Michelin-starred chefs will be rustling up the snacks at a special, socially-distanced event this weekend, headed by chef Tom Kerridge, with a mix of live music, crafts and mouthwatering treats on the menu.
After being forced to postpone his Pub in the Park to next year, but he’s on a mission to bring some fun, festival feels to the county regardless and has come up with an event for the changing times, his Drive-In Garden Party at Eridge Park, near Tunbridge Wells.
And he’s brought some top chefs with him to keep festival-goers fuelled .
The event will feature Tom’s food, along with Atul Kochhar and Paul Ainsworth, providing Michelin quality food in a safe and socially-distanced format.
The offering consists of a £30 exclusively designed three course chef’s special menu from each chef, and an extra treat too, which need to be booked in advance.
As well as offering smaller individual dishes from £6, with Kerridge’s Bar & Grill serving up salt baked Cornish new potatoes & summer truffle with aged parmesan sauce, Paul Ainsworth’s iconic Cornish pasty from The Mariners and Kochhar’s classic Chicken Tikka Kathi Roll.
Each private garden has been designed for groups to relax and enjoy the festival vibes along with top quality food.
Hampers of drinks can be ordered to be delivered by waiting staff and guests will be able to walk around the perimeter of the main arena, with arrows to follow, to soak up the atmosphere and shop from the Pub in the Park family of brands, including small producers at the Artisan Car Boot Sale.
The event on Saturday, September 19 and Sunday, September 20, also includes live music by Keane, Squeeze, Gabrielle and Soul II Soul Sound System.
And if you don’t fancy driving to the drive-in, walk-in tickets for those who want to go by taxi or get dropped off are available. You can get dropped off at the designated meeting area to be guided to a walk-in, socially-distanced private garden.
After the announcement of the government’s rule of six , organisers said in a statement: “The covid-compliant event will welcome visitors to their enclosed garden where they will have a safe space to enjoy the event in their bubble. For movement within the venue, guests will have a large amount of space to socially distance, and clear directions to follow which will allow safe distance from other visitors.”
Tom added: “We remain committed to providing great food and drink events throughout these difficult and complicated times.”
Pub in the Park’s Drive In Garden Party at Eridge Park near Tunbridge Wells is on Saturday, September 19 and Sunday, September 20.
Tickets prices cost from £47.93. Food and drink need to be ordered in advance.
For more information and to book go to driveingardenparty.com
If you haven’t managed to get tickets, here’s Tom’s top five top tips for hosting your own garden party:
1. Prepare more food than you think
Trust me when I say you will need to prepare way more than you think you need, No one wants to be at a party where the food runs out, make it properly generous and you’ll be surprised how quickly it goes when everyone is having a good time. The same goes for drinks, it’s better to have too many, than not enough – and make sure there’s a variety for both drinkers and non-drinkers.
2. Choose music for the mood
I think music can often be overlooked when planning a garden party, yet it’s so important for the atmosphere you’re trying to create. At Pub in the Park Drive In Garden Party we have an epic line up of artists who are going to deliver great tunes and good vibes! The music you play will reflect the mood of your party – so you have to get it right – no sad song power ballads!
3. Pick a theme
A theme is a great way to spark some inspiration when planning your party. When we started Pub in the Park, we knew we wanted to bring the laid back vibes of a pub garden to local communities in the UK, and that was the beginning for us. Once you know your theme, whether it is elegant, lively or chilled, you can then start to pull together how you’ll decorate, the music you’ll play, the dress code, the type of food and more.
4. Make your guests comfortable
If you’re holding your garden party in the UK, don’t forget a British summer means chilly evenings. Outdoor heaters are a great way to ensure your guests stay warm, or, if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to that, cosy blankets are a cost effective way to keep comfy. If it’s lovely and warm outside (wishful thinking I know) umbrellas and parasols are the perfect way to provide a shaded area for friends and little ones – and also it wouldn’t hurt to have a wet weather plan too.
5. Party bags aren’t just for kids
When the party is over, and the night is drawing to a close a wicked way to say thanks to your mates for coming is to leave them with a little parting gift. A little token to take away will mean a lot to your guests. Whether you are a dab hand at home made chutney, or love brewing your own sloe gin, a little gift goes a long way.
For more food and drink news across Kent click here.