Review: Tom Kerridge Presents Pub in the Park
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be given tickets to review Tom Kerridge Presents Pub in the Park. I’ve been looking forward to this since I heard about it back in January. So when the day finally came, I couldn’t wait to get there. As we were getting ready to leave the heavens opened, and it has been raining quite heavily for most of the week, so I was fully expecting a very muddy field, and to get absolutely soaked.
Well, someone was obviously looking down on the evening, as the skies were bright and blue when we got into Marlow, and there was no mud at all! In fact, despite the forecast being lots of rain throughout the night, there was a slight drizzle at one point, but other than that it was gorgeous, and so warm!
We arrived just before 6pm, which is when the evening festivities began. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly we managed to get through the gates. There were people handing out maps on the entrance, which were great, as they also included menus of all the restaurant stalls there so you could easily plan where to eat.
We decided to grab a picnic bench by the river, so that we could sit down and look over the map, and decide what food we wanted first. It made sense that we first tried something from Sindhu, which is Atul Kochhar’s restaurant, based just over the bridge from Higginson Park at The Compleat Angler in Marlow, as that was the stand right by where we were sitting. Having tried the food there, I think Sindhu is high on my list of places to eat out next! We had both of the dishes on offer – Chicken Tikka Pie, and Aloo Chaat (Fried and Crisp, with Tamarind Chutney and Spice Salt) Oh wow! I had to find Atul after eating these to tell him how amazing they were!
Even Isla loved them both, and quite happily finished off the Aloo Chaat while we sent Daddy and Grandpa off to get us drinks! Strange girl though wasn’t a fan of the Tamarind Chutney. How anyone can not like that, I do not know!!
While I was helping Dad get the next lot of dishes, I couldn’t resist getting a cheeky photo with Tom Kitchin. I really wanted to try his ‘Edinburgh Fog’ – Raspberries, Drambuie Cream, Meringue, Toasted Oats and Crumbled Tablet, but by the time we were ready for a pudding they had all sold out.
Our next dishes were from The Star Inn (Andrew Pern). Pan Fried Fois Gras “Toad in the Hole” with Sweet Onions, Dark Bone and Two Chefs Beer Gravy, with Fresh Horseradish. And Scarborough Woof Fish Finger “Sandwich” with Kipper and Caper Coleslaw, and Salt and Vinegar Seaweed. For me, the yorkshire pudding part of the toad in the hole was a little over cooked, but the rest was amazing! I was most upset that I had to share the fish finger sandwich with everyone else (we always shared dishes, as it meant we could try a wider selection of Michelin-starred food!) and would quite happily have eaten several of these to myself!
We were gutted to have missed Jonny Lake’s demo session. It started at 6:10pm, which I personally felt was a bit early, as by the time you’d got your bearings of the site, and what was going on, then the session had already started and you’d probably missed most of it. We managed to catch Atul Kochhar’s demo session though, which my Mum particularly enjoyed!
We had a good wander around the Food and Drink Market, and bought a lot of bits and pieces. Mum and I were particularly taken by the Rhubarb and Rose Haw Gin Liqueur from Rose Cottage Liqueurs, which is amazing with Prosecco, mixed with tonic, or splashed on the rocks. They currently make two other flavours of gin liqueur as well – Elderflower, and Plum & Pear, which is sold in 20cl and 50cl bottles. Perfect for a sunny evening drink!
While Chris and Dad were sampling ciders, Mum and I were having a good chat with the guys from Good Game. We were amazed by their Venison Salami, as well as their sense of humour! They have a particularly humourous calendar out at the moment if you want a bit of a laugh.
So what other food did we have?
Shin of Beef with Sweet Parsnip Puree and Crispy Beef Crumble – The Hand & Flowers
Venison Chilli with Red Wine, Chocolate and Toasted Rice Cream – The Coach
Smoky Sausage and Beans with Pork Crumble, Pickled Chilli and Lime Salsa – The Coach
Salt Beef & Onion Croquette, Pickled White Cabbage & Sriracha Mayo – the Hardwick
Flame Grilled Cornish Mackerel Taco with Pickled Onion, Chilli Salsa, Basil & Coriander – Paul Ainsworth at No. 6 (in fact, Chris, Mum and Dad enjoyed this one so much, they got themselves another one later on, and Dad went over to find Paul to let him know how delicious they thought it was! I have a feeling we may be making a trip to Padstow next time we go on holiday to Cornwall!)
Although there were three music acts playing over the course of the evening, we didn’t watch any of them. They were on in the background, but none of them were bands we were overly desperate to watch. For us the important bit was obviously the food, and occasional drink! The staff of The Hand & Flowers and The Coach were obviously keen to watch the band once their food had sold out!
What I really think is wonderful, is that Tom Kerridge and the organisers of Pub in the Park (Brand Events TM) have created a community fund from some of the proceeds of the weekend, which will provide grants to local groups. The total fund for 2017 is £17,500, with £12,000 of that supporting the Marlow Town Regatta Festival. The remaining grants will be made to charities and groups in the local area over the coming months.
And what did Isla think was the best food she had at Pub in the Park? Was it something by Tom Kerridge himself? Something by Paul Ainsworth? Heston Blumenthal? Nope! She decided that Mummy’s milk was the best!
Will I be going again next year? I really hope so! If this year’s Pub in the Park was anything to go by, then next year will be equally amazing, if not better! We all commented on how well organised we thought the whole event was, especially as it was the first year. We have high hopes for Pub in the Park 2018!!
Did you attend Tom Kerridge Presents Pub in the Park? What was your favourite dish? Did anyone find any they actually didn’t like? We certainly didn’t! It was all Proper Lush!
Review: Tom Kerridge Presents Pub in the Park
Disclosure: We were sent tickets for Pub in the Park in order to write this review. As ever, all thoughts and opinions are completely my own