Love it when stuff works out brilliantly, and I just want to say bloody well done to Tom Kerridge and the team for Pub in the Park, which was in Marlow over the weekend.
Now, we got lucky by being there Sunday afternoon, as the weather was incredible. And the stories we’d had of horrendous queueing times never came off. Instead we just enjoyed an afternoon of great food from incredible restaurants, some decent gin cocktails, and some great shopping.
I am not sure I can pick a stand out dish, but it was all a stand out idea: £5 a plate from some this country’s most amazing restaurants and chefs. I think I’d probably have to go with the salt beef croquette from The Hardwick.
But then the sweet & spicy Korean fried chicken from The Hop was great too.
And dessert awards would go to The Crown for the rotisserie grilled pineapple and salted caramel popcorn ice cream sundae. I think supermarkets ought to ditch some of the rotisserie chickens and do more pineapple.
Now, I know by late afternoon when we fancied a bit more to eat then many places were sold out. Sorry to the Pony & Trap, but chilled lovage soup was never going to quite tick the boxes.
But that was ok, we were probably just being greedy.
What wasn’t okay I’m sure was that I heard from people who went to the evening session that restaurants were still sold out for that session. But, what can you say? We went into it with a bit of a mindset that it was the first time they’d all done this, that not everything would go right.
And I bet that doesn’t happen next year.
We had lots of fun browsing the shopping village. I didn’t expect to like Rubis, which is a chocolate and red wine blend, but it was rather lovely. There was quite a lot of pork scratchings going on, but we were more taken with the savoury biscuits from Just Biscuits.
And I was rather taken with a Gin Garden cocktail made with Conker Gin. Perfect for just sitting in the sun, watching the world go by.
We were also very taken with the tasting and cooking demo on the Big Green Egg. We are really quite tempted by one of these, and looks like we were in good company.
Angela Hartnett seemed to have quite a lot of questions, and wouldn’t be the first chef to add a Big Green Egg to their kitchen equipment.
Always nice to run into people you know too. And stocking up on Gower Cottage Brownies is always a good thing.
Talking to people on the trade side, then this seems to have been a successful and busy show. I think lots of us are hoping there will be another one next year, and for years to come. Of course there are some things they’ll be working on to improve, but I’d definitely go again.
Next year I might even get to some of the chefs demos!
As Tom, and the sign, say, it was proper lush! Bring on the next Pub in the Park!