Pub in the Park, Tunbridge Wells 2019 – our review

We were given press tickets in return for this review. All opinions are our own

Pub in the Park is the brain child of Tom Kerridge, you know, the famous chef

This year saw Pub in the Park’s second year. It was so successful both years that it will be back for a third outing in 2020!

What is Pub in the Park all about?

Pub in the Park brings together award-winning food, live music and Michelin-starred chefs all served up in a beautiful park, making for the ultimate pub garden unlike any other.

Pub in the park is split into several sessions across a weekend. There are different chefs, bands and so on each session. Sessions run Friday evening, Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening and a lazy Sunday afternoon. 

We had no idea what to expect as we trudged up the hill from Tunbridge Wells Station towards Dunorlan Park where Pub in the Park was held. It was about a 15-20 minute walk which was handy as we easily made the second to last train home afterwards (plus it is down hill on the way back).

Picking our tickets up from the box office was easy and, as we had VIP entry, we went straight in.

What a site!

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Soaking up the atmosphere at Pub in the Park

There were stalls selling all sorts of food and drinks, both local and from further afield. There was a large stage for the music later on and a tent where chefs where doing demonstrations.

We headed straight to the VIP tent for a glass (or two) of prossecco.

We ventured out to take in the sights, sounds and smells of Pub in the Park

Pub in the Park plays host to many activities:

There is children’s entertainment where they can get hands-on in the kitchen, a cinema tent arts and crafts and lots of things to keep them entertained

An Artizan Market and Shopping Village where you can buy (and taste) foodstuffs and drinks from gin, to jam and cheese. As well as arts and crafts and of course kitchen implements. There were some fabulous handmade knives that I must look into further.

Book Signings by your favourite chefs. You can take your very own recipe book or buy one on the day for them to sign 

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The Chef Demo Stage

The main event for Pub in the Park must surely be the food

Several local restaurants are there on the day with sample menus. Each dish is £5 and enough to fill a small gap – the idea being that you can try several!

At the Tunbridge Wells Pub in the Park were:

The Hand and Flowers

The Small Holding

The Compasses Inn

Indian Essence

Berners Tavern

Cafe Murano

The Sportsman

The Kentish Hare

Pretty Sweet – for desserts

The queues were pretty long so we only sampled from The Sportsman. I am a veggie so opted for the Truffled Macaroni Cheese and Monsieur Incidental had Honey and Mustard Glazed Pork Wings. Obviously I forgot to take a photo of either (I am a useless food blogger) but I can confirm they were both lovely.

We took our dishes back to the comfort of the VIP tent and the complimentary prosecco. This was fatal as it was topped up at intervals and we paid the price the following day. Well, we are parents of young children and don’t get out much these days.

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Deckchairs outside on of the bars

Music at Pub in the Park

There are three acts each session, apart from on Sunday where there are four. We specifically chose Saturday evening to see Basement Jaxx and we weren’t disappointed. Stereo MCs took me back and Suncharmer are a band I hadn’t heard of before but will certainly look up.

I’m no expert on music but I know what I like and the sound was good and lighting and effects impressive. It had a real happy, festival vibe.

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The music – before it got really busy

What did we think of Pub in the Park

We thoroughly enjoyed it, in fact we would consider taking the kids to an earlier session next year, the lazy Sunday afternoon was popular with a lot of my friends. The evening session is a bit lively for younger kids in my opinion but there were a few there – to be honest it was just nice to leave them at home!

We were lucky we were treated to VIP which included free prosecco, if you are of a mind to then it is worth splashing out for that as there is seating and very nice “smart” toilets. The loos were the talk of the tent! All in all I would recommend having a look, but make sure you have enough time to browse the different restaurants – next time we will certainly sample more than just the one!

For details of upcoming Pub in the Park check out the website here https://www.pubintheparkuk.com/

For other reviews and days out ideas check out my Travel and Day Out section 

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Two happy faces in the VIP tent

 

  

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