The Floral Fringe Fair in Sussex is something a little out of the ordinary. Run by Jean and Steve Jackman of Five Oaks Cottage fame it’s an unusual mix of nature, vintage cars, entertainment and local produce.
And in 2020 it has a new home – the recently re-opened Leonardslee Gardens.
Our last visit was in 2017, when the fair was at it’s old location, Knepp Castle, just south of Horsham.
The Burrell family home, designed by architect John Nash, provided a quintessentially English backdrop for the two day event.
It’ll be interesting to see what other dimensions the new location can offer.
Music at the Floral Fringe
Smooth blues, swing and jazz classics were the musical order of the day when we were there, enlivened by the folksy drum-and-pipes combo of Mythago Morris, whose steampunk-and-stamping-boots form of country dancing was Morris with Menace – reaching right back into the bloodstained myths of the past.
They put me in mind of my favourite fantasy writer Terry Pratchett’s magnificent Lancre Morris Men whose “stick and bucket” dance proved to be a deadly weapon!
Food and more
The fair itself is a quirky and eclectic mix of stalls catering for foodies, vintage car enthusiasts, gardening experts, art lovers and animal and wildlife champions.
There was plenty of space to fly kites, have your face painted or meditate in a yurt and many of the car owners strolled gracefully around in vintage clothing to match their transport.
nature lovers were kept happy with the Knepp Castle safaris and there were plenty of nature conservation stalls including beekeepers, bat preservers, bug supporters and bird lovers.
The vintage theme was given a boost with a gorgeous showman’s caravan and horse box and you could even get your back checked for kinks with a qualified chiropractor.
Best of all were the huge range of food and drink stalls selling everything from pakoras to pizza, hog roasts to fish and chips.
And irresistible, award winning ice-cream – although sadly no dairy-free option for me, so Pork Belly had to manfully manage a double scoop, all in the interests of research.
Best tastes of the day? The Gimlet cocktail from Shoreham-based Slake Spirits Gin Distillery, the Sumptuous Selection of vegan treats from Mother Bhumi and the above-mentioned ice cream from Caroline’s Dairy.
The sun shone, the music played and it was the most relaxing day we’ve spent in ages.
More information about the Floral Fringe Fair
Details of their next event can be found on the Floral Fringe website
Interested in Food Festivals? Check out our listings page