A Scandinavian Midsummer, with a U.K. Twist
The U.K.'s first Midsummer festival, Scandinavian Midsummer Feast 2015, will be held June 20 and June 21 in Somerset. We've got the goods on what to see and do at this Nordic celebration with a decidedly food-focused bent.
Though the Scandinavian festival of Midsummer has long been celebrated in various European and American locales, the United Kingdom is getting its first this year. The Scandinavian Midsummer Feast will be held June 20 to June 21, and has a decidedly culinary bent to the festivities.
Trine Hahnemann, Denmark’s answer to Martha Stewart, is one of the headline acts, taking place at the bucolic and picturesque Harptree Court country house in Somerset. Event founder Chloë Avery, a TV producer, said she was inspired to create the event after work brought her to Scandinavia a few years ago.
“I produced ‘Valentine Warner Eats Scandinavia’ in 2013. We travelled across Sweden, Norway and Denmark, filming throughout the seasons—from minus 32 degrees in very Northern Sweden at the Jokkmokk winter festival to balmy weather at a Midsummer party on the Danish coast,” Avery says. “I fell irrevocably in love with the way of life and the food culture out there, and I wanted to bring the Scandinavian style of celebrating Midsummer to the U.K."
Avery has pulled in some big names for her first festival, which will feature a mix of demos, feasts and music. Niklas Ekstedt (who has a Michelin star at his eponymous Stockholm restaurant) will do a tutorial on how to cook by bonfire, and Norwegian Geir Sivertzen will talk about his country’s fishing traditions. Fitting for its midsummer date, guests can also learn how to make a floral head-dress or embrace the late-night sun with traditional Scandinavian drinking songs. (Tickets are $311, including all food and camping, and can be purchased here.)
Emily Mathieson is on the U.K beat for Travel + Leisure. Based in London, you can follow her on Twitter at @emilymtraveled.