Fun at the Floral Fringe Fair

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.

Little White Blue Band - Floral Fringe Fair, Knepp Castle 2017

Flower stall - Floral Fringe Fair, Knepp Castle 2017

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

Mythago Morris dancers - Floral Fringe Fair, Knepp Castle 2017

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

Craft stalls - Floral Fringe Fair, Knepp Castle 2017

Floral Fringe Fair - Knepp Castle West Sussex 2017

Whambam, vegan food - Floral Fringe Fair, Knepp Castle Sussex 2017

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.

Bentley, classic car - Floral Fringe Fair, Knepp Castle 2017

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.

 

Showman's Living Wagon - Floral Fringe Fair, Knepp Castle Sussex

Showman's Living Wagon - Floral Fringe Fair, Knepp Castle 2017

Bedroom, Showman's Living Wagon - Floral Fringe Fair, Knepp Castle Sussex

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.

Kerry Le Bern Duo - Floral Fringe Fair, Knepp Castle 2017

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.

Carolines Dairy ice cream - Floral Fringe Fair, Knepp Castle 2017

Slake Spirits Gin Bar - Floral Fringe Fair, Knepp Castle 2017

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.

The Handlebar Juice Bike - Floral Fringe fair, Knepp Castle 2017

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

Food and drink signpost - Floral Fringe Fair Knepp Castle 2017

 

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