When it comes to festival food long gone are days of the dodgy burger van. With the rise of street food you can now eat everything from Thai to stone baked pizza, Korean BBQ to Moroccan wraps. But there is one festival that takes things to the next level when it comes to food. Tom’s Kerridge’s brain child ‘Pub in the Park’ blends music with truly great food – genius! With eight of these pop-up festivals planned this summer, everywhere from Leeds to Tunbridge Wells, it seems Tom is adding festival organiser to this many talents.
As a leading food and drink agency we need to keep abreast of the latest foodie events, so we headed to the Tunbridge Wells Pub in the Park to see what all the fuss was about (all in the name of research you understand!). We arrived to find friend-of-Jellybean, Rob Kirby of Lexington Catering doing a demo on stage, then wandered around enjoying free samples of everything from moonshine to handmade fudge, artisan cured sausage to prosecco cider! Then it was onto the main event – the pub food.
We tried the pork taco, minted lamb pie and fried chicken from Tom’s very own Hand & Flowers tent and then managed to somehow find room for chicken burgers and possibly the best mac ‘n cheese I’ve ever had, from Berners Tavern’s pop-up. Not too shabby for festival food by anyone’s standards. Then the music began, Suncharmer (a new one on me), followed by Stereo MC’s and Basement Jaxx – amazing! The atmosphere was great with a good mix of ages, including families with kids. Even the loos were OK and as it finished at 10pm we were tucked up by a reasonable hour in a lovely comfy bed at our friends place (as opposed to the usual festival overnight accommodation of a drafty tent in a sleeping bag) – all very civilised.
So if you like music and food and aren’t mad keen on camping but want the festival experience, I highly recommend Pub in the Park and with more dates to be confirmed this year you may still be able to enjoy the delights of Hand & Flowers, The Kentish Hare, Berner’s Tavern and many more this summer, while you dance away the day or evening – just make sure you go hungry.