Tickets were retailed exclusively online through Chudleigh's website. Adult admissions were priced at $16 each, then subject to HST. I purchased on behalf of myself and the sleepy polar bear for the 12:30 PM slot. An early lunch in Streetsville was proposed to precede this event.
Conditions at the Square were ruthless: windy, chilly, and absolutely dreadful considering the inadequate layers I had donned. We strode about the venue for a brief moment, browsing the selection of retailers before retreating to the food stalls for early lunch.
At Indonesian's Flavour, we took to a four-piece Sate Ayam, Mie Goreng with Chicken, and Ronde. These were transferred to takeout containers and foil-lined packets to order.
Addicting was the Mie Goreng with its umami-filled soy-based seasoning. Shredded chicken rested atop the dish in a tangled cloud, providing protein though not necessarily contributing depth of flavour. After a few bites, I deemed the dish too greasy for my continued consumption. The noodle dish was best enjoyed in small quantities.
Ronde was, without hesitation, my pick of the trio. Delectable was its sweet ginger broth and fragrant was the peanut filling. While I must admit greater affection for the thinner casings of Chinese glutinous rice balls, the thicker shell of the Ronde prevented leakage of filling. Three mochi balls set us back a whopping eight dollars. I had intended to reserve the last piece for later enjoyment, only to have the sleepy polar bear inform me that it was disposed - by a third party no less! - in under twenty-four hours without consent. (Why can't people just ask?!)
Its menu board was devoid of descriptions, causing many patrons to inquire the constituents of each drink before proceeding with their order. Hot Chocolate Dreams was our choice: a hybrid of lemonade and hot chocolate that proved tastier than anticipated. Harmonious were the two contrasting profiles, delivering sweet warmth with a dose of zestiness. That said, neither of us were particularly keen on its sugariness, which could have been reduced by 25-30%.
Black paper wristbands were distributed, then through the gates we entered.
"Of course!" I retorted. "This is an entertainment farm. Did you not check the website? And here you were saying that we wouldn't 'need three hours'.".
Plum-like in appearance, we were unable to find ripe ones for picking without venturing into the upper branches. The ones available for picking were of a vibrant ruby. Beyond thin, spotted skin was juicy, tart flesh. The Mini Kerrs were compact in size and rather dense, harnessing a spectacular amount of moisture within and making them ideal for lunchbox snacks rather than desserts.
As we entered the gift shop, more items caught our attention - or rather, mine.
As we were to continue roaming the grounds, yellow zip ties were provided to denote paid status of apples and cider. Pain persisted, but I was reluctant to risk being denied re-entry as we had overstayed our 3-hour limit.
The stalls adopted the form of deep, narrow compartments separated by white, wooden planks. Within each stall was a platform on which the toilet rested. Toilet paper dispensers were installed on the stall walls, as with any other restroom. Door handles had been affixed using screws and weren't all that secure; I had, in fact, pulled off the handle of a stall before hurriedly shoving the screws back in the depression marks. The locks were finnicky and didn't slide into the lock holders well, causing some stalls to appear vacant when they were actually occupied.
Two mirrors were positioned about the handwashing area, rather than directly in front. Over a slanted, rectangular Stainless steel sink, I rinsed my hands under cold water, roughly dried them with brown paper tower, then shivered back into gloves immediately.
The slide was wide enough to fit two people, thus I hesitated not and grabbed my partner-in-crime. We descended onto a cushiony foundation of hay. Pleasantly walkable and easy to maneuver, we tiptoed over reinforced haystacks, found a staircase-like cutout, and exited without remorse having experienced the last area of interest.
- Admission prices were extremely reasonable for the broad range of activities offered.
- The farm presented entertainment beyond apple picking and assumed a venue was suitable for all ages, from kid-friendly attractions such as farm animals and slides to adult-appropriate fall festivities such as cider sipping.
- Apple varieties were diverse, yet not necessarily fresher than other farms (with arguably lower appeal factors). A handful of our picks were bruised or rotten, entailing a decent amount of discard.
- The Apple Factory's cider remains the best: Chudleigh's isn't costly, but is simply too sweet.
We were eventually seated around 6:40 PM and provided utensils, water, and napkins well after the arrival of kimchi.