Pub in the park returned to Bath this summer in what was the best year yet for this young but tasty foodie festival. Tom Kerridge's creation has grown into a firm favourite in the early summers events calendar in the city - with thousands of people flocking to Victoria Park to tuck into fine gourmet food, delicious refreshing cocktails whilst grooving to incredible live music. The secret to this festival is the creation of a unique setting where you can enjoy a diverse range of sublime food created by seven independent pop-up public houses and restaurants. Not to mention, the grooviest of backdrops from the Soul II Soul Sound System, Texas and Will Young here to ease you into the weekend.
In Tom's stead, famous chef Fred Sirieix played host to the festival starting on Friday evening to Sunday night. Think of it as a three day banquet featuring the very best food that the West country has to offer. Visitors to the festival also were delighted and captivated by masterclasses in cooking by top chefs who gave demonstrations throughout each of the sessions held daily. Michelin star holder Angela Hartnett was one chef in particular who drew an enthusiastic crowd of foodie-lovers to her style of cooking utilised in top London restaurants in Covent Garden and Mayfair.
Spread out beneath a leafy canopy in Baths beautiful parks you'll also discover an incredible shopping village crammed full of diverse group of independent producers, craftspeople and food enthusiasts. Grab a cool drink and leisurely amble through the stalls offering artisan products and gifts that are bound to either make you salivate or feel pretty pleased that you've bagged a unique item, not found on the high street. It's also a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that you're helping to support local independent traders who are passionate about their creations.
The sunshine was kind enough to stick around for the most part of the weekend which ensured the drinks kept flowing and delicious grub was tucked into all whilst lazing on the lush green lawn in front of the main stage. A must eat is the delicious Salt and Malt seafood tray from the Pony & Trap in Chew Magna - it's the perfect combination of scampi, chips, pickled salty fingers with cockles in a dill and mayo sauce...truth be told, I could have eaten five of these in a row.
Other gastro pubs included Bath's very own Marlborough Tavern offering lamb and aubergine dishes and also London Roads' King William which brought its gorgeous Cornish crab and sourdough creation to the masses. Tom Kerridge's own establishment, the Hand & Flowers completed the gang by offering it's now famous fried chicken and slaw, a dish that saw the longest queues on site - if the line is that long, the food is THAT good!
After all the savoury mains a little sweetness went down a treat and desserts such as doughnuts with an apple sauce from Midsummer House expanded the waistline just ever so slightly.
The sounds of music drifted over the park whilst the hum of conversation and laughter mingled in the air which was also filled with the delicious aromas from dozens of gourmet kitchens.
Pub in the Park ran from the 21st to 23rd June and looks set to return in 2020 to Bath but if you're in need of a foodie-fix why not follow the festival as it moves around the country this summer.
Next on the tour is: Warwick, Tunbridge Wells, Chiswick and finally St Albans. Tickets are available via: Pub in the Park
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