As October rolled around I (and my American flatmates) became increasingly homesick for the States; which celebrates Fall like it’s a 3-month-long holiday. We talked at length about our love for apple pies, doughnuts, pumpkins, and all things autumn inspired. One of our friends decided she would take a day trip to a nearby farm to pick apples and pumpkins, and invited us to come along. With a bit of help from search engines we settled on Hewitts Farm near Orpington Kent.
We took a train from London into Orpington and began what we would later discover was a needlessly dirty trek to the farm. We walked along quiet country roads to a narrow and steep footpath leading to a gold course. Standing on top of the hill looking over the golf course we stopped to ask each other if this was really the right way, it wasn’t. But we pressed on anyway, avoiding the green as much as possible.
The paths became wetter and muddier, at some points we were wading ankle deep in mud. At a few narrow points I was pulling thorns out of my jeans from the overgrown bushes. I couldn’t help but laugh at our situation, there was no way we had this right.
When we arrived at the farm the skies were blue and the weather was beautiful. We threw off our jackets and beelined towards the apple trees. The air felt crisp and fresh and we all breathed easy, feeling good about being out of the city for a day. We spent a long time going through countless rows and varieties of fresh apples. We filled our bags and talked about all the things we were excited to bake with them. Or to be more specific, how excited they were for me and my friend to bake. (It seems we’ve become the designated chefs - no complaints here!)
Once we all had more apples than we could ever eat we headed back to the farm stand to take a look at the pumpkins. I grabbed a pumpkin and some butternut squash, others bought zucchini and other produce. No sooner than we had reached the stand the skies opened up and rain fell in sheets. We all looked at each other with the same mortified expression which said - ‘we have to walk that muddy path in this’.
After a few moments of silence someone suggested we call for a cab, and we unanimously agreed. Forgetting to mention how many of us there were when we called, the driver arrived with fewer seats than needed. We piled into each others laps and crammed into the back of the cab. After a brief chat with the driver he clued us into the fact that there was a short, easy, paved route to walk to the farm.
On the train ride home we found ourselves on an otherwise empty train, so we did what any self-respecting people would do and blasted Taylor Swift through our phones while dancing around the train car.
In total the trip - train rides, apples and pumpkins included - cost us next to nothing. It was a fun and inexpensive day out. When I arrived back in London I baked a large apple crisp; some friends arrived at our flat with ice cream and we all devoured it together.