Elderflower Champagne Recipe

Every year, after the hawthorn has finished flowering we look forward to our elderflowers blossoming, and right now, the air is thick with the heady scent of the beautiful big blooms.

If you get the chance, I would highly recommend having a go at this easy recipe.

I am pretty confident, that if you closely follow it you will have spectacular results!

I must admit that I almost always find it impossible to follow a recipe to the letter (even if its my own) and because of this and other variables such as natural yeast content etc I am currently finishing off the liveliest version of this recipe that I have ever made..

It is drier than usual because I lowered the sugar content and it whooshes out of the bottle at a hundred miles an hour. Still, it is really pretty good, even a year later and it has to be drunk as I need the bottles back for this year’s endeavour.

It is easy, fun to make and delicious!

You will need:

A large pot/pan/bucket

Ideally, a large square of unbleached muslin, but a tea towel will do

A grater

Weighing scales

new or recycled clean bottles ( I use pressurised bottles with flip top lids to lessen the chance of the odd explosion)

So here you go:


  • 700 grams of sugar (I use the least refined possible but any will do)
  • 4 unwaxed lemons (juice and zest)
  • 1 tsp of white wine vinegar
  • Around 16 large elderflower heads ( choose the heads with a few buds still waiting to bloom included and avoid any that have turned brown)
  • A pinch of dried yeast (on stand by)
  • 6 litres water.


Boil half the water and pour into a large pan/pot/bucket

Dissolve the sugar in the hot water

When the sugar is completely dissolved, add the remaining cold water along with

the juice and zest of your 4 lemons

And 1 tsp white wine vinegar

And finally, your beautiful big elderflower blooms

Stir gently

Cover the pan with a clean piece of muslin/tea towel and leave to ferment in a cool airy spot for a couple of days.

After 2 days check to see if your mix has started to ferment. It will appear a little foamy if so, if not, this is the time to add a pinch of brewers/champagne yeast.

Leave to ferment for another 4-5 days before straining out the flower heads through muslin ( I line a colander with muslin, pour the mix through into a jug/bowl squeezing out as much liquid as possible.

Decant into bottles with swing top/cork or plastic lids

Leave to further ferment in the bottles and try your first bottle after 2-3 weeks.

For the first week-ten days, it makes a lot of sense to “burp” the bottles to allow the build up of fizz to escape.

It should last for a few months if you can keep your hands off it.

If you didn’t get hold of pressurised bottles it might be worth covering your finished champagne with a blanket just to be on the safe side. Exploding bottles are rare but sticky..

Serve chilled, enjoy!


Open day 8th June 2019

Come and join us for a day at Stanmer Organics, featuring Physic Garden Project.

Come and join us for our Summer Open Day at Stanmer Organics, Stanmer Park, Brighton 11am-8pm

From 11-4pm
Roam the site and drop in to each project to see what we do and how you can get involved. Participate in an activity, site tour, or talk. There will be wares and creativity on offer for all the family to enjoy.

From 4-8pm
Live music at the Earthship featuring the fantastic
Pollito Boogaloo (4.30 pm)

Food and refreshments all day
Come and celebrate with us, all welcome!

By bus: 78 to Stanmer church/ 25 park entrance
By train: Falmer Station
Limited parking In Stanmer Park
Disabled access contact Huw: 07771 375273
It is a 15 minute walk from Stanmer Church, follow our signs.

Entrance: donation (suggested just 2.00 per person) All proceeds go into providing the next event.

NB no card facilities on site, cash only event.

A hidden gem on our doorstep

Wild flower Conservation Society –

Brighton and Beyond


You are warmly invited to an Open Day to view John Gapper’s wild flower meadow in Stanmer Park, Stanmer, nr Brighton.


Sunday 12th August ’18

1 – 4 pm


The open day is to celebrate the start of a new initiative involving BHCC Rangers and Volunteers which will set up a new initiative to propagate and manage wild flower planting schemes in the City and Beyond.


Directions – from the main entrance to the park follow the road to the junction just past Stanmer House.

Turn left here and follow the signs to the meadow.

Approx 10 / 15 mins walk from Stanmer House.


Travel: by bus 78 to Stanmer Church/ 25 to park entrance.

By train : to Falmer Station.

Car parking is limited so please try to use public transport.

Disabled access available – phone in advance 07879188075


Entrance is free but a donation for the project will be very welcome. There will be some plants for sale.

Dogs on leads welcome.


For more information contact


Wild Food & Herbal Medicine For Wellbeing Weekend: Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th May 2018 – Fully Booked

This course is now Fully booked

Come celebrate the wonder of wild food, and herbal medicine making at an idyllic, and beautiful Physic Garden set deep in the heart of the Sussex South Downs.


During this weekend, Robin Harford and Lisa-marie Davies will share their wealth of knowledge about wild edible plants and herbal medicine making.


Read more >> http://fbgo.uk/2iGFbsN

The very act of foraging and wild crafting is deeply healing and transformative, and the benefits to your health and wellbeing go far beyond simply putting food on the table.

There is nothing more fulfilling than wandering around picking a bit here, a bit there. Crushing, smelling, nibbling, to then return and prepare sumptuous food for loved ones.

Over the course of this weekend you will be taken on a plant journey like no other.


“I truly was blown away – I absolutely loved the course – it was inspiring, totally and utterly captivating – I can’t remember the last time someone held my attention for so long – Robin is a brilliant teacher.” – Janet Allan

“It was the best weekend I have had since childhood, and will certainly be a memory that will be with me for life.” – James Adams


Foraging & Feasting…

Foraging is an art, an ancient way to feed and sustain ourselves in a slow, graceful way.

Together we will explore the abundance of wild edible plants in and around Lisa-marie’s beautiful Physic garden project.

You’ll be shown simple practices to help deepen your connection to plants, place, self and soil.

Practices Robin has developed over the last 14 years that will enable you to…

…confidently learn how to identify wild plants,


…without the need for a botany degree!

He’ll reveal his unique ‘sensory method of plant identification’.

As well as how to cook, prepare and preserve the plants you find….

… and you’ll be immersed in their mystery, history and folklore.

Sustainable foraging, gathering protocols, safety guidelines, and the law will also covered.

“Robin’s course was amazing! I urge anyone interested in foraging to do one before he stops. With so many edible plants to choose from his ‘sensory method’ is a flash of brilliance.” – Antony Christie BA (Hons), MSc


To book :    Read more >> http://fbgo.uk/2iGFbsN


The Practical Art of Herbal Medicine Making…

In this session, clinical herbalist Lisa-marie will take you on a guided tour of her beautiful Physic Garden where you will pick and taste various medicinal plants.

You’ll learn about their healing qualities and discover how they are used for common ailments.

This session will focus on empowering you to make simple remedies in your own home. 

You will learn how to incorporate medicinal plants into everyday cookery.

Plants that help reduce stress, soothe anxiety and can help keep common ailments at bay.

You will pick, blend and sample a variety of plants from the garden to make delectable herbal infusions.

Then discover how to make your own herbal remedies and tonics that you will be able to make at home.



“Where to start! To put it simply and succinctly we both thoroughly enjoyed your wild food and medicine for wellbeing course, not only was it one of the best days we’ve spent in a long time, genuinely engrossing and inspiring, but you and Lisa are such terrific company that we can’t wait to do the next one!” – Nick & Rachel Joy


Why Small Is Beautiful…

This will be a small gathering of no more than 20 guests.

You will be split into 2 groups of 10. One group will be taught foraging, and the other will make herbal remedies.

Half way through the event, the groups will swap around. So you will receive personal, individual attention whether you are foraging or medicine making.

This will deepen your learning.

We deliberately keep the group size small, so you can leave with skills you can immediately use when you get back home.

This is a practical, hands-on, and experiential event.

“Truly inspirational! Rarely do you find the combination of fun, education, wellbeing, great people and relaxation all in one. It was one of the best courses I have experienced.” – Sean Pickering

All meals will be vegan and gluten-free, and include what we gather together. Whether that be the wild edible plants or the organic vegetables straight from Lisa-marie’s garden.

Free camping is provided, however feel free to book a bed and breakfast near-by if camping isn’t your thing.

In the evening there will be an open fire, and you are more than welcome to bring along poems, stories etc.

This is a safe space. No alcohol or other drugs please.


Saturday, 26th & Sunday 27th May 2018 

Click on link to book:    Read more >> http://fbgo.uk/2iGFbsN


Time: 9am (Saturday) to 5pm (Sunday)
Location: Physic Garden Project, Stanmer Organics, Stanmer Park, Brighton
Meals: Lunch & Dinner (Saturday) – Breakfast & Lunch (Sunday)
Accommodation: Free camping
Availability: 20 (8 places left)
Early-bird price: £225 (until 1st February 2018), then £250

Find out about your tutors

Read more >> http://fbgo.uk/2iGFbsN

ROBIN HARFORD is an ethnobotanist and creator of eatweeds.co.uk. A specialist in wild edible plants, he has been teaching people about their local edible landscape throughout the UK and beyond since 2008.

He is also a co-director of Plants and Healers International, a non-profit that connects people, plants and healers around the world.

Robin travels extensively documenting and recording the traditional and local use of wild food plants in indigenous cultures, and more recently his work has taken him to Africa, India, SE Asia and Europe.

LISA-MARIE DAVIES is a herbalist and naturopath, occasional lecturer at the College of Naturopathic Medicine and founder of The Physic Garden Project, set in the glorious South Downs national park at Stanmer Organics, East Sussex.

She is a director of Stanmer Organics, which has 17 acres of soil association certified organic land, where the Physic Garden Project has its home. She grows and prepares organic herbal medicines for her patients, providing them with carefully crafted highly nutritious medicine at her busy home herbal clinic in Hove.

She loves to share plant knowledge and runs regular workshops; herb walks and talks in a relaxed, outdoor garden setting.


To book clink on link: Read more >> http://fbgo.uk/2iGFbsN

Stanmer Organics Open Day 2017

Come and see the Physic Garden Project in bloom.  You will have an opportunity to explore the garden form 11am -6pm. There will be a guided tour and  a talk on herbal medicine. There will also be an opportunity to try some delicious, freshly picked and blended herbal teas at our tea tasting session in the afternoon.

There will be a pop up cafe hosted by Stanmer organics at the Brighton Earthship, so come and and meet the team and find out what we do on our fabulous Stanmer Park site.



Stanmer Organics Spring Open Day 2016


We are really looking forward to our Spring Open Day.

If you would like to get involved on the day do get in touch, we would love to have you on board!


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Spring Open Day, family fun! An opportunity to meet the team at Stanmer Organics and learn about our sustainability projects. A great chance to see what we do and find out how to get involved.