Elevate your Easter weekend

Whether you’re staying in or heading out over Easter, here’s our top recommendations for making your long weekend extra special.

 

If you’re staying in…

Treat yourself to a night off from cooking and book a takeaway from Borde Hill’s award-winning restaurant, Jeremy’s. Their three course menu is available on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 April and includes a number of mouth-watering options to choose from – roast shoulder of Southdown lamb with all the trimmings, a caramelised shallot and celeriac tarte tatin, and a blueberry, lime and chervil cheesecake. Instructions on how to finish the dish at home are included, and after some simple reheating you’ll have an insta-worthy supper which you can pretend you cooked yourself from scratch! For a touch of ‘extra Easter sparkle’ add a bottle of Cavendish sparkling wine to your order from nearby, award-winning winery Ridgeview

Visit Jeremy’s Restaurant website and place your takeaway order now.

Chef hands plating up colourful food on to a white plate.

Local Sussex winery, Bolney Estate, are hosting a very special Easter virtual wine tasting on Saturday 3 April as part of #BigEnglishWineEaster. Included in the experience is a virtual tour of the Estate and vineyards, followed by a 60 minute wine tasting – all from the comfort of your own home! Delivered to your doorstep ahead of the big day will be three bottles of Bolney’s finest – their award-winning Cuvée Rosé, Classic Cuvée and Lychgate Red, along with tasting notes, a how to guide, and space for you to make your own notes. And the best part is that, for the same price, everybody in your household can take part. So this is definitely one to get your support bubble involved in.  

Why not make it an Easter party and get other households involved virtually as well?

Find out more on Bolney Estate’s website, and order your wine tasting package now.

A hand holding a wine glass against a marble background. Sparkling wine from a dark glass bottle is being poured into the glass from above.

Get creative this Easter weekend – make the most of the four day weekend and learn a new skill. Keep yourself entertained over the bank holiday with one of West Dean College’s online short courses. Ever wondered if you’d be any good at watercolour painting, or wanted to have a go at printmaking, bookmaking or oil painting? Well now’s the perfect opportunity, and West Dean’s beginners short courses start from only £38. The courses are self-paced and you can watch the video tutorials as often as you need. If you’re anything like me, that’s going to be numerous times!

Browse West Dean’s website now and see what sparks your imagination.

Moody photograph of a group of people sat around a dining table in period costume. There are paintings on the wall and candelabras on the table.

Did you know that you can continue to support local cinema even when you’re at home? Take a night off from the major streaming sites – you know the usual suspects – and choose something to watch from the eclectic mix of art house and world cinema on offer from local cinema, the Depot, in Lewes. By purchasing a virtual screening room ticket and renting a film, you’ll be directly supporting independent cinema. Rent a feel-good movie and feel good about it! We recommend Gints Zilbalodis’ ‘silent, surreal and entrancing’ animation Away, the winner of the Berlin Film Festival Malmkrog, and Stray – the ‘ultimate love letter to dogs’. A welcome dose of culture over the Easter weekend.

Browse Depot’s website now.

 

Heading out…

Put together a special Easter picnic this weekend and find yourself a spot with a view. Avoid the overcrowded hotspots and head off the beaten track. For some inspiration, check out our blog on Sussex’s most photogenic destinations and see which are nearby enough to visit. 

Save yourself the trouble and order a ready made picnic. We recommend Bolney Estate’s Easter Hamper Treat Box, which is perfect for those with a sweet tooth. Or a boozy tooth for that matter. I’m not quite sure how I’ve survived this long without the hot cross bun caramel spread in my larder.

An assortment of cheese and crackers on a wooden board with a wicker hamper in the background. A bottle and glass of red wine to the left.

If you’re after the full wicker hamper fantasy (and why not? It’s a lockdown after all and we all need cheering up), you couldn’t do better than the indulgent Partners in Wine Hamper or the Sussex Charcuterie Hamper. Packed full of locally sourced goodies and savoury nibbles, these hampers are a foodie’s delight.

The beauty of picnics is that they are what you make them. You don’t need to commit to a luxury hamper to head out into the Sussex landscape over the weekend and enjoy some al fresco snacking. If you’re rustling up a picnic of your own, you’ll find lots of locally sourced gourmet treats on Bolney’s website, any one of which will surely feel like a treat – fancy crisps, Sussex cheeses, chutneys and charcuterie. And you can elevate any picnic with a bottle of Sussex sparkling. You could have a day-old sandwich rattling around in the bottom of your backpack but, armed with a decent view and a bottle of something special, you’re on to a winner. 

We’re spoiled for choice with world-class vineyards and wineries here in Sussex, and we’re partnered with some of the best. Explore more about them here.

Just in time for Easter, Charleston’s stunning walled garden is reopening. The garden is free to visit but advanced booking is a must! The painterly artists’ garden is very popular and the number of slots available are limited so make sure you don’t miss out. Rally your household and your support bubble and spend an afternoon surrounded by flowers. Relax, read a book, do some drawing – it’s entirely up to you. Oh, and you’re welcome to bring along a picnic as well. 

Book your slot on Charleston’s website now.

Talking of gardens, West Dean Gardens will also be open over the Easter weekend. The sprawling gardens include a walled kitchen garden, spring gardens and pond, an Edwardian pergola and Victorian glasshouses. Booking is essential as the numbers of people in the garden are limited in line with government guidance.

Ticketed timeslots can be booked online here.

The gardens at Charleston in Spring. colourfully planted walled garden. A gravel path runs through the centre.

Easter treats…

Well, let’s not kid ourselves – Easter simply isn’t Easter without chocolate. So whether you’re stocking up your own cupboards, or gifting to friends and family, where can you find the tastiest and fanciest in Sussex? We’ve rounded up our top five, sure to satisfy your cravings this Easter…

Hand decorated easter eggs wrapped in ribbon and decorated with floral designs

1. Audrey’s hand-decorated Easter eggs

A feast for the eyes. The striking and colourful designs on these artisan eggs really set them apart from the crowd. Based in Hove, East Sussex, Audrey’s is the destination for unique chocolates with a retro nod to the past.

Visit Audrey’s website now.

2. Montezuma’s Easter eggs

Montezuma’s first chocolate shop opened in Brighton back in 2000, and they have since built themselves a reputation as one of the best local chocolatiers. Everything is still handmade here in Sussex. Their wide selection of Easter gifts won’t disappoint. The peanut butter mini eggs take some beating.

Visit Montezuma’s website now.

3. Cocoa Loco’s hot cross bun truffles

Need I say anymore? Cocoa Loco had me at ‘hot cross bun’. Their handmade, organic, and fairtrade chocolates are made with love right here in Sussex. Their vegan range is outstanding. Keep your eyes peeled for the giant bakewell Easter egg, and any number of delicious sounding combinations also available.

Visit Cocoa Loco’s website now.

4. Noble and Stace’s award-winning chocolates

There is always an excuse to be ordering their award-winning gin and orange truffles, but as it’s Easter they have plenty of seasonal treats to choose from, all handcrafted locally.

Visit Noble and Stace’s website now.

5. Only Coco’s salted caramel chocolate eggs

Only Coco use 100% sustainably sourced single origin chocolate in their hand made, hand wrapped creations. The selection of colourful Easter eggs is something to behold. The pastel pink coloured raspberry white chocolate makes a statement, but the salted caramel chocolate eggs are irresistibly cute and come wrapped in an egg box.

Visit Only Coco’s website now.

Chocolates in a brown cardboard box surrounded by painted yellow easter eggs

If you associate bank holidays with an opportunity to have a tipple, or two, or three – I see you. You are not alone. So with that in mind, let me point you in the direction of some more grown-up treats.

Is a case of wine too much for a four day weekend? Or is a single case too little wine for a four day weekend? Whatever side of the fence you’re sitting on, we’ve got you covered with our Sussex Modern wine cases. Choose from a selection of still, sparkling or mixed cases and enjoy the taste of Sussex this Easter.

We can’t yet go out for cocktails (alas), but you can create your own cocktail bar at home with the help of Rathfinny’s Seven Sisters Martini Case, and Ridgeview’s Royale Cocktail Set. Line up the nibbles, cue a good movie, and start shaking… or should that be stirring?

However you celebrate, enjoy the Easter weekend and roll on the end of lockdown. 

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