Featured images

Apple Affair
29 and 30 September

BOOK YOUR TICKETS ONLINE NOW FOR 29 - 30 SEPTEMBER 2012

Advance tickets can now be purchased in the West Dean Gardens shop, crafts shop and reception.
PLEASE NOTE NO DOGS ALLOWED AT EVENTS EXCEPT ASSISTANCE DOGS ON EVENT WEEKENDS.

Download the Apple Affair 2012 show handout here to see what will be taking place.

Both West Dean College and Gardens will be open during the Apple Affair on 29 – 30 September. Visitors can take a look around the elaborate state rooms which are only open to the public once a year and view a surrealist themed art exhibition. Outside in the gardens there will be an array of stalls, apple displays, food demos and walks and talks suitable for all the family. Highlights of this event are:

- Art exhibition
- House opening
- Appley stands and products
- Apple Doctor
- Food demos
- The Big Draw competition

West Dean’s Curator Sharon Michi-Kusunoki will bring together a group of artists for a special exhibition at West Dean’s annual House Opening. Inspired by the title of Leonora Carrington’s fantastical novel ‘The Hearing Trumpet,’ these artists have taken the existing fabric of the House and are reassembling, remapping and retelling it in the form of a die-cut book. The exhibition will juxtapose the absurd with the everyday in an attempt to create new ways of seeing, as objects appear and merge into the tapestry of the collection.

Alongside this exhibition inside West Dean House, which was once home to Edward James and is now a College specialising in all aspects of arts, crafts, conservation and making, visitors will be able to see the three state rooms: the Old Dining Room; the Music Room and the Old Library, all furnished with art and antiques, plus the vast Oak Reception Hall, as well as learning more about the history of the house and the people who have lived there.


Outside in the gardens visitors can discover and taste apples of every shape and size. Bring along apples from your own garden to be identified by one of the apple experts at the show or if your apples aren’t doing so well, bring an apple, a bit of the branch and some of the leaf to our ‘apple doctors’. “Unfortunately, the volume of apple crop will be well down this year, probably by 25% compared to 2011, which it should be noted, was a year of very good yields and of excellent visual and eating quality. However, if we look back to 2010, a more average year, total yields are possibly only down by 15%”, says The English Apple Man.

As UK apples will be in short supply this year food writer Rosemary will choose her favourite recipes to make the fruit go further in a series of demos throughout the weekend. Comfort foods, tangy preserves and saucy savoury one-pan meals will all make the most of the apples that we have.

This is a family event for all ages, with stallholders offering an array of apple based foods and drinks to taste and buy, as well as activities for the children including a bouncy castle, organised by West Dean Primary School lots of apple related games and the ever popular Big Draw drawing competition.

Join The Big Draw 2012 at West Dean’s Apple Affair
The Big Draw has one aim: to get everyone drawing!

Why? Drawing helps us to think, invent and communicate – regardless of age and ability. Held throughout October, The Big Draw is the Campaign for Drawing's flagship national event, which aims to bring communities together in fun, creative ways. More than 1,500 venues take part every year, from nursery schools to national museums.
This year at West Dean’s Big Draw Competition, there will be 4 age groups 0-6, 7-11, 12 -16, and over 16s. Winners will be notified by 7 October.

Gift aid admission to the Apple Affair is £11.50 for adults plus concessions and £1 for a child. Take advantage of the 15% off early bird offer by purchasing your tickets before the 17 September. The event is open between 10.30am and 5pm (last entry for the house is 4.30pm.) Please note, no dogs are allowed in the event or grounds during the Apple Affair, except assistance dogs. Access to restaurant and shop to event ticket holders only.

Ideas and Tips

Find us - West Dean aerial view

Useful ideas and tips from the gardeners at West Dean.

Find out more

How to Find Us

Find us - West Dean aerial view

West Dean College and Gardens are situated in South East England, six miles north of the historic city of Chichester and 12 miles from the south coast.

Find out more
Related information

Meet the Gardeners

Meet the Gardeners

Fruit Collections

Fruit Collections