The Elderflower Fields Big Family Picnic, At Home!

When: Sunday 24th May 2020 from 12.30pm
Where: Your house!

Those of you who have been to the festival will know that our Sunday family picnic is a highlight of the weekend and a tradition which we’ve maintained for the last 8 years! So we’re not planning to let a pandemic stop us this year…

On Sunday 24th May at 12.30pm, we’d love you to join us for a big family picnic at home.

WHAT IS THE PICNIC?

Since our very first festival, on the Sunday afternoon of Elderflower Fields, we’ve embarked on a slightly mad ambition to gather everyone together, sit down in a field and share one HUGE picnic!…

And, despite the logistical challenges involved, we’ve always managed to pull it off. Over the years it has become something of a trademark for us and for many is a highlight of the whole weekend. Everyone gets the picnic included in their ticket and we use it as an opportunity to showcase some of the wonderful local produce available to us here in Sussex.

The video below gives you a small taster of what it’s all about.

HOW TO TAKE PART

Prepare a feast (see our guide below), gather your family together at lunchtime on Sunday 24th May, and eat!

We’ll provide a soundtrack and some ideas to help make your picnic a little bit special. If the weather is fine and you have a garden or other outdoor space, then that’s perfect, but if it’s raining (side note, in 8 years of running Elderflower Fields it has, somewhat astonishingly, NEVER RAINED on the Sunday of the May bank holiday weekend in Sussex!) or you’re short on outdoor space, then your living room will do just fine.

Make some space and spread out a few blankets. Decorate with bunting or other festival bits if you can. Dress up in something special or your wildest fancy dress if you feel so inclined.

If you do picnic with us, we’d love it if you could share your experience. On the day tweet or share a photo on instagram and use #ElderflowerFieldsatHome

How to make your own Elderflower Fields family picnic…

Every year we change what goes into the picnic bag at the festival a little, but we are guided by one principle – we want the best local produce possible. When planning your picnic you can obviously include whatever you like, but why not see it as an opportunity to pull something a little special together? Below is a selection of suggested products and recipes, some from suppliers whose food we have previously included in the picnic.

Sourdough Bread

There’s nothing like a good loaf of artisan bread to anchor a meal. For our picnic we have been using The Sussex Kitchen, who deliver through most of Sussex, though any good quality loaf will do. Extra points if you make your own!…

Sussex Cheese

We’ve included at least one cheese from High Weald Dairy, a family run company producing award winning organic cheese, every year. Their organic Slipcote sheep’s cheese is perfect for spreading and you can buy online direct or from various independent retailers in the south east.

Chilli Jam

A perfect accompaniment to the bread and cheese is the chilli jam from Ouse Valley foods. A regular feature in our picnic, the jam adds just the right amount of zing to the bread and cheeses.

Wild Garlic and Wild Greens Pesto

The sharpness of a tangy pesto can really make the mouth water. We choose the Wild Garlic and Wild Greens pesto, lovingly made by Jane from Hedge Witch. This is locally foraged with natural ingredients and we just love that.

Pate

We love a freshly made pate to go with a chunk of bread. You may have your own favourite but we like something a little special and that’s why our picnic has a wonderful Hot Smoked Pate from Veasey & Sons Fish Mongers.

Hummus

The perfect kid friendly match for crunch carrots and cucumber, Lewes based Kabak Foods supply our picnic with a delicious, authentic hummus.

Crackers

Horsham Gingerbread make, perhaps unsurprisingly, delicious gingerbread biscuits. But they also make rather excellent thins for cheese.

The So Sussex Chocolate Cake

The recipe for the Swedish chocolate cake is a closely guarded family secret which we can’t share with you (really!). But there are lots of other great cake recipes out there. Here is a link to a tried and tested Kladdkaka recipe which will yield a pretty reliable treat for your picnic.

Elderflower Drinks

It’s simply not Elderflower Fields without some Elderflower! Our friends at Folkington’s have a selection of presses available widely, or if you fancy a super family activity, how about foraging and making your own Elderflower Cordial? A recipe from our very own Maria is available on the Muddy Stilettos website here.

Something to Drink…

Hi Everyone,

Chippy and Chand here from the Dragonfly Bar and The Cocktail Bar.

We hope you are all keeping safe and well during these times. We thought we’d share a very simple Cocktail recipe that we hope you can all prepare with ingredients you may already have, to enjoy with your picnic at home.

Apple, Elderflower and Gin Cocktail

Ingredients

250ml gin
200ml Elderflower Cordial
1l Cloudy Apple Juice
Crushed Ice
Apple slices to serve

Method

Simply mix the gin and cordial, then pour over ice, dividing between the number of glasses you are preparing (1 very large serving or 8 regular servings!).Top up with cloudy apple, then finish with the apple slices.Toast our NHS & Key Workers and Enjoy!

Entertainment…

Here to help recreate the festival vibe is a selection of performances and playlists for you to explore. See what takes your fancy, turn up the volume and have a little post-picnic boogie…

Spotify Playlists

We’ve been putting together themed playlists for the EF at Home newsletters and there’s a ‘best of’ Elderflower Fields especially for the picnic too. Check them out below.

The Ballad of Elderflower Fields

The MakeShift Ensemble would have been performing their magical theatre for us this weekend. The lovely Jac has written a beautiful ode to the festival and issues you with a creative challenge too! Watch her perform The Ballad of Elderflower Fields here.

We’ve shared this before, but it’s so good, we’re sharing it again. Another performer who would have been with us at Pippingford this May, David Gibb is guaranteed to get you and the kids up and dancing with a smile on your face!

Saturday 23rd May, 8.30pm

The superb Jive Aces were booked to entertain you during the picnic at this year’s festival. Join them for their weekly JiveStream of swing music and chat. Watch live on our Facebook page here.

Sunday 24th May, 2pm

If you came to Into the Trees last year you hopefully managed to catch Jolie Skye captivating the audience at the Campfire Sessions. Watch a special short set which she has recorded for us on our Facebook page here.

Sunday 24th May, 7pm

Possibly the only musician to have performed at every single festival, Geoff Robb will be performing his new ‘Music of the Trees’. Watch live via our Facebook page here.