A few weeks ago, I won a competition to attend a Tom Kerridge pop-up event at The Crabtree in Fulham with Tim, and we couldn’t have been more than excited. We’re both Kerridge fans (his pronunciation of the word ‘lasagne’ is one of the best things ever and reminds me a lot of my Dad’s West Country accent!) and we were intrigued by how the event would work, as it wasn’t at one of his own venues. His Michelin star pub, The Hand and Flowers, has been on our ‘to visit’ list for ages but we sadly just haven’t got round to it.
It was my first visit to The Crabtree and I loved it as soon as I walked in the door. Lots of cool greys and animals on the walls, combined with beautiful colourful flowers.
We ordered some Greene King IPAs and took them outside to the back, where we found that the pub was situated right on the river, it was a beautiful spot.
The Tom Kerridge ‘Hoppodrome’ event was being hosted outside in what felt like a little secret garden with quaint but rustic decor, adorned with hay bales and pom poms, and even a grapevine growing across a part of it.
We were given a little slip of tokens showing us what we would have the opportunity to eat; Mackerel Burger, Mushroom Risotto, Pulled Pork Chilli and Pulled Beef Brisket.
I was expecting there to be some kind of introduction from the pub or Tom Kerridge, but he arrived fairly discreetly and went straight to cook the food along with his sous chef. Everyone was looking around at each other, wondering how/when we could approach him, but our minds were put at ease when he announced with a smile, “come and get some food everyone, don’t be shy!”
The first thing we tried was the Mackerel Burger which was delicious.
Afterwards we went for the chilli which was rather spicy, but tasted so good that I just had to keep eating it, even if my eyes and nose were watering (admittedly I’m not the bravest when it comes to spice, but I always try my best!)
Lastly we had the mushroom risotto, which wasn’t much to look at but tasted great – I was expecting it to be made of rice but the risotto element of it was actually just chopped up mushroom, which was a clever idea.
We also tried a few different drinks from the Greene King label which I really enjoyed – the perfect drink for that kind of environment, out in the sun with good food and company!
I always get rather shy around celebs, which as my friends can tell you, is rather bizarre as I’m not really a shy person at all! I just don’t know what to say and usually when I do say something, it ends up being utterly ridiculous, so I tend to just smile and make basic small talk to avoid embarrassing myself!! However Tim encouraged me to go up and say hello to Tom and get a photo, which I’m glad I did – he really was lovely!
The chefs took a break at this point and we had to make a move as we’d been there for a good few hours and had to meet friends in towns, and therefore sadly didn’t get a chance to try the beef brisket when the next batch was made.
Before we left, a singer took to the stage and performed for the crowd – I didn’t catch his name but he was very good!
I’m a bit puzzled as to what the actual connection was between Tom Kerridge and Greene King/The Crabtree as there was no real explanation, but it was a lovely, chilled afternoon, and a venue I’d definitely return to!