Picnic, or pique-nique, is of French origin, formed from ‘piquer’, the French for “to pick at food”, and ‘nique’ meaning something small of no value. However later in the Oxford English Dictionary it became, “An occasion when a packed meal is eaten outdoors, especially during an outing to the countryside.”
Once only reserved for wealthy hunters and country people out on their estates, it was the Victorians who popularised the picnic and made it commonplace, with writers like Dickens, Trollop and Jane Austen all adopting the convention in their books.
This year, The Slow Festival (3-5 April) took the sterling suggestion by Sedgefield locals to add a ‘Victorian Picnic’ to the 2015 programme of events! Set to take place on Sat 4th April at 3pm, families, friends and good neighbours have been invited to come and enjoy an early sunset picnic on the Village Green whilst listening to the sounds of the Sinethemba Marimba band, followed by music from the band Driftwood! There will also be a ‘photo booth of old’ in which to have fun photos taken!
Of course a Victorian Picnic wouldn’t be a Victorian Picnic unless there was a theme to dress to! Fancy a bit of fancy dressing? Dress up in ‘Vintage’ attire! Choose your fare from and support the many delectable food stalls on the Village Green (or bring your own picnic if you must)! Bring your own tables, chairs, picnic blankets and a croquet set too if you have one. Beer and wine will be sold from the Mitchell’s tent (No alcohol to be brought with you).
The cost to join the fanfare is a R20 donation to Masithandane, Sedgefield’s most well-known charity organisation. Tickets are available at the Sedgefield Tourism office or on the day of the event.