Ah, the trials of buying citric acid at my local pharmacy. It’s now or never folks – the elderflowers are OUT and if you don’t do it this weekend, you never will. They’re early this year because it’s been so warm. See our simple recipe and guide here. There’s also a promo code for the wonderful Jam Jar Shop

It’s been a busy but good week here at Ideal Home. The HomeShoppingSpy blog has just been listed as a ‘favourite’ by the lovely people at Channel 4 (4homes), and we’ve been all over town, gathering ideas and inspiration for the new season. Lots of exciting things to share next week… Have a lovely weekend! – Ellie

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The elderflowers are out which means it’s cordial o’ clock. After my first disastrous attempt, I decided to try again. Being a bit OCD about pollution and the like (I’m sure I read something somewhere once about lead being absorbed by plants beside roads…?) I headed to rural Worcestershire this weekend to harvest the flowers. It all started so well – skipping merrily along the hedgerows, I filled my basket (well, a Tesco carrier bag, but let’s not spoil the image) with flowers and enjoyed the glorious sunshine. These pretty pics are from Laundry Etc – I wish my cordial-making looked this nice:

But, suddenly, out of nowhere, thunder began to rumble and the dream ended. It POURED with rain. Soaked to the skin, running through open fields, surrounded by flashes of lightening that were WAY too close for comfort, my Primark flip-flops broke (£1.50,#whaddyaexpect) and I ended up abandoning them altogether and pegging it bare-foot through mud, wondering if my cordial was CURSED. Thankfully, I survived (although the car seats are covered with mud much to the boyfriend’s chagrin…) and the cordial is now steeping in huge cloth-covered bowls.

There’s a fabulous recipe here if you fancy having a bash yourself. You’ll need: 900g granulated sugar, 50g citric acid, 2 sliced lemons and 25 elderflower heads. The method is here and you can find citric acid and all the glass bottles you’ll need at the Jam Jar Shop where the lovely Rosemary has arranged for HomeShoppingSpy readers to get a 10% discount on all orders – just enter the code JJSIDEAL at the checkout. Hurrah! If you haven’t got time to order online, you can re-use glass or plastic water bottles (sterilise them first!) and you’ll find citric acid at most independent pharmacy shops. – Ellie