We’ve been known to extol the virtues of a plant based diet from time to time… But as Tatton Park welcomes another floral extravaganza this week, we turn our attention to flowers – not just the ones that sit atop o
ur bars and tables in the café courtesy of Chloe Robinson Designs, but the ones we place upon a number of our dishes. Edible flowers.
We’ve been using edible flowers to flavour and decorate our dishes since we launched in 2014. But you may have noticed a lot of chatter in the press and online in recent weeks as Sainsbury’s have started stocking punnets of the flowers for us to use at home. Deliciously Ella also revealed pics of her wedding cake from last year which was decorated with a variety of flowers.
Some of the chat online has been regarding the safety of the flowers and concerns around their potential toxicity – with one botanist criticising Ella for the use of some of the flowers adorning her cake (it’s okay, Ella knew what she was doing).
If you are keen to embrace the floral trend and decorate your own dishes with edible flora and fauna at home (and up your insta game while you’re at it), we’ve collaborated with brilliant garden designer, Shelley Hugh-Jones Gardens, to develop a sort snappy guide to help you determine what is and isn’t safe to eat.
- When it comes to flowers, as a general rule, it is only the petals of the flowers that are edible, discard everything else.
- It’s great if you can grow your own. Don’t graze on general flora and fauna however. It may sound obvious but make sure the flower is correctly identified and has not been sprayed with insecticides or anything toxic for human consumption. Shelley advises not to wash the flowers – their petals may not look quite as beautiful or appetising after a soak in water.
- If you suffer from hayfever/pollen allergies – it’s probably best to steer clear of edible flowers depending on how bad your allergy is.
- Don’t forget about the flowers of vegetables and herbs as well – all of the following can be eaten: courgettes and marrow flowers, the flowers of chives, dill, borage, fennel, garden pea and rosemary.
- There are a number of flower petals that are edible – try some of these out: Roses, hibiscus, daisies, primroses, hollyhocks, dianthus, chrysanthemum, day lily, elderflower, lavender, nasturtium, sweet violet, sunflower, pelargonium, pot marigold, clover and bergamot.
Enjoy creating your own floral fare! We’ve included a few of our favourite insta dishes below. Tag us in when you create your own dishes at home for a chance to enjoy your next floral meal on us at The Garden!