Pub in the Park offers a series of events bringing together a host of Michelin starred chefs with world class musicians to create the perfect blend of good food & drink with outstanding entertainment. Put together by Tom Kerridge this year’s event has seen stops in Bath, Knutsford, Leeds and Marlow with featured artists including Scouting for Girls, Razorlight, Tom Odell and Texas. The weekend of July 12-14 saw Pub in the Park take over Dunorlan Park in Tunbridge Wells. We were lucky enough to be invited to visit on the Saturday with Bassment Jaxx topping the bill. Unsurprisingly it was a fun packed evening with loads going on. Here’s just a taster (ahem..) of some of the highlights….
The event is set up so that guests can sample a range of gourmet foods from several vendor with dishes all being priced at £5. With a mix of Kerridge’s own restaurants and up and coming local eateries on the menu diners could plan their meal choices using the festival food guide. With around 30 dishes to sample the menus catered for all palettes with options including BBQ South Coast Mackerel from the Small Holding, Chargrilled Summer Courgette Tortilla from the Kentish Hare and Crispy Ox Cheek from the Compasses Inn. We opted for a selection of dishes from the Hand and Flowers including a Minted Lamb Pie, Kerridge’s Fried Chicken and a Smoked Hog Taco. We shared all of our dishes and found this a great way to sample a range of new tastes flavours.
In addition to the range of food suppliers there were also plenty of drinks brands. Naked Wines created a great party vibe with their silent disco and sample tipples. All the way from NZ the Cardrona Distillery tantalised us with their range of whiskey, gins and liquors. And of course there was enough Pimms to keep everyone happy on a warm Summer’s evening.
With bellies full and drink in hand the live music sessions completed the Pub in the Park experience. Each stop on the PITP tour offers both chilled afternoon and later party sessions. On the weekend we visited the the Friday night late session saw KT Tunstall and Rick Astley headline whilst the chilled afternoon featured Soul II Soul. Our session on the Saturday night kicked off with local band Suncharmer who warmed the crowd up nicely with their vibrant 70’s inspired rock. Next up were the Stereo MC’s. Lead singer Rob Birch got a great rapport going with the audience encouraging us to join in with their 90’s hit ‘Connected’. Then Came headliners Bassment Jaxx, one of my favourite DJ artists. They did not disappoint. With hits like Where’s Your Head At, Do Your Thing and Bingo Bango they had the whole park jumping up and down for the whole set. Their performance culminated into an incredible rendition of Red Alert complete with fountains of light and coloured streamers taking the excitement to another level. A brilliant end to a fantastic evening.
The Pub in the Park tour continues with stops in Chiswick and St Albans in September. Please visit their website for details on how to buy tickets and featured chefs and artists.