The baker setting up 'sneaky' surprise picnics in Norfolk
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Bringing the ‘ta-dah!’ to a tablecloth at a venue of your choosing, Norfolk's first pop-up picnic service, Folk, is delighting couples with elegantly styled events across the county.
The woman behind the business is Alice Lowe from Mulbarton, who started Folk at the end of last year.
"I love weddings and events, and I love all things beautiful and styled," says Alice. "Whenever there's a celebration for someone in my family or my friends, I'm always the one that plans it and goes way over the top!"
The venture started after a holiday in Cornwall, during which Alice planned to propose to her (now) husband, Dan. "I decided I was going to do the very untraditional thing and propose,” she says. "I got in touch with a lady I'd seen on Instagram who did these lovely picnic settings on the clifftops.”
After making a booking for their special date, Alice led her fiancé-to-be to the designated spot and popped the question – he said yes, of course. So blown away were they by the arrangement, when they came back to Norfolk Alice wanted to book something similar locally for her mum’s birthday. Unable to find anything, she simply created her own version, and Folk was born at the end of 2021.
Folk sees Alice and Dan sneak into a requested venue, with the client's permission, creating a bespoke scene complete with food, drink and decorations. "It's been going really well," says Alice. "We did a couple over Valentine's weekend where we were ninja-style sneaking into people's houses!" she laughs.
“One half of the couple knew we were coming, and they were trying to get their partners out of the house, then we would sneak in and get it all set up.
“We did one where we had some strange looks from the people next door who were watching us going into the home out of their window. Our client said, ‘Oh, yes, we should probably have told the neighbours!’
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“But when people come back and it's all set up it's a lovely surprise, and it always goes down an absolute storm."
It’s not the first time she’s taken the plunge into starting a business. Alice also owns Get Treated, and takes her delicious baked goods - cupcakes, brownies, blondies and cookies - to public and private events across the county, serving from her converted, solar-panelled horsebox, Betsy.
For the time being, and because of the weather, setups are usually in people's houses, but the aim for the coming months is to be able to go out and use some of the lovely outdoor spaces across Norfolk, with the grounds of stately homes, and beaches, providing scenic backdrops.
In the future, they’ll be introducing their teepee with games and activities for children to play with - so parents can enjoy their lunch.
In case of inclement weather, there's always a back-up plan. “We're hoping to get a covering in case the weather lets us down at the last minute,” explains Alice. “But it will be that the sides are see-through so you don't lose any of the magic of the scenery and surroundings."
There are several different packages to suit occasion, size and budget to choose from, with Alice and Dan taking care of everything - including washing up afterwards. Each can be adapted by a choice of colour, and a message board and place cards add to the personal touch.
Food is, of course, included and comes in the form of a grazer – that’s cheeses, meats, chutneys and fresh fruit from local suppliers, not forgetting Alice's aforementioned sweet treats. Everyone gets a drink, and if you want a musical soundtrack to accentuate your date, a Bluetooth speaker is also provided so you can stream your playlist of choice.
Excited for the coming weeks and months, which will see lots more set-ups complimented by beautiful Norfolk backgrounds, Alice says: "People just seem to love what we do, and I think it will be the kind of thing in the picnic season that'll really take off.
"I love making someone's day that bit special and different, and I think it's quite a unique concept, while being really simple."
Find out more via get-treated.co.uk