Now in its seventh year, Little Orchard Cider Festival has grown into a great way to finish the Cornish summer.

Because, despite what the experts might say – meteorologists and so on – I refuse to believe that summer is done until this festival has happened.

So, it is with some sadness that I must now finally acknowledge that the nights are starting to draw in and it’s probable that we’re not going to see temperatures beginning with a ‘two’ again for some months.

But, thankfully, the weather played its part in making this great festival at Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm in Penhallow a memorable final flourish.

With memories of the torrential conditions of two years ago long gone, this year things were pretty well sun-soaked on Friday and Saturday, even if the grey clouds did come in on Sunday.

This is The West Country:

Although there is plenty of great music on offer, this is truly a cider festival, with apple-based goodness from a variety of makers from across the south west, not least, of course, hosts Healeys, which took the opportunity to launch its new Pineapple Rattler at the event.

The Pineapple Beach bar celebrated this and was one of several new things to see and do this year.

Also being held for the first time was the Healeys Cyder Supper, which served as a reminder that festivals can be about more than over-indulgence and live music.

Taking place inside the farm’s cobbled courtyard, this was an intimate dining affair, hosted by Healeys staff who pour their passion into creating the ciders that we know and love – and some that we’re not as familiar with that you can only buy at the farm itself.

The experience paired different ciders with taster plates – Rattler-battered cod with a pea puree, Cornish pulled pork with Healeys apple sauce and apple crumble made with apples from the farm.

As our hosts detailed, while you might think about what type of wine to match with your food, you probably don’t think of cider in the same way.

And so this was a real eye opener and a terribly civilised interlude for a relaxed couple of hours early on Saturday evening and, to me, feels like something that Healeys could develop very nicely.

Music-wise this year’s festival had plenty on offer, with lots of local talent supporting the bigger names.

The BBC Introducing Stage showcased upcoming acts, some of which you’ll have seen around Cornwall already, such as Suzie Mac, while one of the big highlights on this stage was Imperial Leisure, who blew crowds away last year with their upbeat ska-led party vibes and came back for more to headline Saturday night (although they really don’t fit into the ‘Introducing’ vibe having been formed originally back in 2001).

This is The West Country:

However, one problem was that they clashed with Main Stage headliners The Zutons on Saturday night and, so, having seen Imperial Leisure twice before, this reviewer took the opportunity for a somewhat belated first experience of the Liverpool band that became famous in the noughties.

And I’d really forgotten how good they were.

Playing their first album, Who Killed…The Zutons, to mark the 15th anniversary of its release, plus a couple of other crowd-pleasers – including, of course, Valerie, ¬ the band, who have reunited for their first tour in a decade, put in the sort of polished and flawless performance that only seasoned bands can pull off.

In front of a packed main stage, they delivered a hit-packed set that reminded us all of their talents.

This is The West Country:

Earlier in the day William the Conqueror, Thrill Collins and King Creature were among the wide range of genres on offer, while it can’t be a cider festival without Belfast Busker delivering his foot-stomping tunes. Needless to say, the arena was full for his mid-afternoon show.

This is The West Country:

It also can’t be a cider festival without westcountry favourites The Wurzels, who also drew a big crowd on Friday evening ahead of Reef bringing the curtain down on a cracking first day – even if, in all honesty, singalong favourite Place Your Hands did stand out a mile in a set that felt a little unremarkable otherwise.

This is The West Country:

The tunes kept on coming right through to close of play on Sunday, with Mad Dog Mcrea making for a high-energy finish.

With everything else that’s on offer – from circus workshops to yoga, wild foraging, the entertaining Rattler Olympics, Silent Disco, intimate Dragonfly Stage and the Grandma’s Sofa Derby – there’s no better way to finish the Cornish summer.

This is The West Country:

Super Early Bird Weekend Camping Tickets for 2020 will be available to buy on Tuesday. For further information on Little Orchard Cider & Music Festival and to purchase tickets visit www.cornwallciderfestival.co.uk