Home   What's On   News   Article

Pub in the Park with Tom Kerridge in Tunbridge Wells with Soul II Soul and Basement Jaxx

And so on to day two at Pub in the Park - same great food, different great music.

Chef Tom Kerridge has clearly found a formula that works as the pub venues are growing.

And from Saturday's offering at the Tunbridge Wells venue, you can see why.

Pub in the Park is back Picture: Will Bailey (13442866)
Pub in the Park is back Picture: Will Bailey (13442866)

It's a great concept for those of us who love food and want to try the best but can't quite afford to keep dining out at pubs and restaurants.

But it also gives chefs a chance to showcase their menus, and tempt diners to seek them out for that special occasion.

Our first stop was at Tom's own Hand & Flowers, where we tucked into smoked hog taco and Kerridge's fried chicken, both excellent and setting a high standard.

Smoked hog taco and Kerridge's fried chicken from the Hand & Flowers
Smoked hog taco and Kerridge's fried chicken from the Hand & Flowers

After ambling around several stalls (and trying several samples of various cakes, snacks and drinks) we then grabbed a confit lamb brioche bun with wild garlic pesto, and crispy ox cheek with caramelised onion, miso mayonnaise and bacon crumb from The Compasses at Crundale.

The ox cheek was our winning dish of the day. I'm no food expert but if we'd had the room, we'd have eaten this plate several times over.

Crispy ox cheek with caramelised onion, miso mayonnaise and bacon crumb and confit lamb brioche bun with wild garlic pesto from The Compasses at Crundale
Crispy ox cheek with caramelised onion, miso mayonnaise and bacon crumb and confit lamb brioche bun with wild garlic pesto from The Compasses at Crundale

Saturday afternoon's music had a laid back vibe, with singer Jack Burns kicking things off, followed by the haunting vocals of Alice Jemima - perfect for families relaxing with their youngsters.

Alice Jemima performs
Alice Jemima performs

But afternoon headliners Soul II Soul weren't going to let people sit back and relax and soon had everyone on their feet with hits such as Keep On Movin' and Back to Life.

As Jazzie B called out from his decks "Are you having a good time Tunbridge Wells?", and the crowd cheered, waving their Pimms and prosecco in the air, it was a long way from the early days of house and street parties but everyone was feeling the vibe.

Soul II Soul got the crowds moving
Soul II Soul got the crowds moving

The evening session was more crowded, which meant longer queues at some of the stands, but nothing that was too much trouble.

Stereo MCs really got the party going with hits such as Connected and Step it Up - by the end of their set, pretty much everyone was on their feet and ready for the final act.

I'd love to bring you a photo of Basement Jaxx but I can't because I didn't stop dancing from the moment they stepped on stage, not just toe-tapping, head-nodding dancing but jumping up and down carefree dancing. It was a brilliant night.

I adored Pub in the Park when it first came to Tunbridge Wells last year, and this year's was just as great.

It's well organised, the atmosphere is always good and the food and music superb. The only downside is there's always a few plates you can't quite squeeze in. But to leave people wanting more is no bad thing.

It's the last day today with Gabrielle and Will Young at this afternoon's session. To book tickets go to pubintheparkuk.com/tunbridge-wells

To find out what’s going on in the county and for all the latest entertainment news click here

Read all our Secret Drinker pub reviews here.

Read more


More by this author


Most popular

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More