Well…what can we say about this one….other than what a treat it was to be part of it!
Usually when people approach us and want to source some of the menu themselves we have to say no….it often is not feasible for us as our overheads remain the same, and the staff involved remains the same, but when Anna asked if they could supply EVERYTHING from their farm near East Grinstead, we were intrigued.
Anna and Johannes are part of a close team that run Plawhatch Farm, one of very few farms that are Biodynamic as well as Organic. Complicated stuff but for those who follow this way of farming, it is tightly regulated by Demeter International, the largest certification organization for biodynamic agriculture, so buying products with this stamp will ensure it has been produced naturally and ethically and in accordance with the philosophy of biodynamic farming.
The sprawling farm spreads from the wonderful Farm Shop on the roadside down past several fields and down to the bottom field where the impressive South African open-sided tent was situated. As the guests took the long walk down to the marquee fiddlers played to entertain them. Once in the marquee it was open-seating so guests sat wherever they fancied on long trestle tables with colourful saris as the table covering.
Just about everything about this wedding was different and unique, but most of all reflective of the couples themselves and their relaxed positive approach to life. With no alcohol until the evening it was a serene and peaceful mood rather than a boisterous party mood…very refreshing all round! Children were playing in the nearby fields and the meal itself also took on a very relaxed style in that there was no set procedure, just bowls of food put down on the tables, for people to get stuck into.
And what lovely food it was too (we had to try some….!). We used sausages from their pig farm, vegetables (beetroot, red onions, salad leaves, broccoli to name just a few), cheese from their dairy – the Halloumi was amazing, and even the milk to have with coffee was their own unpasteurized raw milk…tastes just like milk should taste…delicious.
Anna’s sister had made the biggest chocolate brownie cake we’ve ever seen in our lives, which, as if not decadent enough was covered with a chocolate ganache! It was fun to cut that’s for sure, with kids crowding round to make sure they got their bit! This was served with beautiful fresh cream and berries – also from the farm. It was a real treat for us to work with such high quality, delicious food that had been grown with real passion by the couple and their colleagues, all of which were guests on the day. There is a real sense of community on this farm, far removed from just commercial gain.
There was a lot of leg work for the waiting staff but after a while they improvised with crates and large trays to make the journeys a bit easier, knowing that Anna and Johnannes would not care for formality – in fact we were all in shorts and trainers which is always a most welcome change. We had our wellies at the ready in case of a downpour, but the weather was also on our side…..in fact the whole day from start to finish was perfect.
Great couple, great location and although they made it clear that we made their day really special, (see testimonial) they made ours too!