighbours and the best view in the house.
3 - Find the Fairies, Gnomes, Elves and Hobgoblins in the Orchard
One little-known fact about the Merridale orchard is that it’s home to fairies, gnomes, elves and hobgoblins. Take a stroll through our orchard and keep your eyes peeled for these mystical creatures! They’re clever, mischievous, a little bit shy, and lightning fast - so you’ll have to really focus if you want to spot one.
We’re told they like to hang out near the bases of the apple trees. While you may not see the creatures themselves, you’ll almost certainly find evidence of their existence throughout the orchard like colourful mushroom caps and round portal doors…seeing is believing! Pick up an Orchard Adventure Map to help you log your findings.
4 - Escape the ordinary with a Red Wagon Picnic in our Orchard
Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary or upcoming nuptials, a Red Wagon Picnic is a perfect opportunity to share food, drinks, and laughs in a private area of our orchard reserved just for you. Play games, take photos, and enjoy some quality time together.
Here’s how it works: You tell us when you want to come to Merridale for an afternoon, and how many people you’ll be bringing. Choose your lunch items and drinks, plus any extras, and we will pack you the perfect picnic in our Merridale red wagon – Fresh, brick oven bread, salads, cheese, meats, and farm fresh pie are just a few of the items in this gourmet picnic wagon. For a Red Wagon Picnic, it must be at least ten people. (If your group is smaller than ten, you can still enjoy a self-guided orchard tour and then eat at our restaurant, which has a big covered patio and overlooks the orchard). Fill out a booking request form here.
5 - Shop local in our Farmhouse Store
Tucked away in the farmhouse next to our Tasting Bar and Eatery is an expansive retail shop, holding lots of unique and delicious handcrafted goods from local makers – including us. We make our own #MerridaleMakes craft pantry items, like Cyser mustard, apple onion chutney, pickled beans, and apple blossom honey. Perfect to take home and use on a charcuterie board, or give away as a locally-handcrafted gift. The concept of “craft” goes straight to the heart of who we are at Merridale, and we love supporting our neighbours and fellow craftspeople by carrying their products in our shop, too.