Guest blog! Review of Tonbridge Food and Drink Festival 2019

The 3rd edition of the Tonbridge Food and Drink Festival was a fantastic success. The sun was out most of the time, and the temperature was just perfect, not too cold, not too hot either. Great numbers of families gathered on the castle lawn to explore the numerous food and drink stalls that had been set up for the festival.

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And now for something completely different.

Recently I’ve been watching a lot of “Britain’s Got Talent” as I’ve realised that it’s just good ol’ family entertainment. The judges frequently talk about an act surprising them and how much they appreciate that;. not putting myself up there with the BGT judges, but I felt the same when I saw the post on Instagram from Kingdom in Penshurst about an immersive theatrical, dining experience that is being held there around the summer solstice of June 21st. In a world of ‘stuff’, isn’t it great to have an experience?

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News and rumour!

You know I always want to keep you abreast of the Tonbridge food and drink goings-on and I have a few things to share. Some are definitely news and some I’m a little bit vaguer on - if you have any info to share please do! Here goes …

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The landscape of Tonbridge is changing - just a little

If you like good food then you probably know that quality, fresh ingredients matter. We’re so lucky in Tonbridge that we have several great butchers, a fishmonger, fresh greengrocer plus fresh bread too! But one of them is going through a bit of a change and they want to shout about it! The big guys have come in and told them to move on…

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Caroline KingsComment
Verdigris, High Street, Tonbridge, 9 Feb 2019

I was delighted when Mr Eat and I stepped out of our front door on 9th Feb, a date night, to walk to the High Street, safe in the knowledge that we had several places to choose from for a pre-dinner drink. How cool is that: “several places to choose from”? The Old Fire Station was open, we had The Beer Seller, Fuggles, we could’ve popped into El Mariachi for a quick cocktail …

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Forget brunch, these are the next big thing!

OK, I do think brunch is a big deal, don’t worry, I haven’t changed my mind too dramatically in the last two weeks, but in these difficult times with small business owners juggling business rates, the minimum wage, pension contributions and Brexit, these are definitely on the up too - supper clubs! I am hearing about them all the time! Who fancies a little more variety on Tonbridge High Street in the shape of supper clubs?

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Brunch for all the family - ✅

Brunch. It’s the meal that’s been around for years but in 2019, the meal that lies somewhere between breakfast and lunch seems to be gaining in popularity. My timeline is full of posts from cafes and restaurants promoting their brunch offerings which seemingly can be enjoyed anytime - alongside the snack, this has to be one of the most versatile meals.

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An EAT Tale: Step into the unknown - who knows where it'll take you

Once upon a time …

My first blog of 2019 and I’ve been thinking about this one since about November when I met the ‘subject’ in Verdigris where it’s now stocked. And the reason this story really resonated with me is because the protagonists identified a gap in the market and went for it, which I kinda did with this blog.

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Havet, Tonbridge, 15 November 2018

This is quite exciting! Havet is the first place that I am returning to as Eat Around Tonbridge….I know there are still some places that I haven’t reviewed but I’m a little proud that the blog has survived this long and I’m now returning to places. Once again, Havet kindly invited me so they generously paid for our meal - just for the record that doesn’t mean I’m biased towards them but I have to let you know.

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There are wine trails through Australia, fromage trails around France and now ...

The Cook Book Trail!

If you had forgotten (ah-hem), I have been involved in creating The Cook Book Sevenoaks Tonbridge Tunbridge Wells which has been published and is available to buy now (list of stockists at the end). It is a beautiful book, full of wonderful recipes and, actually, it also serves as a great guide to eating out in west Kent.

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12 Days of Feastmas - an update!

December is nearly upon us and I’m going to run 12 Days of Feastmas again - whoop whoop I hear you shout! I know! I’m excited too! If you follow me on Instagram (@eat_tonbridge) you’ll know that I ran a poll on my stories a while ago about whether to run it in January instead of December - January is such a dull month for many of us that I thought it would be a great pick-me-up. But, the lovely team at Chasing Connor’s Cure are running a raffle in January and I didn’t want to get in the way of that - such a great charity and they all work really hard to raise funds to end Duchenne. So it’s happening in December.

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A brief blog about beer!

I met with the general manager of The Beer Seller this week, a new pub coming to Tonbridge High Street, to be situated on the site of John Angell jewellers, and due to open mid December. Jamie and the team are busy refurbishing the inside - it’s going to be unlike anywhere else we have already! - and sourcing quality libation.

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El Mariachi, Avebury Avenue, Tonbridge, 2 November 2018

We were greeted with a lovely welcome at El Mariachi, Tonbridge’s very own Mexican restaurant, when I visited with a friend a couple of Fridays ago. This restaurant was in the first wave of those dipping their toe in the Tonbridge dining scene and they’ve stood the test of time; this is no mean feat considering their location too, tucked away down Avebury Avenue.

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A classy New Year's Eve within walking distance - tick!

I love new year’s eve! I know I’m odd because most people really don’t like it but I think it’s a very special night, very poignant. As a result, I love to go out on NYE and celebrate with friends and family and this year, there’s a really special party happening right on the High Street on 31 December.

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What Eat Around Tonbridge did next ...

This blog started out almost as a dare to myself: after years of being employed and becoming a parent, could I do something on my own? Well I did back in April 2016 and little did I know of the exciting journey ahead of me. I’ve met and interviewed some great local foodies, broken the news of places opening in Tonbridge, been nominated for an award thanks to all of you, been interviewed by new cooking app developers on the eating and shopping habits of the average Brit (true fact!), co-founded a successful, local foodie networking club and last and definitely not least, today I’m thrilled that it’s publication day for a cook book that I have helped to bring to reality! Whoop! Whoop!

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Garfo Douro, Tonbridge, 7 September 2018

I have been so excited about writing this review and sharing with you my really lovely evening at Garfo Douro. My friend and I were very kindly invited by chef Jose and the Garfo Douro marketing manager Zoe to come and see and, of course, taste what all the fuss is about. If you haven’t heard, it’s very popular.

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