Raymond Blanc at the Royal Bath & West Show

He was trying to find the best cider from a total of 500 entrants, in what is said to be the biggest cider competition in the world.

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Raymond said it was "marvellous" to see Somerset "reconnecting and reinventing" the craft of cider making. He was principal judge at this year's cider show and was tasked with the interesting job of choosing a winner from a record 497 cider entries. Eventually, the judges chose a sparkling cider by Totnes makers Ashridge as the overall winner, although Somerset cidermaker Julian Temperley's Burrow Hill cider topped the 150-strong farmhouse class.

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