IFORD Festival, in the beautiful Harold Peto designed grounds of Iford Manor near Bradford-on-Avon, has been offering picnics to its patrons for several years, and we enjoyed our first at the opening night of Macbeth this year.
Ever since I first visited the festival I have been enthusing about its setting and unique atmosphere, and the magic never diminishes. So it was a real treat to be able to sit and eat in that special corner by the fountain, food provided by Fat Fowl in Bradford on Avon, served in a proper wicker hamper.
There are choices in starters, main courses and desserts, created with an eye to colour and texture while the taste buds remain the paramount concern.
We had Serrano ham, chorizo and salami with pickled vegetables and focaccia and the vegetarian choice of sundried tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, hummus and almond pesto with olives and focaccia, followed by poached salmon with sweet and sour cucumber, dill dressing and new potatoes, and lemon chicken, mango salsa, avocado and giant couscous salad. All were zingingly fresh and perfectly balanced, as attractive to uncover as to eat.
Our desserts were summer pudding with clotted cream and chocolate and orange torte with an orange salad.
If you don’t have time to make your own picnic, or would like a luxurious hamper served by Iford’s wonderful troupe of helpers, contact the Festival about ordering your own Iford Picnic. I hadn’t thought anything could improve on the Iford experience, but this was a new and welcome dimension to the evening.